How Your Practice is Like Baseball

There’s a lot of sports talk around the Dental Revenue office. Right now, it’s talk about the Orioles. A pair of injuries for Britton and Hardy have O’s fans worried about the rest of the season. Even though key players may miss some game time, the season goes on. Center fielder Adam Jones told the Baltimore Sun, “It’s unfortunate, but everyone has to go through it and it’s a true test of what a team is all about.”
There are a lot of similarities between having a successful ball team and a successful dental practice.
In a dental practice, the dentist is the manager. The staff are the players, the fans are the patients, the park is the dental office and the opposing team is the competition. To have a successful practice, your mission is to deliver excellent treatment and service to keep your patients happy. You need to keep your team on the field as long as possible scoring runs and keep your competition striking out.

Managing Great Players

A good manager makes sure his team practices regularly and tries to keep everyone healthy and in shape. Every team has one or two star players. But a good manager knows the individual strengths of each player and can utilize everyone to their fullest potential for the benefit of the team as a whole.
Successful dental practices provide training and continuing education to keep their staff up to date on the latest techniques and information. Successful practices also hold regular staff meetings. They use this time not to vent issues but to energize your team. Tell your team what’s working, share positive testimonials and talk about big cases that you’ve closed. Set short and long term goals for your practice and your staff. Check in on those goals regularly to see how your team is doing.

Keeping Fans Engaged

A good manager understands how important the fans are. Having a good fan base generates revenue — it also keeps the players motivated. It’s easy to get fans excited when you’re on a winning streak. Building loyalty for a team is about building a brand that fans want to support whether you’re winning or losing — and keeps them coming out even on rainy days.
Successful dental practices keep their patients engaged and keep attracting new ones by offering excellent service. They also invest in marketing to promote their practice. They spend time developing a logo that represents their brand and communicates their values. They also invest in a website that provides information about the services they offer. They post pictures to show off the work they’ve done. And they utilize social media and email marketing to stay engaged with patients after they leave the office. The brand doesn’t just exist on a website or business card. The brand sets the standard for how the staff treats patients — from the way they answer the phone to the way they handle treatment.

Knowing the Score

In baseball, there are winners and losers, but only one team strong enough to win the World Series. You have to keep scoring runs — or at least keep the other team from scoring runs — in order to win. A good manager knows his opponent and can come up with a strategy to overcome the opposing team’s strengths. He makes sure his team has what they need in order to win. He doesn’t just count the number of times his players cross home plate. He looks at all of the performance indicators that contribute to the score: batting, baserunning, fielding and pitching.
In the same way, a dentist should evaluate multiple performance indicators — not just the bottom line. The Dental Revenue Reporting Dashboard aggregates data from multiple sources to paint a more complete picture of what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re working with another marketing company or doing it on your own, here are some key metrics to evaluate:

  • Traffic & Rankings — Think of this as the number of fans that show up for a baseball game on any given day. No matter how good your website looks, it’s not doing you any good if no one visits it. Focus on search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure dental practice shows up in the search engines for relevant keywords. Keep an eye on your website traffic and evaluate trends over time. At Dental Revenue, we look for websites to get a minimum of 300 visitors organically each month.
  • Lead Tracking & Analysis — Just like a good team manager tracks and analyzes statistics, so should you. Make sure your website has lead tracking tools such as a tracked phone number and web forms. The Dental Revenue Reporting Dashboard stores this information in one place. If you don’t have that option, keep track in a spreadsheet so you can evaluate how many incoming new patient phone calls you receive each day as well as how many lead forms are submitted. Analyze this information on a monthly or quarterly basis to determine the percentage of leads that turn into new patients.
  • Determining ROI — The final step is to tie your online marketing stats with your practice information. Dental Revenue is excited to offer HIPAA compliant integration between our Reporting Dashboard and dental office practice management software. With this innovative software, our dentists can evaluate the whole picture of their online marketing campaign. You can do it on your own. Using a spreadsheet or a good old pen and paper, match the incoming leads with the new patients. Take it one step further by calculating the value of that patient — determined by the services they had done or cases you proposed.

Staying in the Game

A winning baseball season is the collection of a thousand tiny details that came together. The same is true for a successful dental practice. It’s also about repetition. In the wise words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Let’s go O’s!