The Dental Hygienist – Your Treatment Ambassadors
Imagine for a moment, wanting to purchase a new car. Will it be Toyota, Mercedes, Ford or Tesla? So you hop online to do a bit of research and narrow your choices down to Mercedes and Tesla. Now it’s time to hop in your old BMW and head down to the dealership for a test drive. But when you arrive, you notice the cars are on the lot, unlocked…but no one is in sight. Feel free to have a look, but if you have any questions you’re on your own. You see, times are tough so we have cut our sales team hours. If you come back on Tuesday however, you may speak to Bob for five minutes and hopefully have all of your questions answered. Sorry for the inconvenience, but due to our tough times, we have shortened the length of time for you to speak to our sales team as well. Because we have decreased their hours, it is necessary that we pack as many customers into the two days we have them here in an effort to continue selling the same number of cars.
Of course this makes zero sense, yet in dentistry this is happening all over the country. When times slow, we begin tightening the proverbial belts. And we often begin with our hygiene schedule, the lifeblood of the practice. But this is like Mercedes Benz cutting all of their sales people’s hours! How can they move the cars off of the lot without a sales team? Dentistry needs to recognize the treatment ambassadors who reside in your hygiene department.
Instead of cutting hours and days, Mercedes Benz invests in the best training for their team. They continue to modify and shift as culture and tastes shift. How could they expect their sales people to understand the quality of the automobiles they produce without training? And how will the sales team adapt to the modern upgrades and technologies in the cars without continued training and accountability? This quality car manufacturer understands that without a well trained sales force, they are dead in the water.
In dentistry, hygienists have a very unique position. They often see your patients more frequently than you, the dentist. They have established relationships based on trust and ought to have a clear knowledge and understanding of dentistry as a profession. (Providing you have hired correctly and invested in their ongoing training) So why harness them? Instead, allow them to be your treatment ambassadors! Allow them to build on the valuable relationships they have established with your patients and help guide them onto your schedules with their treatment needs. Invest in their skills and hold them accountable. Doctors, the model many of you are using for your hygiene department is outdated. The model has changed and those who have moved with this important shift are realizing unprecedented success. Isn’t it time you re-thought an old, outdated model and replaced it with the shiny new way that actually works?
Cyndee Johnson is a world expert in hygiene production and delivering value proposition in dentistry. Her unique programs and collaborative team of experts bring success to those who call upon their services.