DEBRA MILLER | DIRECTOR OF COACHING
In the past month, we’ve witnessed an extraordinary example of how trust gets broken. Elon Musk’s nascent tenure as owner and CEO of Twitter has seen a flurry of changes that have altered trust:
- The team doesn’t trust their leader after brutal workforce cutbacks and vastly increased work requirements on those remaining.
- Advertisers don’t trust the service as a safe moderated place for their brands and have stopped buying ads.
- Users and key influencers don’t trust the platform’s verification and are looking at other options.
Of the three stakeholders, the trust of advertisers is the most important since they are the true “customers” of the business. 90% of Twitter’s revenues come from advertising. When they stop spending, the company’s financial foundation is shaken.
Referrals and trust
In the endodontic practice, you have the same kind of vital relationship with your referrers. Your practice is driven by referrals, which means that GPs need to know they can trust you. If you take steps (like Elon Musk) that damage trust, you can expect referrals will go down. But the opposite is also true. If you take steps to increase trust, you can increase referrals.
What does a referrer need to trust about you? Clinical ability and taking care of patients are the top two, but that’s obvious. It’s safe to say that practically every endodontist has those two points covered. So, what are the less obvious trust factors that can influence marketing and growth? These are more discretionary and it’s your choice how much you commit to building trust in these areas. Can they trust you and/or your team to:
- Always schedule an emergency patient in pain on the same day?
- Answer the phone promptly in a welcoming and caring manner?
- Calm a nervous or fearful patient before and during their visit?
- Ensure patients have financial clarity and no payment surprises?
- Speak highly of the general practitioner?
- Support the GP’s treatment plan?
- Provide treatment quickly and gently?
- Call the GP directly if any patient leaves the practice unhappy?
- Receive referral reports on the same day as treatment?
- Ensure patients return to the GP as soon as possible?
- Be available to answer questions about a patient case?
- Make it as easy as possible to refer a patient?
- Establish a friendly team-to-team relationship?
- Visit their practice periodically with pop-by marketing gifts?
You might think that your practice is good at most of these things, but the question to ask is whether you are clearly reliable to the point where it becomes as equally obvious as your clinical ability.
Even some of the simplest things, like the pop-by marketing gifts, become much more effective when the GP’s team realizes they can count on it. That’s when you have established such trustworthy processes that they know, without a doubt, they will see you every month or two. Presence of mind at the highest level!
Most important trust factor
On the list above, there is one factor that is particularly important to drive growth in your practice. That is why it is listed on the top: scheduling emergency patients in pain on the same day.
When a GP can absolutely trust—without question—that their patient in pain will be seen and relieved of pain on the same day by you, then you become the easiest, most reliable and most obvious choice for their referrals. You end up getting 100% of their emergency referrals once that level of trust is achieved, which leads to getting 100% of all their other endodontic referrals. It’s the ultimate relationship-builder in endo.
Becoming a practice that can deal with emergency patients so responsively and nimbly takes effort. The schedule must be tuned and optimized to allow it, and the team must be prepared and know how to adapt for emergency patients throughout the day. And all this needs to be done in a way that isn’t stressful for you and the team. It should be effortless.
Endo Mastery Practice Coaching can help you enhance and grow referral relationships significantly. For more information, visit https://endomastery.com/practice-and-team-coaching/