Are You Struggling to Find Orthodontic Staff?

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are you struggling to find orthodontic staff

As an orthodontic practice in today’s economy, you are probably struggling to find reliable, knowledgeable staff. Many practices are, and this deficit can leave you shorthanded and unable to provide the best experience for your patients. So what can you do to fix this? While Greyfinch doesn’t help with recruiting, we want to help by providing some advice that we follow when searching for the best employees. 

Stay in touch

When recruiting for open positions, you will sometimes receive more applicants than needed. Instead of discarding the rejected applicants’ information once you fill the positions, consider saving any promising resumes for future open positions.Stay in touch with the applicants through recruiting emails and company updates, and invite them to like you on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. This way, when another position opens, you’ll have candidates already available for it. 

Make the recruiting process simple

Candidates sometimes decide not to apply for a position if the application is too difficult or time-consuming. Make sure you have an online application that is quick and easy to complete. Job applications aren’t one-size-fits-all; if your application asks for unneeded information, delete that section and only ask for the information that is relevant to the open positions. If possible, don’t have applicants attach a resume and fill out their work history in a separate section—a resume is sufficient to see where and when applicants worked.

Interview applicants with intention

Instead of interviewing applicants just to go through the recruiting motions, take time to get to know your applicants’ work history and motivations, and ask appropriate questions. Make sure the candidates understand your expectations, so they aren’t surprised by anything when they start working. Look for candidates who will want to stay long-term by understanding their motivations and goals. Also, try to find candidates who can adapt to advancing technology, since the orthodontic field is ever-changing.  

Once the applicants become employees, provide quality training as soon as they start, and continue to offer training throughout their employment. If a new system comes out, make sure your employees are taught how to use it, and create a workspace where you encourage questions. Walk alongside your team, not in front of them, by joining them in their training and by working through changes with them. 

Use Greyfinch to streamline employee tasks

While Greyfinch doesn’t assist with recruiting, our software does streamline your office and reduces the amount of daily tasks. We provide multiple tools to make running an orthodontic office easier, like our 24/7 appointment widget, our automated text reminders, and our marketing analytic tools that analyze data to make your marketing more efficient. We also provide multiple budgeting and accounting tools to streamline your customer payments and help you see where best to cut costs. When using our software, you may find you need fewer employees to make your office run efficiently and smoothly.

If you feel ready to explore how Greyfinch can make your office more efficient and profitable, contact us today for a free demo! 

Creating Leaders at Your Orthodontic Practice

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creating leaders at your orthodontic practice

Finding the right employees for your orthodontic practice is often difficult and time consuming. So once you find good employees, you want to do everything you can to retain them. How do you create a culture of retention and raise up leaders among the employees you have? Keep reading to discover some tips for creating a culture of leadership among your employees.

Is your culture toxic?

Creating a culture that encourages growth and leadership is one of the most important things you can do for your employees. By allowing your employees room to ask questions, take leadership courses, and implement change in the workplace, you can create future leaders who will want to stay at your office. To do the opposite of this is to create a culture that is toxic, which will encourage employees to leave. No one wants to work in an office where their boss doesn’t communicate properly, doesn’t give them room to grow, and doesn’t encourage positive change. As a leader, you set the tone for the rest of the office–make sure the tone you set is one that helps employees leave work each day feeling accomplished and appreciated. 

Empower your employees

If you find yourself having to direct your employees on what to do instead of them taking the lead, you might need to help empower them. To help employees grow their leadership qualities, encourage them to ask questions and implement change. No one respects a leader who rules with an iron fist and has a “my way or the highway” approach. To become a good leader means to relinquish some control and allow your employees to question the ways you do things. By encouraging them to share any ideas or innovations they have, you make them feel like a valued part of the practice. And in working together as a team, you might discover some amazing ideas born from a culture of encouragement. 

Leader-Leader instead of Leader-Follower

Many workplaces use the Leader-Follower approach, which means the leader makes the decisions and the employees implement those decisions. This method of leadership has been around since ancient Egypt and has effectively helped many projects come to fruition. However, this method is best used when your employees are involved in manual labor. For workplaces that revolve around cognitive labor, Leader-Leader is a better, more effective approach. This relies on the premise that everyone can be a leader and should think and act like one. This helps employees feel valued and like they have an investment in the practice, which in turn helps them work harder and want to stay longer. 

Encourage learning

Make sure your employees have ample opportunities to learn and grow their leadership abilities. Encourage them to attend leadership conferences and consider going to a conference as a team. Or, read a leadership book, like Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet, and discuss it together.  

Good employees seem harder and harder to find nowadays, so hang on to the ones you have by making them an integral part of your practice and valuing their contributions.

Profiting from Direct to Consumer Aligners

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direct to consumer aligners

Most orthodontists have noticed the recent change in orthodontic treatment. Straight teeth are no longer available only through in-person visits to a local orthodontist. Instead, consumers are able to order aligners online and have them shipped directly to their front door. As an orthodontist, you might be struggling with how to adapt to this new trend–but you must adapt if you want to stay competitive.

The problem: Direct-to-consumer aligners

Direct to consumer aligners are disrupting the ortho market, and they are probably not going away any time soon. Mail-order aligners blasted into the market a few years back, and since that time, they’ve only grown in popularity among consumers. Many people find the thought of not having to visit a dentist or orthodontist while still getting straight teeth appealing. And with most of the companies charging less than $2000 for the entire treatment plan, it seems significantly cheaper than traditional braces and Invisalign through an orthodontic office. So where does that leave you, the brick-and-mortar orthodontist?

Times, they are a-changing

You might feel threatened by this new development in orthodontics, and you are right to be aware of it and what it means for your office. While ignoring it and hoping for the best can be tempting, this can lead to decreased patients and a missed opportunity for more revenue. The key to riding this new wave of treatment is to adapt to the digital revolution and become a competitor to these online-only providers.  

Become the change 

Rather than trying to fight this new system, appeal to this type of consumer by offering options that did not exist until recently. 

  1. Market to young adults looking for purely cosmetic improvements and probably needing less than a year of treatment. This is a great way to grow your practice and patient numbers. Since most of these young adults want virtual options, use virtual consultations to appeal to them. With Greyfinch, you can meet with a potential patient virtually, discuss treatment options, and send the contract digitally. The patient would still need to come into the office for the beginning records (photos, x-rays, scan of the teeth, etc.), but they could start the process from home.
  2. The first set of aligners can take four to six weeks to arrive when ordering them from a lab. To avoid having patients change their minds while waiting for the first set, make a few aligners in your office to begin, then order the rest. You can also use this fast service as a marketing point.
  3. Use Greyfinch’s secure platform to monitor treatment. Patients can securely submit photos and do video calls with you or your team rather than coming to the office for some check-ups. This combines convenience of mail-order treatment with the expertise and benefits of in-person treatment.

Our world is changing, and as patients are presented with more options, the industry must respond to stay relevant. Let Greyfinch help you adapt your business to the ever-changing orthodontics market!

Making the Most of Dental Health Month

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dental health month

February is National Dental Health Month, which is an excellent time for orthodontic offices to connect with local dentists and the community. While a common school of thought is that National Orthodontic Health Month in October is the best time of year for orthodontists to promote their practice, National Dental Health Month also offers plenty of opportunities for orthodontic practices to spread the word about the benefits of orthodontic treatment and their particular practice.

Establishing Relationships with Dentists 

It’s no secret that referrals account for a large portion of an orthodontist’s patient list. And while your satisfied patients are the most reliable referral source, dentist offices in your area are a close second. 

Introduce yourself to dentists you are unfamiliar with by sending a signed letter. Include information about your practice’s differentiators, your education and experience, and the services you offer. Now is a great time to say you understand how important their professional reputation is and to reassure them it is safe with you. Offering a discount to the dentist’s family and staff and promising to reciprocate by sending patients to them before, during, and after orthodontic treatment can also encourage them to use your services.

Establishing a relationship with the dentist is only part of the referral equation. It’s also important to reach out to the staff members, since they have the most contact with patients throughout the day. Offer to bring in lunch for the team, or stop by with some goodies and swag, and be sure to include them on your holiday gift list.

Once a referred patient starts, send the dentist an update, including a photo of the smiling patient and a summary of their treatment plan. Continue to provide updates and ask for input throughout treatment.

Establishing Yourself in the Community

National Dental Health Month is the perfect reason to reach out to your community and promote your services. Schedule visits to your local elementary schools to educate kids and their parents about the benefits of early treatment. Do a fun talk to kids about the importance of taking care of their smiles, or read them a dental-related book if the group is small. Give away branded toothbrushes, pencils, coloring sheets, or other promotional items, and be sure to include a flyer or pamphlet with your services, hours, contact information, and reasons why a child should come to your office by age seven.

Offer to sponsor local events where parents or families will be present. Look for opportunities to set up a booth or tent, and offer free promotional items for people to take home. You want your future clients to use your product to increase the likelihood of them remembering and using your practice when the need arises. One great idea is to give away an on-the-go branded dental kit. Include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and travel case with your practice name and phone number. Or be the booth with the branded reusable bags for people to carry everything else they pick up at the event. 

Speaking of swag, make the giveaway process fun by setting up a game to win prizes. A time-tested favorite is a custom dry erase spin wheel. You can make your booth a fun hotspot by offering festival-goers a chance to win a prize by spinning the wheel. With a customizable dry-erase feature for each of the spots, you can offer opportunities to win bigger prizes, free orthodontic services, or even gift cards for local businesses. Have parents sign up with their contact info to give their kids a chance to spin, then add them to your email list to continue nurturing the relationship.

While digital marketing is the most talked-about type of promotion, introducing yourself in person to both dental professionals and the public during National Dental Health Month can go a long way in making your practice known in your community.