Denka’s Bryce Ashmore says: “Communication makes the world go round”
While pondering life’s many unanswered questions, do you ever ask yourself what makes the world go around? Is it money, laughter, teamwork, love? Some people would argue – Richard Branson included – that it’s actually communication that’s at the heart of everything we do; and at least as far as running a successful business is concerned, this is probably true.
This, of course, includes all manner of dental practices, be they large or small, independent or part of a group/corporate. Indeed, without clear and effective communication, it would be virtually impossible to keep the cogs of a dental practice turning – let alone making a profit or growing the business.
As such, it is vital that you consider communication in all aspects of your day-to-day business planning and clinical practice, taking into account the impact it can have on all parties – including patients, practice staff and external companies. Alongside this, give thought to innovative and effective communicative strategies that will help strengthen your business and improve relations across the board.
You’ll be amazed at what a few simple modifications can do to staff and patient satisfaction levels, and the performance of your practice.
As far as your patients are concerned, communication is key to the service you provide, and they will often judge their overall experience based on how your team interact with them. The more adept a member of staff is at interacting with an individual – both on a personal, more empathetic level as well as professionally – the more satisfied they are likely to be.
This not only helps to reduce the likelihood of complaints – which can have a severe impact on the reputation of your business and morale of your team – but also encourages loyalty to the practice. Patients become more inclined to recommend or refer you to others. All staff should therefore take care to be respectful, polite, informative, personal and compassionate.
Where possible, introduce additional methods of communication such as email, text message reminders, social media and letters that will reinforce and sustain patient-practitioner relationships between appointments.
For staff, communication can make all the difference to satisfaction levels and morale. If your team feels overlooked or that they’re being left to their own devices without any professional support or direction, then their work might begin to suffer – as could the standard of patient care being delivered. Plus, regular, effective communication is essential to ensuring that practice targets are being met and delegated tasks have been carried out as directed, which is why communicative strategies are an absolute must.
Weekly meetings and emails can be a great way of keeping in touch with your team, and provide a chance for individuals to voice any concerns or put forward suggestions that they might have. There’s also a lot of value in holding one-to-one progress meetings with each member of staff, where you can discuss personal goals and potential opportunities for improvement, education and progression.
If you don't do this already, it might be worth implementing this strategy into your practice. Remember, your team is only as strong as the weakest link – it’s only by taking the time to interact with all members of staff can you hope to enhance performance and get the most from your practice.
Of course, effective communication is as much about efficiency and streamlining processes as it is about boosting your business – especially when it comes to how you interact with external companies. With your dental supplier, for instance, communication is key to ensuring that you stay up-to-date with all the latest products and offers, and that you order all your essential items.
In a lot of instances, it’s the practice’s responsibility to call up and place an order, but when you choose a top supplier like Denka that has your best interests at heart, communication is far simpler and easier to keep track of.
Denka offers its DenkaSMART online ordering portal and inventory management system that helps clinicians to order and maintain stock of essential items and specialist equipment smartly, quickly and efficiently at any time of the day. Simple, interactive and communicative, using this innovative portal allows you to focus your attention on what really matters – looking after your staff and patients.
Whichever aspect of your business you consider there can be no doubt that communication of some form is at the heart of everything that you do. It’s what helps ensure patients are happy and healthy, staff are satisfied and engaged, and keeps the administrative side ticking over nicely.
To get the most out of your practice, be sure to consider ways that you could improve communication.