3 Questions to Help You Find Your Perfect Dental PatientSep 15, 2021
It’s Monday morning and you’re trying to get yourself energized for a full day of dentistry. Your morning huddle starts and the entire team, including you, grins from ear to ear when your office manager says “Mrs. Jones is coming in today!”
What if ALL of your days were filled with patients like Mrs. Jones?
Have You Decided Who Your Core Customer Is?
What does core customer mean? These are your perfect patients! The best of the best. The cream of the crop. You can’t help but smile when you see their names on the schedule. Identifying your core customer is a great way to not only improve your days but also, to improve your production.
These core customers, or “avatar patients” are not simply those that we “like” the most. In order to truly be avatar patients, these individuals should meet some very specific criteria that are not simply subjective, and based on feeling. It’s great to have your chair filled with nice patients, but if those nice patients don’t show up on time, and rarely accept treatment, are they truly the core customer that you want to fill your practice with?
While enjoying the time spent with your patient is of the utmost importance, having other qualifiers is not only important, it will help to simplify the process of identifying your core customer. Here are 3 objective questions that you should always be asking yourself when going through this process:
Is/Does this patient:
- Profitable, ie they accept treatment and pay their bills
- Value you and your services
- Refer people like them
At ACT Dental we coach our clients on a patient identification system to help simplify the identification of core customers; we refer to this as “A”, “B” and “C” patients. Your core customers are your “A” patients, they are those that get a resounding YES to all of the above questions. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we find our “C” patients, they are those that might not only cause frustration but also get a no to the above questions. By putting policies and systems in place that support our “A” patients, we have the best opportunity of creating a practice that is full of our core customers
Have you Written it Down?
Don't just talk about what makes a core customer in your practice, write it down and create a system around it so you and your team can be aligned not only on the details of your perfect patient but also, how you will identify them in your practice and your software. Dr. Barrett Straub recently shared with us his practice core customer description:
“Our core patient values quality over cost. They show up for appointments, always pay in full, and are appreciative of the services we provide. We know this because they say thanks and always comment on how much they love coming to the dentist in our office. They accept our treatment recommendations and work hard at home on their hygiene. A healthy smile is important to them. They enthusiastically refer family and friends to us.”
It is very clear to Dr. Straub’s team who their core customers are, their “A” patients. Having intentional team discussions about the core customer for the practice gives your team members the opportunity to cater to these patients in a way that encourages amazing referrals.
Have you Spent your Time and Energy on Catering to your “A” Patients?
Once you’ve identified who your core customer is, you have their description written down, and you know how you are identifying them in your software, you can determine what steps to take to focus on building a practice filled with these ideal patients. How can you improve their dental experience at your practice, so they refer more patients just like them?
We encourage you to make your improvements a team effort with this Tier Exercise.
Your best energy should go towards these individuals. Kirk shared some more insight into this when stating, “One of the problems with the world or anyone around you, is they’re not giving their best energy to the things that matter most. You are the one who decides where you are going to put your energy. When you spend it focusing on your core customer, that energy then comes back through those people. It comes back to you when they’ve referred their friends.”
In Dr. Barrett Straub’s most recent webinar he said “When we put our time and energy into our core customer, our “A” patients, what’s going to happen over time is that your practice will fill with more “A” patients. Because you are telling the world by your actions and your words, this is what I believe. You’re going to attract patients that believe what you believe. Your core customers are going to start referring more patients that are similar and before you know it, you have a flywheel turning and your practice is starting to fill with some of the best patients.”
For a better practice and a better life, fill your days with as many “A” patients as possible. This will increase ease of treatment recommendations, grow your production, resulting in incredible referrals, and ultimately make you and your team happier.
About the Authors: Jenni Poulos is a lead practice coach at ACT Dental.
Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental. She is also a dental hygienist, motivational speaker, and writer. With over twenty years of serving in different roles in dentistry, she combines her experience to provide our community with best practices for a better life.