By Lydia Howard, Business Coach, LJ Howard Consulting
Every practice has to grow and change to keep up with the demands of an ever-evolving dental marketplace. One challenge we have as practice administrators is how to implement this change without team members putting up emotional roadblocks. This is the so-called “Yeah but”.We need to be sensitive to our team’s concerns while helping them embrace these changes to our practice. So then, how do we address our team members’ objections when introducing a new technology? It has taken me years to perfect my “Yeah but” response, which is always, “Try it!” I will sometimes add an additional disclaimer, “We will meet regularly to discuss any challenges you are having and after three months if you are still struggling, then we can discuss an alternative.” After three months most people have forgotten the old way and have given their all to the new way. There are always tweaks to the process but the foundational change is still there. Here are some more “Yeah but” objections with responses:
1.“Yeah but … this won’t work in our office.” This is by far my favorite objection. Why is your office so different from everyone else’s dental office? I’m sorry to say, but it’s not. Your team is just like the many other teams that have made a change. This is the team’s easy way out and it means “I’m afraid I won’t get the support I need.” You need to explain to the team how the new technology is going to work in your office. Communication is crucial so that the team understands how patients will be scheduled, how any new billing will work, what kind of training they will need, and how it is all going to make their lives better, easier or faster.
2.“Yeah but … the patients won’t want to pay for the entire procedure on the visit day.” This is especially common in practices that are adding CEREC, single visit dentistry. The front desk team and patients will need to be re-trained on when they pay for their procedures. Each patient should be told when they make the appointment what their out of pocket on the day of the appointment will be. From a patient’s point of view, there are so many advantages to having the procedure completed in one visit they shouldn’t mind paying that day. They only have to come in once, no temporary that may fall off, and the fit and shade will be perfect before they leave. What a wonderful practice referral builder!
3.“Yeah but … it’s going to take more time because the assistants/doctors aren’t good with the computer.” Times are changing and everyone needs to be proficient on a computer. They don’t need to type 100 words per minute but they do need to learn how to use the software and technology you have to its fullest! The issue is that the team members are not feeling comfortable and need more training. Every software and technology manufacturer offers training. There are webinars, help desks and trainers that can help. Before implementing something new, make sure you have provided each member of the team the adequate amount of training. Each team member learns differently, has a different comfort level with the computer or technology and will use that technology in a different way. For example, if we were adding CEREC, the front desk would be trained on how to bill, while the dental assistants would need to learn how to design. Everyone will need to figure out what each team member’s needs are and how they are going to be trained. This will make for a smoother transition.
4. “Yeah but … the doctor/hygienist is going to take more time so it isn’t going to save us any time or money.” At first this might be the case. There is a learning curve to adding anything new to your practice, but over time it will become part of the team’s routine. In my practice we had a doctor getting ready to retire in a few years when we added CEREC. He was not computer savvy. We got excited if he successfully turned the computer on and started the software properly. We all assumed that he would continue to restore teeth the old way, but because he had proper training, he was doing CEREC crowns and loving the new technology. He found that it reinvigorated his passion for dentistry! When you add anything new, communication is the most important tool you have for success. The team needs to know that you will help them and tell them what they need to do to be successful and if you can’t do it personally, then you will have someone else on board to help them.