Join DrGyl’s Sapphire Society for Only $99 per year

You don’t want to miss this great opportunity to grow your practice! Consider joining the Sapphire Society. The sapphire is a precious gem that represents strength, wisdom and good fortune and that is just what this group will offer to its members.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZTmpjfeME8

DrGyl’s Sapphire Society offers a new and awesome opportunity for business minded professionals! Membership is filled with incredible resources you can use to take your practice from Fin to Fabulous!

  • tracking sheets
  • pricing sheets
  • front desk scripts
  • marketing best practices
  • discounts on DrGyl events

I have been providing business advice for over thirty years. My single office in a small community generates almost 3.5 million dollars a year which is ten times what an average practice generates. I also opened a new office just over a year ago that is now profitable so I have great advice and many resources to help those that are new to business.


Hearing Professionals: Join the Sapphire Society where I provide incredible resources you can use to take your practice from Fine to Fabulous.”


Let me help you! Join the Sapphire Society.

Only members will get my specific and proven strategies for the biggest challenges facing private practice owners like:

• Reimbursement
• Employee management
• Effective marketing ideas including digital mediums
• Convincing more patients to say “yes” to better hearing
• Tracking forms to help you monitor the key measures of profitability
AND…
• The truth about how to handle the growing number of TPAs

Is your business growing as much as you would like?

If not, sign up for The Sapphire Society. Get newsletters with tips and advice that you can put into practice at 8:01 on Monday morning that will take your practice to a new level. Members will also have access to the Sapphire Society Facebook Group where they can share ideas with fellow business owners.

“People ask how I have created such a large practice in a small town. They wonder how my business generates 10 times the revenue of the average practice when I live in a small community.It’s hard work, but it’s not rocket science. It’s just business.”

All this for ONLY $99 per year!


Hearing Professionals: Join the Sapphire Society where I provide incredible resources you can use to take your practice from Fine to Fabulous.”

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The Number One Key to Success!

Colleagues ask me what I feel is the most important element for business success and it doesn’t take me long to answer – Track, Track, Track. As a business owner, I have become a numbers fanatic. Key metrics tell the story of the health of the business.

I have found that looking at data is critical for making quick decisions. I recently made a bad decision to lower prices because of my fear of losing patients to third party payers. That decision cost me tens of thousands of dollars in a short period of time. I know every business owner has a lot to do but tracking key performance indicators of profitability is critical to success! 

So what are the most important numbers to track?

I know I sound like a broken record, but if there is one place to start, it’s to track what I call your Help Rate. This ratio is determined by dividing the number of patients who purchased hearing aids by the total number of patients who were tested and needed hearing aids. Industry trends indicate that the typical Help Rate of a professional is less than 50%. While colleagues report that they help 90% or more of the patients they see, industry statistics don’t support anything close to that number. If you really want to improve profitability, start tracking your Help Rate and then commit to improving it.

Another important statistic to track is return for credit and that number should include aids put out on trial that aren’t purchased. The return for credit rate also reflects the number of patients that were dissatisfied with the result provided to them or with the way they were treated. When a patient returns something, dig in and investigate what the problem was so you can take steps to reduce returns in the future. 

How many times have you heard a patient say, “I need to talk with my spouse or my kids before I make such a large purchase.” Come on, don’t you think their loved ones know they have a loss and would be supportive of intervention? Eliminate this objection by asking the new patient or the current patient coming for a reevaluation by insisting that they bring someone with them to the appointment. Hearing loss affects communication and effective communication requires more than one person. It’s critical that the loved ones of the person with hearing loss understand the impact of hearing loss and what steps they will need to take to help the patient gain the most from their hearing aids. It is also difficult to help a person who comes to the appointment alone and denies that they have a problem. The employee that is scheduling and confirming appointments for evaluations needs to actively solicit the third party by saying something like, “Dr. Kasewurm would like you to bring a person with a familiar voice to your appointment so she can complete her testing.”  

Numbers tell the story of whether a business is growing or dying. Tracking key performance indicators of profitability is a simple and effective way to determine the difference. 


Attention Sapphire Society Members: Log in to get worksheets to help you measure and track the key performance indicators in your practice. 

Not a member of this exclusive Society? Subscribe today for only $99 a year! Best Value ever!

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An Easy Way to get patients to love you and your business

Living in a world of instant gratification, it’s not easy today to delight a patient. Most people want their problems solved quickly and expeditiously. If you can do that, you will probably have a patient for life and if you can’t your business may not survive.  When faced with increasing competition, customer service can be the competitive advantage that keeps patients coming back to your practice. 

No one goes looking for an average restaurant or an average surgeon or an average experience.  If you want people to rave about you, you have to WOW them with a service experience that is outrageous.   People won’t remember average. Service has to be extraordinary to be remembered.

A few years ago, I visited a large department store chain in Chicago where the clerks paid little attention to my request for assistance.  Not one to accept being ignored, I left and went to a much smaller and much more expensive store. To my surprise, the salesperson greeted me by name which was amazing since I hadn’t shopped in the store for over six months.  Michael not only remembered my name, he also recalled my husband’s preference of styles and was prepared to show me items that would complement previous purchases and he offered free alterations and no charge shipping.  I continue to be inspired when a business offers over the top service. 

When was the last time you “wowed” a patient by doing something totally unexpected?

If you can’t remember, chances are it’s time to step up your efforts. The Ritz Carlton consistently wins awards for their commitment to exceptional customer service.  In fact, they put their money where their mouth is and commit significant resources to finding employees who have a heart for service. So what can we do in our practices to win over our patients?  A place to start may be in a patient’s first point of contact which would be making certain the phone is answered by a friendly, upbeat voice. Remember, it’s not what you say but how you say it. The person answering the phone should be able to answer the most common questions patients ask without having to consult you or someone else. I find it extremely irritating to be placed on hold for an extended period of time. If the wait is more than a few minutes, then ask the caller if it’s acceptable to call him or her back at a designated time. 

While we live in an automated world, it’s important to have a real person answer the phone.  Imagine how frustrating it is for someone with hearing loss to have to listen to a long list of instructions before they can access a real person. I have hung up on more than one occasion after listening to a long list of choices to press 1 for this, 5 for that and 17 for whatever because I couldn’t remember what number one was. 

Another way to deliver exceptional service to your patients is to respect their time. Schedule appropriate time for appointments and don’t make patients wait. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to wait for a healthcare appointment but making patients wait is also a bad beginning to what will hopefully be a long relationship. When you are forced to make a patient wait, apologize and give them an idea how long you will be delayed.  

In a time when patients have a multitude of choices for hearing healthcare, maintaining good customer service can be the reason patients keep coming back for a lifetime. 


Attention Sapphire Society Members: Do you know what it costs when even One Call is Not converted into an appointment? 

Sapphire Society Members: Log in and get a phone script that is a great tool for training your employees.

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Extended Service Plans

My latest blog talks about the importance of providing exceptional service to your patients. One sure way to win the battle with third party providers and big box sellers is to focus on providing service that is out of this world.  I have heard that Costco hearing aid customers are waiting as long as three months to get an appointment for service. That certainly won’t make someone happy who has a broken hearing aid and has to wait for service. Delivering exceptional service isn’t easy, but it is possible. 

So you may be wondering how you are supposed to fit in hours for service when you have a full day of patients scheduled?

I know many colleagues that try to work in patients that stop in for service but that can be difficult and stressful.  How do you handle a person that needs a hearing aid repaired when you are with a new patient that has waited eight years to final schedule a hearing evaluation? There is no easy answer but it does seem rude to make a new person sit in the booth and wait while the professional disappears to fix another patient’s hearing aid.  

One answer may be to have specific hours that patients can walk in for service or perhaps you make the patient call and schedule an appt for service.  If you don’t have time in your schedule to handle service appointments, then perhaps you could hire an assistant to handle the tasks that don’t require your education or expertise. 

Then there is the question of what to charge for service. 

I could suggest that the first step is to know exactly what every hour of your time is worth to the business.  If you know the cost for your “chair time”, then you can simply charge your rate for the time you are with the patient.  For instance, I know some colleagues that charge in 15 minute increments. So, if a patient comes in and doesn’t have an active service contract, the fee could depend on how much time it takes to complete the service.  So, if it took 15 min and your chair time is $250 per hour (which is typical), then the fee would be $62.50 but if the total time spent was 30 minutes, then the charge would be $125.00.

DrGyl Sapphire Society

I have had great luck in my practice with offering extended service plans.

We charge $365 per year and that includes fees for repair and hearing aid cleanings. We use the phrase “Only one dollar a day to protect your investment and 65% of our patients pay for an extended service plan each year.  If you want this plan to be a revenue generator, it’s important that you do NOT buy this extended plan from the manufacturer. Carry the plan yourself and try to repair and have the parts so you can repair the majority of aids in house. Our experience has shown that most aids simply need extensive cleaning and having a microscope is very helpful for cleaning the instruments. 

Delivering exceptional service is one way to impress patients and offering extended service plans can be a good way to keep patients connected to your practice forever.

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How to manage your time

There are just never enough hours in a day. Can you relate? I only see patients a couple days a week and I have a large staff and I still get up at daybreak just to manage the day. When I browse through an internet group chat, I notice many colleagues sharing this same frustration.

https://youtu.be/Lwvcd3cBBnI

Most practices consist of one service provider who is usually also the business owner and one support personnel. One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is spending all their time working in the business and not enough time working on the business. While it’s essential to see patients to generate revenue, someone also has to pay bills, manage employees, review AR, oversee cost of goods, develop marketing plans, just to name a few of the tasks that fall to a business owner. And then there is attracting new patients and keeping current patients happy. It can be exhausting.

So what to do?

Try to automate as many tasks as possible. I just read about virtual receptionist services available on the net. Why not? It may be less expensive than hiring a real person. If you are still handling paper charts just say STOP! It’s virtually impossible to run an efficient business without being electronic. Just insurance billing alone justifies going paperless.  Digitizing and automating the billing process enables faster collections, fewer denials and a more consistent flow of revenue.

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Most patients today have access to email and/or text messaging. Most current office management systems allow for automated appointment confirmations and marketing messages. It’s important to stay in contact with current patients whether it’s a reminder for an annual hearing evaluation or technology updates. There are several automated marketing companies like AudMa and I am working with Ryan Kabel on his new KabelSync that make marketing to your data base a breeze.

I chatted with an audiologist and business owner last week who was facing the conundrum of having to book patients a month out and she just didn’t know what to do. I suggested she hire an assistant but was worried that patients would only be happy seeing her. Actually, I have found the opposite to be true. If you educate patients and assure them that there are other qualified providers on the staff they can see in the event that they don’t want to wait for service, most people are happy to see another provider. I explain to patients that if they need service on a hearing aid they really don’t want ME to do it and assure them that the assistants are much more qualified to handle repairs. Sure some patients want their preferred provider but others are happy to work with anyone who is qualified to handle the problem.

DrGyl Sapphire Society

While it isn’t easy to manage the many duties required to run a successful practice, it can be done without going crazy and sacrificing sleep. Try to remember that YOU don’t have to do EVERYTHING.

Ask yourself every time you start a task whether it is essential that YOU do it or whether you could ask your support person to complete the task. If the task isn’t generating revenue or helping to maintain a relationship with a current patient, then perhaps YOU don’t need to do it.

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Managing Employees

Managing employees can be a very difficult and big job. When an employee doesn’t do what is expected of him or her, it’s tempting to blame the employee but the real problem often lies with the manager.  This is not surprising in hearing healthcare practices since most of us never studied HR or were taught how to manage employees and it’s tough to stay on top of having current job descriptions that really reflect what an employee does.

While we may not be prepared for the task, it is our job to tell employees what is expected of them, to train them on how to do their job well, and then to monitor their performance to achieve the desired outcomes.  And it’s important to review each employee’s performance at least once a year so they know if they are doing what is expected of them. Just reading this list is overwhelming. Who has time for such details?

I hear colleagues complain and I admit I do exactly the same thing when an employee isn’t performing as expected.  A good friend and I regularly bemoan about our schedules and the lack of any breaks in our days to complete paperwork or to return phone calls.  And yet, when business is a bit slow, we complain that the schedule isn’t packed with new opportunities. I can almost hear my front desk manager saying, “Geez.  What does she expect? One day she complains about being too busy and then I give her breaks and she complains she is too slow!” Imagine the frustration the employee must feel in such a situation.

It’s been my observation that most employees fall short of expectations because they really don’t have a specific, written job description to tell them what is expected.  Instead of giving each employee a detailed list of tasks and specific goals, I just complain and the situation never changes. Nothing frustrates me more than when I know something should change and I just don’t seem to know how to change it.

So, where does one start in this employee game?  

The first step is to decide exactly what tasks you would like the employee to handle. This can be an easy task and as simple as asking yourself what duties you would like to give up so you can concentrate on providing the best patient care and generating more revenue.  You may also want to create a spread sheet and keep track for a month or so of all the different tasks you handle and then determining which tasks don’t require your education and expertise that you can delegate to someone else.

DrGyl Sapphire Society

When it comes to creating a job description, the more specific and detailed the better. You may be wondering where you are going to find a job description without having to spend hours of time creating one. Members of the DrGyl Sapphire Society can find a job description for a Patient Care Coordinator in the Download section of the Sapphire Society portion of DrGyl.com.  If you aren’t a member, perhaps you would consider joining. It’s only $99 a year for many valuable resources that will help you run a practice.

Don’t let hiring or managing employees hold you back from growing your practice. It may be challenging but once you get used to the job, it gets easier.

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