We’ve asked treatment coordination expert Laura Horton to discuss the importance of having a Treatment Coordinator (TCO) in your practice and to provide us with an insight into all of the amazing benefits that are gained by introducing this role.
What is the role of a TCO?
A TCO carries many responsibilities, but in a nutshell these are:
- To build relationships with your patients
- To build value into treatment in relation to the fee
- To WOW the patient with excellent customer service
- To decrease the non-clinical workload on dentists
- To ensure a new patient’s perception of a practice as ‘excellent’
Why is a TCO role so important to a dental practice?
The TCO is there to ensure you provide your patients with the best experience. The role of the TCO is to ensure your patients understand what is involved in the treatment plans you are offering them and to gain their consent in moving forward with the treatment plan that is best suited to them ─ in other words, the linchpin to ensuring that both the practice and the patient are having the right dentistry relationship for them.
What are the benefits of having a TCO in my practice?
1. Improved customer service
This is something that everyone strives to deliver and one that everyone claims to be good at. But ‘good’ doesn’t quite cut it! The level of customer service needs to be raised to consistently excellent. With consistency being the key, my suggestion would be to assign this responsibility to just one person in your practice – a TCO. This means you can offer an amazing experience to your patients and be sure that others will want to experience it too!
2. Attracts new patients ─ especially nervous patients
New patients are very important to your practice. One way to encourage them through your door is by offering a free consultation; and by consultation I mean a discussion, not an assessment. People are anxious about spending money if they’re unsure of whether the treatment they desire is something that is even suitable for their needs. Who wants to pay £40 to find out if they can have their teeth whitened? No one!
Do you know how many dentally anxious patients are there in your town? Say the answer to this is around 25%, imagine if just 10% of those came to your practice because they knew they could come in for a ‘chat’ with a team member rather than a dentist!
3. Reduces front desk stress
Your reception team should not be spending their time explaining to patients how the practice works over the phone ─ this can be done in a free consultation with your TCO. The enquiry could prove to be more successful if an appointment is offered to the new patient instead.
4. Increases treatment uptake
Because the patient will have an idea of the options available to them and the fees associated following their free consultation, when they come to see the dentist on another day for a paid assessment, they already know in their mind what they could have and what they may be spending – this means they can make an informed decision once the assessment has been completed and they are given the treatment options which would be suitable for them.
5. Enables you to monitor your marketing efforts
I am a firm believer in tracking your marketing expenditure and measuring its success and rate of return. Treatment coordinators can find out exactly how a patient heard of your practice and the journey that they went on to make the first contact ─ often you’ll find there’s more than one factor.
Interested in what Laura has to say? Keep an eye out for future events involving Laura by visiting our events page.