How Effective Team Meetings Benefit Your Practice | Dental Office Management

Dental Business Coach

Team meetings can be a waste of time or a productive, enriching experience. When carried out effectively, they can accomplish many goals.

Meetings can be a way to touch base, share knowledge, recognize accomplishments, and to air issues. They can reinforce value and vision, and they can welcome new team members.

Short morning huddles can be a great place to discuss progress on a goal, get a handle on the day’s workload, and ensure everyone is on the same page.

How to Keep Employees Engaged During Meetings

Think about each meeting’s purpose: The most effective meetings keep your team motivated, engaged, and educated. Your employees need to understand policy changes, learn about any specials you plan to offer, and be prepared if someone is ill or planning a vacation.

Our dental business coach recommends to make the intent of the gathering clear from the outset.

Always seek team input: This can be accomplished by allowing different team members to run parts of the meetings or introduce topics. If you are leading, discuss topics that impact the entire team. Prepare an agenda in advance, or keep the same format each time.

Be respectful of everyone’s time: Keep the meeting moving, sticking to a timeframe, an agenda, and redirect the conversation if it strays off point. Do allow sufficient time for questions, however.

If a topic is proposed but not discussed, our dental consultant recommends to follow up with the team member who made the suggestion and ensure that it is addressed at another time. This follow-through shows your employees that you value their time and input.

How Team Meetings Benefit Patients

Effective team meetings ultimately lead to a better patient experience. The information given to patients needs to be correct, consistent, and delivered in a manner aligned with your values.

No matter which team member a patient interacts with, the information should be the same. Team meetings are an effective way to solidify protocol and facilitate the exchange of information.

Always remember that the purpose of any meeting is to achieve a goal. The meeting itself should not be the goal. Other forms of communication, such as one-on-one meetings and huddles with different departments, may be better substitutes for a lengthy meeting.

A team meeting is something to which your team members should look forward to, a venue in which they can share their ideas, air concerns, and ask questions. Done correctly, meetings can bring a team closer together and solidify the practice’s objectives.

To learn more about team-building and holding effective meetings, call our dental office coach and schedule a consultation today.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Ensuring a 5-Star New Patient Visit | Dental Business Consultant

Dental Business Coach

First impressions are always important in business, and dental offices are no exception. Comfort, appearance, and front-desk etiquette all play an important role in determining whether a new patient will return.

Follow these tips shared by our dental coach to ensure a 5-star visit aimed at boosting retention and referrals.

Overall Patient Experience

Think about the times you have been a patient or a patron. What qualities brought you back, or turned you off?

Our dental consultant says to consider investing in amenities that help patients feel at ease. Some dental practices are adding spa-like touches such as paraffin wax, aromatherapy, and massage chairs.

Even simple additions like neck pillows, blankets, or a coffee station and water bottles can help new patients relax. The personal touches can’t be overstated in dentistry.

Prioritize Convenience

Always think about a patient’s time investment. Consider digitizing paperwork to minimize wait times and check in periodically in cases of delay.

To keep your own calendar filled and minimize no-shows, schedule next appointments chairside and send patients reminders by text, phone, and email. By showing them that both your time and theirs is important, you will create a sense of mutual respect. That goes a long way toward building loyalty and boosting your bottom line.

Office Cleanliness

Cleanliness and organization stand out. Look at your waiting area with a critical eye: Is it spotless?

This will be the first thing your new patients see, and they will make judgements based on their observations. If your bathroom is not well-maintained, visitors could get the impression that you don’t care about their well-being or are not following proper sanitization procedures. Designate team members to clean up periodically, or hire a janitorial service.

Front Desk Etiquette

How does your front desk team respond when a new patient enters the office? Are they focused on paperwork or do they take the time to greet your patient warmly? Those first minutes of the appointment provide an opportunity to establish the beginnings of a long-term relationship.

Establishing a rapport is, of course, not limited to the front desk: Be certain that each member of your team understands their role in developing loyalty.

Patients have many options for care. By focusing on communication, comfort, and convenience, your team can make the difference between a patient returning to your office or moving on to your competitor.

With a little bit of forethought and training, your dental practice can generate more five-star reviews and create loyal patients.

For more ideas on patient communication and growing your business, contact our dental business coach today.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Three Ways to Market Your Dental Practice Online | Dental Consultant

More than 7 out of 10 consumers use the internet to find medical and dental care, according to
a Pew Research study. Your online presence can have a profound impact on the success and
growth of your practice.

Considering how these aspects of online marketing are currently working for, or against, your
practice is a critical step in developing a plan to grow for the future..
Remain Active on Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others have replaced word of mouth for how people share
information. By maintaining active social media pages, you can engage your community by
sharing photos, videos, special offers, personal stories, community events, and more.

Encourage your patients and staff to share your posts. This leads to greater visibility and
interest. It keeps you top of mind and makes the community feel more comfortable with you.
Being a “known quantity” in the market goes a long way, especially in more mobile areas.

Upgrade Your Website

Your website must reflect your brand and communicate instantly what you offer. Potential
patients have a wealth of options to consider, particularly in highly competitive markets, and
your site must grab their interest quickly.

Your practice needs a modern-looking website with accurate information, an architecture that is
easy to navigate, and a design that is responsive for all types of screens. If your website laods
slowly, has an outdated look, or is not responsive (mobile-friendly), most visitors will move on to
another practice with greater online appeal.

Seek Positive Online Reviews

According to the Pew Research survey, 92 percent of people read online reviews and 80
percent believe that reviews are as accurate as personal recommendations. If you are not
monitoring your practice on review sites, you are essentially allowing others to control your
reputation. Reviews can also lead to constructive criticism that will serve to improve your
business and your team.

Ask your patients to post good reviews on sites like Facebook, Google, or Yelp. Unless they are
asked, many people only post when they are unhappy with the service provided. However,
patients who are pleased with your practice are usually happy to share their feelings when

Consider recording the best patient testimonials, sharing them on social media, and posting
them on your website.

The work involved in successfully marketing a business online can be daunting, but the cost of
hiring a professional dental consultant can be more than offset by growth in new patients and case

If you’d like to consider the options for growing your practice, contact our dental consultant today.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Missed Phone Calls May Be Costing You Money | Dental Consultant

An effective marketing campaign will get your phone to ring, but what if your team is consistently missing calls or worse, not calling back promptly? In an era when patience is thin and choices are abundant, you must think strategically about how to handle missed calls in your dental practice. 

Even a well-trained team can miss an incoming phone call on a busy day; what matters is how it is handled. These days, many people do not leave messages when they get voicemail. If you don’t have a way to track and return missed phone calls, you could be losing major revenue. Here are three quick steps to turning missed phone calls into opportunities. 

Keep Track of Your Calls   

Whether you use a call-tracking service or rely on caller ID, impress on your team the need to check for missed calls and return them as promptly as possible. It creates a far better patient experience.   

Developing Good Phone Etiquette 

Train your team to handle conversations with compassion and confidence. Whether the call is from an existing patient or a prospective one, a timely response and a warm phone presence can make the difference between an appointment and a missed opportunity. If your front desk team could use help with phone etiquette, our dental consulting team offers expert phone training.  

Check for Patterns 

If you are diligent about tracking and returning missed phone calls, you will learn to see a pattern in the times calls are routinely missed. Is it lunch time or just as the office is about to close? Staggering lunch breaks and assigning phone duty at specific times can correct this problem.  

Create a Plan for After-Hours Calls 

If someone calls at night or on a weekend and gets no answer, they may go elsewhere. If you have the capacity to handle emergencies but lack a phone protocol, create a rotating team schedule to retrieve phone messages after-hours.  

You can also create a separate phone line for last-minute appointment changes, questions, or non-life-threatening emergencies. Alternate after-hours duty among team members or consider hiring an answering service to handle off-hour phone calls. 

Victory Dental Management service can help you create a strategy to minimize missed phone calls and handle call-backs effectively. Contact us for more information on practice management and team training. 

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Coach’s Corner | Stress vs Burnout

I received an email from a Coach’s Corner viewer, and she had a question about burnout. I have been invited to give a presentation next month at the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM) conference on this subject since it is so timely. When it comes to the topic of burnout, there is a lot to unpack – a lot of factors are involved. For this Coach’s Corner, let me start this subject by comparing two things that I think are often used interchangeably. Some people use the words stress and burnout as if they are the same things; they are not. We need to understand the difference between the two so we can work on each area.

Stress and burnout are closely related, but there are key differences between the two. It is important to understand the differences since the strategies to deal with each one are different. Burnout results from unyielding stress that will not stop. That is not the same thing as too much stress.

With too much stress, you feel extreme pressure to urgently get things done. With so much pressure, you can feel nervous and have some anxiety. With overwhelming stress, you still believe you can get things under control and be completely focused on your tasks and then you will feel better. This will take all of your energy and lead to other physical symptoms.

Contrast that with burnout. You do not care to act quickly to get things under control; the urgency is no longer there. You feel exhausted, empty, and no motivation to get things done. Feeling hopeless is part of being burned out. It doesn’t matter what you do since it will never be enough.

If you feel you fall into the stress category, please take the necessary steps to prevent burnout. First is knowing the signs of burnout so you can avoid that and then learn the best way to manage your stress.

If you fall into the burnout category, please focus on reversing its effects and start to recover from it so you prevent any future issues.

There is so much more information I will share with you on the next Coach’s Corner. We have just started to scratch the surface on this subject.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I will see you next month at The Coach’s Corner.

7 Ways to Reduce No-Shows at Your Dental Practice | Dental Practice Consulting

Patients talking with receptionist Dental Coach Near Me

One frustrating aspect of dentistry is the impact of patients who fail to keep appointments. It wastes time, delays needed treatment, and squanders revenue opportunities. Whether your patient is scheduled for a routine cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or restoration placement, it is vital to reduce the number of no- shows.

By some estimates, one in ten patients skips or cancels scheduled visits to dentists. Even one missed appointment each day can add up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue each year.

As dental consultants, we counsel many practices about how to handle no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Here are seven strategies to consider.

  1. Think convenience. Offer teledentistry to assess a condition before a patient makes the trip to the office. Use e-forms to simplify appointment-setting and intake. Consider establishing prepaid appointments and implement streamlined payment opportunities.
  1. Ask your patients to choose how their appointments are confirmed. If possible, offer a variety: text, email, postcard, or phone call. That way, they are more likely to receive a reminder. Consider offering patients the choice of authorizing an alternative contact, such as a spouse, partner, adult child, or parent.
  1. Cancellations are less frequent when the patient feels they have made a commitment. Follow through with appointment reminders at least 24 to 48 hours before their scheduled window. If you speak to the patient directly, choose words that prompt them to call if they cannot keep an appointment.
  1. Practice positivity. Make your practice feel like a haven that always offers a pleasant experience. Never fail to show appreciation to your patients at every opportunity.
  1. During a patient’s visit, clearly communicate the state of their oral health. Explain what treatment they need, why it is important, and when it should be performed. Emphasize the benefits of receiving prompt treatment. Patients who understand the value of their treatment plan are more apt to remember and return as scheduled.
  1. Set aside time at least once a month to reach out to patients who are not yet scheduled for their next visit. When possible, offer same-day or next-day appointments. This is especially important for consistent no-shows. It also serves to bring back inactive patients and fill cancellation openings.
  1. Communication is vital in addressing no-shows. Before implementing a new scheduling strategy, arrange a team meeting and discuss your plan in detail. Be sure that each team member is capable of effective follow-up, explaining the value of treatment, and requesting appointment confirmations confidently.

For more ideas on implementing a no-show strategy that helps your practice thrive, reach out to our Dental Consultant office and schedule a consultation.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

How to Avoid Occupational Pain in Dentistry | Dental Office Coach

Dentist sitting and talking with patient Dental Coach

Working in the dental field can put undue pressure on the body. For dentists and hygienists, this includes awkward positioning while treating patients. For the front desk team, it can include long hours sitting, keyboarding, and cradling phones.

Ideally, you need breaks to stretch and rest your body, but it can be difficult to find the time. As Dental Management Consultants, we urge you to make the time. If you’re not taking care of your musculoskeletal health, you risk serious chronic pain or career-ending injury. Here are tips to promote healthier workplace movement for you and your team.

Make Stretching a Daily Habit

One of the easiest steps you can take to reduce the strain dentistry puts on your body is to stretch throughout the day: Bend, twist, raise your arms above your head, just encourage better blood flow to your muscles. Even a short stretching session in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of the day can loosen up your body and promote circulation.

Focus on Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their workspace. It dictates that workplaces should be arranged so people interact with equipment safely and efficiently.

A study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry shows that dentists are prone to a variety of musculoskeletal disorders including lower back pain, upper back pain, shoulder and neck fatigue, and hand and wrist tension.

See if there are opportunities to make your office more ergonomic. That might mean standing desks for the front office team, better lighting, adjusting chair height or adding arm support for chairside work. There are many ways to reduce the physical stress caused by work, and a Dental Consultant can show you how.

Move Regularly

Build movement breaks into the day. This keeps you limber and makes you more mindful of how you position yourself while working. Deliberate movement is especially important if you remain in static positions for long stretches.

Get Adequate Exercise

Exercising strengthens your supporting muscles and promotes overall improved health. It has also been shown to help you sleep better at night, giving your body a chance to recover after a long day. While strength training will be most optimal for building your stabilizing muscles, any type of exercise will be beneficial.

Do you worry chronic pain is limiting your productivity? Perhaps years in awkward positions have left you with chronic discomfort. Recognizing the source of the pain is the first step toward addressing it. For tips on how to maintain a healthier and more productive dental team, schedule a consultation with our Victory Dental Management consulting team.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Coach’s Corner | How to prevent the Great Resignation/Reset at your practice

There has been a lot written about the “Great Resignation” or “Great Reset” in recent months due to the lack of potential candidates to fill open positions in dental practices across the country.  I was emailed a question from a dentist that I have not had the pleasure of working with …yet. His question was this… “I am fortunate that my current team is still with me. I read about the horror stories from other practices, and I do not want that to happen to my practice. What can I do or is there anything I can do to prevent this?”

I had the pleasure of telling this dentist that there is something he can proactively do. I asked him many questions about his leadership style and what he thinks his strengths and weaknesses are regarding his vision, mission, and the kind of culture he has in his practice. His answer did not surprise me because he shared that he had never put anything down on paper. I told him there’s no time like the present to have a team meeting and start writing it down. Even though we had never worked together before, he did read my book, You Can’t Coach Quit.  He got as far as writing down his mission and his core values on his own and he wrote something he thought would work as a vision statement. The manner in which I help teams write their vision statement is very comprehensive in nature. What he wrote down was not specific enough and needed the input from his team. We discussed what he created for a moment, and I gave him more feedback on how to do that with the involvement of his team. The bigger question is always why is this important and how do I do it. Things like leadership were never taught in dental school and at times seem like a very vague concept. From my experience, when something is vague that’s not a good thing which is why I created the leadership coaching model.

I have found if I can find an analogy that everyone can understand, teaching a new concept is easier for the entire team involved. That is why I created the leadership coaching model. As a seasoned basketball coach, it is easy for me to use sports analogies for your dental practice.  I find that no matter what generation the dentist and the team belong, everyone can relate to understanding what a coach does. Being able to visualize what I’m talking about is really important when discussing leadership. For those that are used to reading my newsletter, the Coach’s Corner, you already know how much I stress this as an easier way to lead people. Leadership comes in a lot of forms, and I find that this is an easier start to understanding the idea since it can be such a new concept. Here is the structure of my leadership coaching model. The doctor is the head coach, and the office manager is the assistant coach. As both the head coach and dentist, you need to have a philosophy of how you want things to be done and how you want everybody to be treated whether that be within your team or with patients. In any sport you’ll know what play you want to run depending on what is happening at that moment. In the dental world the play is how you want things to be done in your practice on a daily basis. It is your responsibility to layout the plan which is your playbook so that each player understands their role. When it comes to culture, I define that as what is and what is not acceptable. For example, if you decide that gossip is not acceptable then no longer will that be present in your practice. If everyone needs to take a turn and collect the trash in the practice, then that’s what’s going to happen. As the head coach when you blow your whistle do you want your team running to you or walking like they have no purpose? Of course, you want them to hustle and run to you. This is where team behavior can be explained and as the head coach you have the ability to use easy sport analogies so your team can follow your direction.

In other words, the head coach establishes all of these items for the team and the assistant coach(es) fulfill the goals-requests from the head coach. Let me use basketball for the following analogies: Every head coach knows what kind of players they need to recruit each season to put their team in the best position for success. They understand the style of play they want to use for the season, and they know the strengths and weaknesses of the players they are looking for. In order for them to know all of this, they know the culture they have built or what they are in the process of building. Remember I defined culture as what is or is not acceptable. I define it that way purposely since so many things fall under the culture heading or concept. Culture affects all of those things that cause you stress – how your team members act toward each other, their discipline, follow through, mental toughness- all the attributes and human behavior you feel everyone should have. Unless you are honest with your team and explain the culture you are building, how else can they understand what you are trying to do. They cannot read your mind about culture and that is why this needs to be discussed as a team.   

The great resignation/reset has occurred for many reasons. The way you proactively combat that is planning, communication, and organization. The more organized you are as the head coach of your practice regarding your expectations, the greater the likelihood your team will remain with you. In our industry we are blessed to work with people who genuinely care about one another. Bringing like-minded teams together for a common goal is really what you’re going after. The easiest way to do that is to use the leadership coaching model. When your practice has worked hard to achieve an environment where they can anticipate how their day is going to flow, they understand everyone will be held to the same level of accountability, and if it is a positive, fun place to work, your team will stay. That is why the entire team should come together and discuss what behaviors are and are not acceptable in your practice.

By focusing on your culture as a team, everyone has their voice heard and the team agrees as a unit. This will automatically bring people together but leading and influencing human behaviors can be a daily struggle. Your personal discipline will need to be used each day to keep the team together. As the head coach, use your assistant coach or coaches to further your plan. If you have a large practice, you may need each department head to be an assistant coach. The purpose is not to build any silos or egos, just the opposite. It is to help the head coach with the larger gameplan.

I know I have covered a lot of material when sharing the question asked by this dentist. If you need assistance with any or all of these pieces to your gameplan, please reach out to me via email,

How Better Team Morale Can Boost Your Practice | Dental Office Coach

Victory Dental Management

Your team’s morale drives the success of your dental practice. Creating an affirming, supportive environment can take effort, but the journey toward cohesiveness and job satisfaction is worth it.

Why Good Team Morale Matters

Morale is like a set of dominoes. One person’s attitude influences those around them. Positivity spreads quickly. On the other hand, one person’s constant complaining can bring down their teammates. It’s human nature.

Dissatisfied workers also tend to be less productive. When a member of your team is unhappy in their job, they might be less efficient, work more slowly, and are less motivated to put on a game face. Fellow team members are then pushed to compensate. 

A poor attitude can spill over into patient interactions. Going to the dentist is an intimate experience; patients easily pick up on team vibes.  

Put Your Team First

If you want your dental practice to be successful and prosperous, team morale needs to be a priority. You don’t want a team member to offer anything less than a stellar patient experience; otherwise, you are likely to lose patients – and profits.

If your team could use a morale boost, our Dental Practice Consulting team has the expertise needed to encourage positivity through focused training. We offer a knowledgeable outsider’s perspective: We may see a patient scheduling issue that leaves everyone feeling overwhelmed, for example, or identify weaknesses in communication.

Set a Positive Workplace Tone 

As the leader of your dental practice, you are the one to whom your team looks for guidance. Here are tips on improving practice morale:

  • Adopt a “servant leader” attitude that values contributions 
  • Deal with conflicts when they arise, so small problems don’t mushroom into damaging schisms
  • Enact an open-door policy so team members feel they can come to you with issues
  • Have regular, effective team meetings to ensure everyone is in sync with information
  • Make sure each team member’s role is well-defined but open to growth 
  • Openly praise successes; address concerns privately 

High team spirit creates a better patient experience and greater productivity, which benefits everyone. To ensure that your practice thrives, make your team’s morale a priority. If you need team-building ideas or training, our Dental Management Consultant practice can help you create a positive, energized environment where everyone feels valued. 

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

The Key to Effective Goal-Setting | Dental Consulting

Dental Team Coaching

Creating goals for your dental practice is essential to moving forward; even more important is creating a strategy to meet those goals. It can be easy to lose track of the work required to reach your ultimate objectives. Dreams require hard work and focus to become a reality. Here are ways to make your loftiest goals achievable.

Define your goals. Successful business owners understand the benefits of effective goal-setting: They can define it, measure it, and break it down into steps. Then they work their plan. If you have hit stumbling blocks in achieving a vision, rethink the way you are defining your business goals. Your ambitious plans will be successful only if you have a detailed map to reach them. 

Map out benchmarks. If you find yourself thinking of the big picture, go behind it. Perhaps you want to see five more new patients each month or increase the number of referrals by 50 percent. Map out the steps needed to achieve that plan. Will it involve increasing your marketing spend, hiring another hygienist, or adding a new piece of equipment? Work your plan by breaking large steps into smaller ones. 

Set milestones. Break out a long-range goal into quarterly, monthly, or even weekly goals. Creating smaller, incremental steps provides the opportunity to celebrate the small victories along the journey and pivot quickly if something isn’t working.

Set specific goals that are easy to track. By mastering the art of setting incremental, measurable goals, you will reach them with more certainty, and one successful goal will pave the way for another as your confidence builds. Our dental consulting team can help you create a roadmap based on our many years of experience and goal-setting. 

Make your goals visible. The more tangible you make your vision, the more inspired you will be to realize it. Putting up visual reminders is a simple way to accomplish that. Also ensure that everyone in your practice is aware of what you are trying to achieve. This will boost your sense of accountability.

To bring your practice to the next level, you need to take steps to get there. Whether your goals are patient-oriented, financial, or centered on personal development, our Dental Practice Management consultants are well-equipped to help you formulate and work a plan to get you where you want to be. 

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053