Your Treatment Coordinator (TC) is the secret weapon behind your orthodontic practice’s success.
Why? Because a great Treatment Coordinator is on a mission to start new patients. They make patients feel at ease, simplify complex topics, and get treatment started quickly so that you and your patients are both happy.
If you think of your TC as just another employee, think again. They’re the most important person in your sales process, and you’ll never build a world-class orthodontic practice without a world-class Treatment Coordinator.
How much is an all-star TC worth to your practice?
Studies show that average orthodontic practices convert about 50% of their consults into patients. Unfortunately, after all the time and money you spend getting a new patient in your office for a consultation, only half of them will begin treatment.
But we feel this is a low bar that any competent practice should be able to clear.
After all, a new patient comes in for a consultation because they already want to start treatment. So, even an inexperienced treatment coordinator should be able to turn half of them into patients, right?
For comparison, we find that the top practices in the country often see conversion rates of upwards of 80%!
That is a huge difference, and a sub-par conversion rate will keep your practice from achieving exponential growth—it’s all in the numbers. For example, let’s say you’re currently doing four new consultations a day, and 50% of those start treatment. So that’s two new patient starts each day.
But if you can bump that conversion rate to just 75%, you’ll add one more new patient each day. That’s five more starts per week, twenty more starts each month…and so on. So starting one more patient daily would add $1.3M per year of revenue to your practice!
So what’s a great TC worth to your business? As much as a million dollars per year, or maybe more!
But what do the best orthodontic TCs do that put them ahead of the rest? Let’s take a look.
A Rock Star Treatment Coordinator Does These 5 Things:
Always Says ‘YES’!
Saying “Yes” is contagious. Or to put it another way, we don’t like to say “Yes” to a person who tells us “No.” So fantastic Treatment Coordinators are extremely positive and display a can-do attitude.
You’ve heard of people that make mountains out of molehills? A great TC will do the opposite. They identify obstacles and turn them into mountains of revenue.
They’ve never met a growth opportunity they won’t say “Yes” to. And that’s why they’ll work with the doctors and the scheduling team to implement the “72 Hour Rule” for new patient consultations.
The 72-Hour Rule is simple—do everything you can to get new patient leads into your office within 72 hours of contacting them.
The best orthodontic practices don’t book consults 2 or 3 weeks out because they know that your best chance of converting them is today, while their interest is high. And if you can’t get that new patient booked into a consultation within 72 hours, there’s another practice out there that will.
What if that patient says they can only make it in tomorrow? A great treatment coordinator knows the value of that consultation, so the answer is yes, every time. The patient may have to spend ten extra minutes in the waiting room. Or your TC might need to squeeze them in between appointments and make your day a little hectic. Or maybe they can arrange a virtual consultation. In any case, the answer has to be yes.
A great Treatment Coordinator realizes this and will solve problems and move mountains to find ways to get that YES from your potential patients.
Makes Your Patients Comfortable
When new patients come into your office, they’re unsure about many things. They don’t know if they will like your practice. And they might be afraid that treatment will be too complex or expensive. So your TC needs to show them compassion and empathy when they walk through your door.
A great Treatment Coordinator is likable, a “people person” who can make the new patient feel more comfortable immediately. They know how to read people and adjust on-the-fly. They can sense when a patient is more reserved so they won’t talk their ear off. And when a patient needs a bit more personal touch, they’ll give it to them!
No matter the patient’s personality, a great Treatment Coordinator helps them realize that they’ve chosen the perfect orthodontic practice. Unfortunately, there is no Treatment Coordinator training program to make your TC a people person. But you may already have someone in your office with the perfect qualities—that bubbly clinical assistant that every patient loves might be a great candidate!
Doesn’t Take “Maybe” For An Answer
Once a new patient leaves your office without committing to a treatment plan, your odds of successfully converting that patient decrease significantly. But your chances drop to zero if you don’t follow up with that patient.
An expert Treatment Coordinator has a rock-solid follow-up plan and isn’t afraid to use it. They always remember why that patient came to your practice: they want orthodontic treatment. They may have some second thoughts based on pricing or convenience, but they still want to fix their teeth.
Following up isn’t pestering your patient; it’s persistence. And if your Treatment Coordinator isn’t persistent, they are selling your patient short.
Forget about the practice for a moment and think about this—if you aren’t following up with the patient that just walked out the door, you stopped making it easy for them. You created an obstacle. Maybe picking up the phone to call your practice is a pretty small obstacle, but small obstacles turn into a “NO” all the time.
Persistent follow up presents an ongoing opportunity for patients to say yes to the life-changing treatment they want.
Uses Sales as a Bridge
Top-notch Treatment Coordinators love to sell. They see the sales process as a journey toward a common goal—starting orthodontic treatment. This allows them to approach sales in a way that’s exciting and fun for themselves and the patient.
After all, the TC and the patient want the same thing: they want the patient to improve their life by starting orthodontic treatment. So a great TC acts as facilitator and influencer, helping the patient arrive at the right decision for their future.
A skilled TC knows they don’t need to trick people, manipulate them, or use high-pressure sales tactics. Instead, they help prospective patients think about the big picture, remind them why they are there, and help them see starting treatment as a bridge to becoming the person they want to be.
Is A Master of the KISS Principle
A great Treatment Coordinator is knowledgeable about the doctor’s treatment plan so they can explain everything without making it sound complicated. They’ll focus on making the experience as efficient as possible, keeping the initial consultation to 30 minutes, including records collection, the doctor’s exam, and a fee presentation.
A talented TC knows the easiest way to get a conversion is to follow the KISS principle—Keep It Simple, Silly! When you simplify the experience for your patients, you offer them fewer opportunities to resist and increase the chances they’ll say yes to starting treatment.
Pricing is always the #1 obstacle to starting treatment and simplicity is crucial to overcoming it. While offering multiple payment plans may feel like what your patients want, it actually forces them to make yet another decision! And more decisions means fewer conversions.
Instead, the best TCs use a simple, 5-minute fee presentation with just one irresistible payment option. And if they sense some resistance, they are always ready to work with the patient to get that yes.
Another way your TC can simplify your patient’s life is by starting their treatment the same day as their consult. If your office isn’t doing same-day starts yet, you need to implement them now.
Patients love same-day-starts because they’re excited to get started, and because it saves them an extra visit to the office. But they happen to be great for your conversion rates too!
Learn The Secrets of The Nation’s Best Orthodontic Treatment Coordinators
If your practice doesn’t have a dedicated treatment coordinator that loves sales and is great with people, you need to find one or your growth will stall eventually.
That perfect TC might already work for you in another role, or you might need to start a hiring search. But a highly-talented TC is non-negotiable if you want to scale your practice quickly.
Still, a great TC can only help if you’ve set them up for success. If you, as the orthodontist, are spending too much time in the consultation, or if you’re making the fee presentation to your patients, you need to start handing those things off to a dedicated TC that you trust to get the job done.
HIP knows what it takes for an orthodontic Treatment Coordinator to be successful because we’ve worked alongside the best TC’s at the nation’s fastest-growing practices. If you’d like to see how the Treatment Coordinators, front desk, and scheduling teams at the country’s best practices run their offices, reach out to HIP for a free consultation.
Our Patient Acquisition and Retention Framework has helped generate over $80M in year-over-year revenue growth for our partners. Contact us to see how we can help you build the practice of your dreams.