Shelley Clegg talks about marketing your patient finance and treating it as a support service to help patients achieve their oral health dreams. She also discusses her time as a practice manager and her experience of working for a large dental company, and how caring always comes first…
What is the most challenging experience you faced while working in practice and how did you deal with it?
When working with a large corporate dental company looking after 16 practices, the challenge I had was to keep harmony in the practices between all the teams whilst ensuring they were working to the same goal and keeping the practices profitable.
What has been your most memorable experience whilst working in a practice?
Twelve years as a manager in one practice meant that I knew all our patients, their sons/daughters/grandkids/etc. When I left, the number of cards I received made my heart swell and made me realise that we did actually make a difference.
What are the biggest issues facing practice teams today, and how can they deal with them?
In light of the situation with COVID-19, I really think that working every day in full PPE cannot be anything but challenging, but I have seen nothing but positivity from practice teams who have all pulled together to ensure they provide excellent care under a pressured environment.
What advice do you have for practices looking to implement patient finance?
Patients’ lives are changed dramatically by treatments such as orthodontics and implants and the confidence that patients find when treatment is completed is inspiring. Patient finance allows the patients to afford the chance to achieve the look they desire. So, look at patient finance as a support service.
What advice do you have for practices who want to increase their patient finance applications?
Advertise that you offer patient finance! New and existing patients can’t read minds! Use your waiting room as a marketing space; we can provide you with patient literature and posters for your practice free of charge to place in your waiting area.
Social media is another platform that’s excellent for getting your information out there, use Facebook, Instagram, etc, and your website, to spread your message.
Ensure your team are confident and knowledgeable about patient finance and how it works, as a good conversation goes a long way!
What three key business lessons have you learned from your time in dentistry?
Dentistry is a care profession, and never lose sight of that even though it is a business. Care about the results and what you can achieve for your patients.
Teams are very important to the success of a practice – treat your teams like your family, reward them, be kind to them and they will go the extra mile for you.
There is a lot of support out there for dental practices from reputable companies like Medenta, and remember we are here to help you succeed. Give the company representatives a chance – you never know, what they offer may change your life!
What do you enjoy most about working in dentistry?
Working with my colleagues/friends as part of the wider Wesleyan Group – the support we give each other is amazing and because of them, I see the rest of my working life exactly where I am!
Tell us something that not many people know about you?
I am afraid I am an open book, what you see is what you get, so most people know the real me. There are no surprises here!