MME: Is My Online Scheduling Working? An Inside Look at New Patient Data | Dr. Addison Killeen

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Show Notes

What could you implement TODAY to boost your practice's growth? In this episode, Dr. Addison Killeen provides a comprehensive and insightful take on the strategies and tactics to make this transformation a reality in your own practice. Addison gets into the process of monitoring and analyzing phone data, unraveling crucial details about practice operations and customer experience that could potentially boost your business visibility and growth significantly.

We shine a light on the significance of weekly scorecards as strategic tools for measuring progress. Addison explains how these scorecards can help you articulate your goals, track your key performance indicators (KPIs), and drive constructive improvements. As a bonus, we also discuss Addison's series of books on dental operations, marketing, front office management, and a whole lot more - a gold mine of valuable knowledge that's just a click away on Amazon.

What You'll Learn in This Episode:

  • The impact of online scheduling on new patient calls.
  • How to monitor and analyze phone data to improve operations.
  • The significance of weekly scorecards in assessing key performance indicators.
  • The strategic importance of monitoring trends in bookings and customer service.
  • A review of Dr. Killeen’s multiple books on improving dental operations, marketing, and management.

Are you ready to expedite your growth and enhance your dental practice operations? Tune in to our conversation today!


For high quality AND affordable dental supply options, visit The Dentists Supply Company(TDSC) website today! Our listeners get a special deal - 25% off on orders over $500 - Just type in the special code: TDM25 at checkout for your exclusive offer. AND if you're a member of your state's Dental Association, you may be eligible for additional savings upon providing your ADA number. Click or copy and paste the link here to save today!

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Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Addison. So talk to us. What's one piece of advice you can give us this Monday morning?

Addison: Yeah. So the one thing that I've found in the data recently picking through the business, the phone calls, uh, you know, new patients is that online scheduling leads to a huge increase in new patients.

But it's not that they are actually scheduling through online. It's that once they go online and then they see that you have availability, they will still call the office. So what we found was that when you didn't have online scheduling, phone calls to the office dropped, even though web traffic was the same, Facebook, uh, you know, traffic was the same.

But when you opened up online scheduling, people click that link and you, of course, you have people that click those links that they see, you know, the availability and stuff, and you have a significant portion that don't schedule. But we did see that even opening up online scheduling allowed for more phone calls to the practice just because you have online scheduling.

So my big key piece of advice here is that. Even though you might not see a ton of appointments coming through your online scheduling, maybe it's only 10 a month, or maybe it's only 15. But that is still super important for the other 15 or 20 or whatever appointments that come through because of just people checking that online scheduling calendar and then still calling in.

Michael: Interesting. How'd you figure that out then? Would you ask, was the front team asking, Hey, where'd you find us? How'd you find us?

Addison: Um, well, basically I was just, I love to watch my phone data. I'm like, I'm always looking at, okay, Google. How many clicks are we getting over to our website from Google? How many are coming from Facebook?

Um, so just watching all these trends. And then when my online scheduling broke, uh, that's when it was like, something is off here. I'm like, well, why is this not working? Um, of course we saw a drop in online schedules as well, but it was a more significant drop than that. So sometimes it's just the crazy instances where something breaks and you're like, oh my gosh, this is something is up here.

that really led to that insight of finding that.

Michael: You mentioned phone data. Yeah. What do you mean by that? Like, are you watching? What are you watching?

Addison: Yeah, so I check my phone data every week. Um, I go, I use Mango phones. Mango voice is super easy to set up. Um, you can watch, you know, when are most of the incoming calls coming in.

Uh, you can also watch when are most of the outgoing calls being made. You know, either following up with patients or confirming their appointments for next day. and basically, I try to dig through to see when are the spikes in incoming calls, when are the spikes in outgoing calls. Of course, outgoing is a system of the practice and so, You know, we can make sure those two peaks are not overlapping each other to make the front desk feel overwhelmed.

And basically what I learned was that most of the incoming calls are between 8, 7. 30 in the morning and 10 a. m. and so, okay, hey, let's wait until 10. 30 before we start making outgoing calls. Like, no one should be calling out early in the morning unless it's to fill an appointment for that day. Like, you know, don't be doing any of those mundane tasks or following up on collections.

Don't do that until after 10. 30 in the morning. Uh, and then days of the week, like when, which days of the week are most active? When should we have all hands on deck? When should we give people their half day off or something? Or when, you know, if you're going to run errands, when should you be running them away from the front desk?

And then also looking at that phone data to see how many phone calls are getting answered in general. Now I track that scorecard. Um, the last couple of weeks I've been at 92. 2%. Of all phone calls coming into the practice get answered by a person. and that includes even after hours calls. So, obviously when we're closed, we're closed.

But, um, and that's probably about the 8%. But we do miss some calls during the day. But, uh, that's the average of all the time, you know, the whatever 160 some hours a week. Um, we answer 92%. Now, that is a really good, um, a really good number. I've seen it though in other practices across country where it's been pretty bad, like 60%, sometimes 40%.

And of course, if you're trying to get new patients in the door, or you're serve your existing patients, if you're not answering the phone, that's pretty bad. And so you could be wasting tons of money, on marketing or internal marketing, or just you could be losing your existing patient base, because if they call in, And they don't get to talk to anyone, they're going to get pissed off.

And so, that's just one thing to put yourself in their shoes. And it's like, man, I try to call my dental office and they never pick up the phone. And it takes them an hour to call me back. Like, that's just irritating. You know, if that's what you think about your general practice physician, or heck, your barber.

Or any other person in your life, if they don't ever answer the phone, you're going to feel kind of slighted. As dentists in the dental office, we should absolutely be aware that that phone call answer rate is a huge customer service indicator.

Michael: Interesting. Okay. So then you mentioned it spikes early in the morning.

Do you have people answering that early? The phones?

Addison: Yeah, we actually bring in, um, the front desk starts at like 7 15. A couple of people come in 7 15, one comes in 7 30. Everyone then takes a break at 7 45 because we go do cuddle for about 10 minutes. Um, but you know, people always text, you know, early in the morning or they leave a voicemail and they say, Hey, I'm sick.

I can't come in today. So I always want the front desk team to be there about 45 minutes early so that they can start managing the schedule. And so their most important job, you know, a make sure the waiting room is clean, but that should be done 5 PM the night before. So they should come in and just manage the schedule.

If there's holes that pop up like Swiss cheese, let's fill those holes. Let's make sure that every, you know, appointment is the appropriate length. Cause if someone does, Hey, I only want to do one extraction today rather than full mouth extractions, well, let's, let's shorten that appointment. Let's, you know, fill something in after that.

So, they double check all that, uh, just to prepare for morning huddle, because morning huddle is that huge communication time when they can then say, Hey, if you wanted to add in extra treatment, do it right here. Um, you know, we had a couple patients drop off, so if you wanted to do some same day or if you have an emergency, let's throw them in here.

Stuff like that.

Michael: Gotcha. Okay. And then what days of the week would you say are the spikes? And then the days where it's like, no, it's not a good day, half days are here.

Addison: Yeah, the, it's usually Monday is close to top Tuesday's top Wednesday, Thursday, Friday is like a slow downward slog.

Michael: Interesting. Okay. So, Monday, Tuesday, all hands on, that kind of thing.

Addison: Yeah. Yeah. So, Tuesday, I don't give anyone time off up front. Uh, Monday afternoon, one of my employees goes home at like two o'clock. And then, yeah, Wednesday, Thursday, and then Friday, everyone else gets a half day off as well. Nice.

Michael: Okay. And then you mentioned a weekly scorecard. Cool. what is that?

Addison: Yeah.

So it's, you know, like if you wait till the end of the month to run your numbers, look at your profit and loss statement, look at your month end analytics, whatever, you know, whether that's an online dashboard you get or whatever, however you run your numbers, if you're waiting till the end of the month, you're going to miss so much data.

And so when you look at it week by week, I always go in Sunday night, Monday morning, like sometimes the first thing I do Monday morning at like 5am when I wake up. Is like I go through and I run the numbers from the past week and that is takes about 10 minutes Maybe five to ten minutes and I just pull about 25 of the top numbers and that was kind of the basis for my first book by the numbers super short little read there, but it's basically like okay.

What should you look at every week? leading indicators because you can always look at the production and the income later on. I mean, that's like, that's the end of the month. See how you did, but you want to look at like, what are your treatment planning? what's your phone answer rate? How far out are you scheduling?

What does your accounts receivable look like? You know, and those little things, it takes me about 10 minutes and I don't. Um, give that to any other employee. I could totally pass it off and some other team member could do it, but I actually want to be the one doing it because it gives me all the indicators of how I need to lead the team that week.

You know, it also gives me the wins. So in that morning huddle, I could say, Hey guys, you guys are killing it. 92. 2 percent is a great phone call answer rate. I'd love how everyone's helping out. Like we have a phone in the back sterilization so that if it's ringing and it's like, Oh, that's three rings.

I should pick it up. sterile tech could pick it up. or, you know, like, Hey, our number of fluorides versus the pro fee rate, you know, so our fluoride delivery rate drop below 80%. Let's just make sure to pick that up this week. Let's make sure we're offering fluoride to every patient who needs it. Um, that sort of thing.

or treatment plan, you know, like, Hey, Last week, for whatever reason, we just didn't seem to treatment plan as much as our normal average, you know, just make sure that we're spending the time educating our patients and like teaching them what's going on with their mouths, and hopefully we can get that back up to our average.

So stuff like that, and doing that weekly, I think it's just the most appropriate cadence because Sometimes I can't remember what happened, what I ate for breakfast. And if I, you asked me what happened three and a half weeks ago, I'm absolutely not going to know. But if you ask me Monday morning, like how did last week go?

I was like, well, I took a day off. Okay. Well, of course the numbers are going to drop pretty significantly if I take a day off. So just knowing that and doing the weekly scorecard, and I just have it in a simple, dumb spreadsheet and I just go line of data is just another row down. And some of the data cells are color coded so that they show up like more green if they're good and more reddish tones if they're bad.

And so, yeah, that's what I do weekly.

Michael: you have that in one of your books? The weekly scorecard?

Addison: Yeah. So that's in the by the numbers one for sale on Amazon.

Michael: Okay. Okay. So we can find it there. Look at it. Cause each, I guess sometimes I feel like, and I'm speaking for myself, but like other people, you tend to put all these other analytics on there and you don't really know what's the most important.

I mean, maybe like you do, right? Like production collection, things like that. Right. But then there's stuff where, I don't know, you're worried about when it comes to marketing, like impressions. Right. And you're like, is that butts in chairs? What is that? No. Kind of thing.

Addison: Yeah. And so that's, yeah. And that's the biggest thing that I think some of the analytics tools out there, they, they love to feed you data.

They love to get your dopamine rush with like bright colors and graphs. But sometimes I think the most educational thing is dumbing it down to the simplest level and just being like, no, like we need to answer the phone. Like that's because yeah, impressions are obviously important, but that would be one of like that level of data digging in there would be like a, let's do that once a month type thing on my.

If I'm going to dedicate like two hours to reviewing all the marketing efforts for the past month or the future months, let's do that on one day a month. But then this weekly scorecard would just be like, Oh, you know, the phone call is not getting answered. Or maybe you have the other problem. Maybe you're booked out really far.

And so one of the well, two of the things on the scorecard are how far out you're scheduling both in hygiene. And then in the doctor side, and so like what's the next one hour free block of doctor time where I could do like a crown or a simple root canal, something like major, like when's the closest new free hour?

Is that four days out? Is that today? Or is it like 26 days out? And if it's 26, oh man, maybe e. You need to either look at hiring another assistant if you have chair time, or maybe you need to think about an associate. then again on the hygiene side, it's like, okay, when is the next hour and a half new patient block?

Because if a new patient calls your practice and says, Hey, I want to join your practice and you say, well, great, I'll book you in four months. They're going to say, well, thanks, but no thanks. I'll call another office. And whereas if it's in like the next seven days, if you have like an option in seven days, they're going to be like, okay.

It's maybe, Oh, I've got three options in the next two to three weeks. That's much more normal. Um, but you know, of course, I think we see a lot of dentists across the country who are scheduling out pretty far and that's where it's like, okay, well, let's maybe change what kind of patients you're going after.

Maybe you need more emergency patients. Maybe you don't want them in hygiene. Um, or maybe you need to consider dropping some insurance participation, which would thereby lose you some patients, but it would Probably gain you more higher paying patients. So there's so many levers to turn, but by watching that weekly, you can see some of those indicators and it's, and it's, yeah, like I said, they're super simple.

Um, almost to the point of, you know, just it's black and white numbers, but, uh, they are mostly instructive forward looking metrics that will help you kind of guide what decisions you want to make.

Michael: Hmm. And then real quick, have you ever seen like a, like a, like a Uh, in your performance, it's spike and you're like, man, that was great, but maybe it might've been a fluke or you know what I mean?

Where it's like, what did we do that week? And we're like, we didn't really do, I don't know what we did kind of thing. Does that happen?

Addison: Oh yeah. Or yeah. Or, or drops and you're just like, well, what the heck? Like, and, and so, yeah, you always see those and you know, sometimes it's a, it's a, it's you just didn't treat my plan as much, but every patient accepted something and you're like, I got 100 percent case exceptions, right?

And so you're super happy and you're like, well, that was just a fluke of, you know, you had a bunch of patients that love you and trust you. And so, yeah, sometimes you, you see that. Um, so it's always good to kind of watch when you watch these numbers with a weekly frequency, they're always in your head.

And you kind of understand them. You don't have to kind of review back of like, well, what's the average or what's the high, what's the low. You just kind of know, okay, well that's a good number or this is a bad trend. And of course, one week of one bad number is not going to affect you. But when you start to see like, man, three numbers above that on the spreadsheet don't look very good.

That's when you start to see, well, three or four weeks, that's a trend. And that's where. The data isn't, you know, just noise. It's actually a signal telling you something is wrong.

Michael: Interesting. Okay. And then real quick, I know all the, that was your first book, right? You've come out with many more since then.

Addison: Yeah. So we got, yeah, seven more. I think we have the dental operations manual, the dental marketing manual, the dental front office manual, the associates manual, the startup and the acquisitions manual. Cool. Oh, and the dental supply ordering manual. That's the one we just put out. I should remember that first, but, uh, that's a little bit of a smaller one. It's only like a hundred pages. it's the manual size. It's got tons of spreadsheets and stuff. Cause man, us dentists, we get ripped off a lot by, Companies that sell supplies for more expensive than they should be.

So that book will save people like 20 grand right away. So that's, that's a big, big one. But the next book I'm excited about that'll probably be coming out in about a month to a month and a half will be the dental assisting manual. And that one's going to be really cool. So that if you're out there trying to train up dental assistants and teach them, okay.

Cause I mean, a lot of us have good dental assistants, but like, what does it take to be really, really good? Like what thought processes, what systems can you put in place to help train up somebody maybe from scratch to be really, truly great. Um, and like, how should you set up those systems to take them from, you know, rookie to rockstar essentially.

Michael: Nice. Awesome. So where can people find you if they have any questions or concerns, or they want to know more information about the books?

Addison: Yeah. So, uh, all the books for sale on Amazon. com so you can order them there. Um, or you can check, uh, out any of my information and stuff at, uh, AddisonKilleen. com. So A D D I S O N and then K I L L E E N.


Michael: Awesome. So that's going to be in the show notes below. And Addison, thank you for being with me on this Monday morning episode.

Addison: Thank you.