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AUDIO - HSP #235 - Laura Hatch
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VIDEO - HSP #235 - Laura Hatch
•Importance of training
•Great Staff Communication
•Staff support doctor and doctor support staff
•Use of headsets in the office
I have a bachelor’s degree in human resources and a master’s degree in organizational development. What is that, you might ask? Basically, I have spent years learning how to deal with people in the context of an organization. Before entering the dental field I was a retail store manager, outside sales person, and technical recruiter. After graduating dental school, my husband Tony asked me to help him run is scratch dental office.
We opened our first practice in January 2003 outside of Baltimore, MD. With some more advanced training from a great dental training company, we took our practice from $0 with 0 patients in 2003 to about $120K a month in collections in 2007.
In January 2007, we took our entire staff to Carlsbad, CA (north of San Diego) for hygiene training and fell in love with Southern California. We sold our house and our practice and moved across country with our two young kids. For about a year, I worked in another dental office and quickly realized that without good management, working in an office is not fun. My husband and I opened our second scratch practice in June 2008, in San Diego.
My point in sharing all of this is that I have had experience as an observer of dental offices, an employee in other offices, and finally as a manager for my husband’s practices. (I use the phrase “my husband’s practices” because I believe these are (or were) his practices, 100%. He’s the one that went to dental school for four years and he is the owner of our current practice. I am his Office Manager and as such, view my role as helping him reach his goals as the owner. It is not my practice! I do, however, understand the importance of the Office Manager’s role in kicking her doctor in the butt every so often! And you’ll see that theme time and again in my training and website.)
The first time we opened a scratch practice was in 2003, in Maryland, when the economy was stronger and selling patients on treatments was much easier. We opened our second scratch practice in 2008—right after the recession. And we are only 20 minutes from Mexico, where patients can go to get much cheaper treatment. So we have had out share of challenges getting a new practice to succeed, just like many of you.
Several years on, I’m happy to report that we are generating over $200K a month in collections as a fee-for-service office, with an average of 60–100 new patients a month. I run a staff of over 15, which includes three doctors, four RDHs, three dental assistants, and four employees at the front desk.
I am now the founder and owner of Front Office Rocks. I created this company with the goal of helping other dental offices train and learn new policies and procedures that my team and I have proven are very successful in making dental offices work better.
10755 Scripps Poway Parkway
San Diego, CA 92131
Howard Farran: It is a huge, huge honor for me today to be interviewing Laura Hatch and if you haven't gone to her website www.frontofficerocks.com, oh my god you're not right in the head. You are an amazing person, I am so fortunate to have you on here. I want to read your story because it is an amazing story. Laura has a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources and a Master's Degree in Organizational Development and what is that you might ask? Basically she spent years learning how to deal with people in the context of an organization, people is everything. Before entering the benefit she was a retail store manager, outside sales person and technical recruiter.
After graduating dental school her husband Tony asked her to help him start his scratch dental office. They opened their first practice in January 2003, outside of Baltimore Maryland where the first dental school in the United States was created and has the dental museum. With some more advance training from a great dental training company they took their practice from $0 and 0 patients in 2003 to $120,000 a month in collections in 2007. That is amazing, but then she took her staff to Carlsbad California, north of San Diego for some hygiene training and fell in love with Southern California. They came back home, sold their house and their dental practice and moved clear across the country with their two young kids and for about a year she worked at another dental office. Quickly realizing that without good management working in a dental office is not fun. Her husband and her opened their second scratch practice in 2008 which if you remember that was the August, that was the Leman day breakdown. It was a full blown depression with liquidity. It was a nightmare when Phoenix had over 100 dental office go bankrupt. That's when they started their second off.
The point in sharing all of this is that she had an experience as an observer of dental offices, an employee in other dental offices and finally as manager for her husbands practices. She uses the term "my husbands practices" because she believes that they're his practices, he's the one who went to dental school for four years, he's the owner of the practice. She is the office manager and as such views her role as helping him reach his goals as the owner. She says it's not her practice but she does understand the importance of the office managers role and kicking her doctor in the butt every so often. You'll see that theme time and again in her training and her website, which you must go to frontofficerocks.com.
The first time they opened a scratch practice was in 2003 in Maryland when the economy was strong and selling patients on treatment was much easier. When they opened their second practice in 2008 during the recession and being only 20 minutes away from Mexico her patients can go and get much cheaper treatment. They had their share of challenges getting a new practice to succeed, just like many of the listeners to this show. Several years later she is happy to report they're generating over $200,000 a month in a fee for service office in a high saturated city of San Diego, in a state that has 6 dental schools and 32,000 of Americas 205,000 dentists. She's still averaging 60 to 100 new patients a month, she runs a staff of 15 which includes 3 doctors, 4 hygienists, 3 assistants, and 4 employees of the front desk. She's now the founder and owner of Front Office Rocks. She created this company with the goal of helping other dental offices train and learn new policies and procedures that her team has proven to be successful. Laura it is an honor that you found the time to be with me today. Where are you at by the way.
Laura Hatch: Thank you, this is my home office now slash movie room in the evenings and weekends.
Howard Farran: Right on. You're talk to, that's you know, my new book was Uncomplicate Business, you only manage three things people, time and money. I've always said if you get the people right that's 80% of the game, the time and money will fall into place and you have a Bachelors Degree in Human Resources known as HR and a Masters Degree in Organizational Development. My first question to you is very simple, are all people bat shit crazy?
Laura Hatch: Well lets start with the doctor in the office first and then we'll work our way down from there. I actually just was on Facebook this morning and there was a whole bunch of stuff about people having trouble hiring and finding the right candidates. It's harder now than I think it ever was. Doctors are not trained in how to train staff, they put their staff at the front desk and say cross your fingers, hope you know what you're doing. It really limits the success for the amount of good staff that you can have in the office and that's really why I started Front Office Rocks, was to have a resource for Doctors to teach front office staff.
Howard Farran: It's so funny because I've got four boys and they'd go get a job at McDonalds and I remember one of them worked at, got a job at Subway. He had to go through, before he could show up for training, he had to go through 8 online videos and pass the test and get them all right before he went to his first day of training. At a dental office you just start!
Laura Hatch: That's what, that's what kills me. We don't even just start them, what we do is put them on the phones to see how they're going to do. Which is our only lifeline to the outside, we've just spent all this money on marketing, we want more new patients and we take somebody who we have no idea if they're going to be any good and we put them on the phones to see how they do. To me it's like so completely backwards.
Howard Farran: The enemy is not them, it's corporate dentistry.
Laura Hatch: Yeah, there's a lot of competition. You know for me my biggest thing is, there's so much going on outside our four walls, the economy, the competition, corporate dentistry but we can't do anything about that. I mean it is what it is. What we can do is, what we can do within our four walls, what can we do to make our practices better, have our run better, have the right policies, train our staff well. There's nothing we can do about the economy, we can try but there's nothing we can really do. We can do something within our four walls, with our team for our patients.
Howard Farran: Okay let's just start with A, I need a new employee, how would I find them, how would I interview them, if I got five people how do I know which ones Laura and not the crazy one named Howard?
Laura Hatch: Yeah, exactly. The first thing is just writing an ad and not limiting so much in dental we limit who we're going to hire based off of their dental experience. Do they eagle soft, do they know dentricks, how long have they worked in a dental office? I'm all about hiring people from other industries and teaching them that because I got into the industry I didn't know teeth had numbers or surfaces, I didn't know dental codes. If you have the right attitude, you have the right person, you can teach them the dental part of it. Part of Front Office Rocks, the concept is to help Doctors and office managers not feel so handcuffed that they have to hire people especially at the front desk from dental. That really limits our pool of good people. There are so many people out there that work at restaurants and banking and customer service. We just hired somebody who's the assistant manager for a casino in San Diego, she's got customer service skills, management skills. We can teach her about teeth, we can teach her about dental codes. That's really the first step, is not limiting the amount of candidates that you can consider for your office.
Howard Farran: I stole my favorite banker, retail lady from Chase, I stole the lady selling me popcorn and beers at the Suns game, just a million dollar smile, you just watch her handling everybody and smiling. It always blows my mind how when your, Southwest airlines says hire on attitude, train for skill. It always amazes me that whenever that poor lady gets on the deal and says I'm sorry but due to weather and lightening and a tornado and hurricane and earthquake flight 202 is cancelled. I can just sit there and go 1, 2, 3... and some person just loses it and runs to the desk and rips her a new one. I love it because she's either like you and can just settle them down with a smile or she just lowers herself to that level and gets into a pissing match and now the guys pissed off the only person who can find him another flight to get out of the city, now hates his guts. You just go in there and yeah.
We both agree, my pet peeve is they'll hire someone because she's has five years experience on Dentricks and they'll say that's good. I'll walk in and say okay well you've been on dentricks for 5 years, tell me how many reports they have, she can't tell me anything. I'll say well do they have 5 reports or 50, which ones do they run? How would you show me if someone was stealing, embezzling, and then she always says well you know, the last Doctor they never trained us they never did. It's always someone else, I'm like you sat on a Dentricks for 5 years and your monkey brain never even thought to move the mouse cursor over to reports and click it. I actually like the people that come from a background in book keeping and banking.
Laura Hatch: Right and it depends on what position you're hiring for, that's the thing to you try to take a square peg and stick it in a round hole. For office manager, financial coordinator, doing consults with patients, have somebody that has that skill that's good at that. One of my biggest pet peeves is that when you hire somebody from a dental office you're hiring that dentists mistakes, you're hiring that dentists bad habits. You're basically bringing the culture from this office whether that person quit or the dentist fired them. You're bringing that culture which really limits your ability to grow because you get that whole "well this is how we use to do it at the old office, this is how my old doctor did it." That doesn't necessarily mean that how do it in our office.
Howard Farran: I know they'll say well she had 10 year experience, well dude I got 53 years experience of golfing do you want to see my golf game? I mean there are blind people who are 20 points... What would you rather do, start from fresh and teach them all new skills on a great attitude or go in there and try to get rid of their slice and their swing and undo all their bad habits.
Laura Hatch: Right exactly, well I think the reason is that's why I started Front Office Rocks. There really isn't or hasn't been a resource out there to train front office staff. A doctor, my husband went to dental school got 0 business training, I've heard you say that before. He got no business training, doesn't know how to hire, doesn't know how to train, doesn't know how to anything about the business part, just that he's a great dentist. Dentists feel like they're out there going I hope she knows how to fill my schedule, I hope they know how to answer my phones and they don't know how to train them.
With Front Office Rocks what my clients are doing is they're using it not only for a hiring platform but also a training platform which allows somebody with no dental experience to get the training they need. They get it right the first way, which is all about customer service and handling the patients correctly and it's consistent so every new hire you have you know is receiving the same training. Typically in a dental office it's well one person does it one way and the other person does it another way and now you've got an employee who doesn't know which way is the right way. That's why I think dentists have felt so limited about having to hire from dental because there's no training out there to teach somebody all the stuff we need to know at the front desk.
Howard Farran: Okay well Laura everybody that I've ever talked to that's a fan of this show is multitasking right now about 85% are commuting to work so they don't have, those are the lucky ones. The poor bastards are the ones on a treadmill right now or a stationary bike, they're the ones you can hear them cussing in the background. They're not on frontofficerocks.com right now, they're not going to get on it for another hour when they get off the damn treadmill. Walk us through that website and tell them what they're going to find. Is this one video, ten videos, does it cost money?
Laura Hatch: There is. Yup it's a subscription.
Howard Farran: Tell us the whole story.
Laura Hatch: All right so it's subscription based, it's $149 a month and I price it at that so pretty much any dentist can afford it. I have clients from across the United States, Canada, Ireland all over now. The idea is even if you're fresh out of dental school now for $149 a month you can train your brand new employees, your new receptionist, whatever. The videos are broken into categories so there's the receptionist videos and that's basically for somebody brand new in a dental office let's teach them dental, lets teach them basic stuff, lets teach them customer service answering phones. You can then progress through, the next is scheduler, then there's financial coordinator, there's treatment coordinator how to do consults, how to talk to patients about treatment plans. Then finally office manager, there's over 120 videos on the website as of right now and I add new videos every month because I see things that happen in my office, I get questions from other offices and say hey what about this, what about that. Then I make a video because I figure if you have that question there's probably 500 other dentists out there that have that same question, so we make a video and add to the website. It's evolving with the clients as they're doing training.
Howard Farran: You said it's in Canada but you never said "Ay."
Laura Hatch: Ay I know right.
Howard Farran: You said it's in Ireland but you didn't say if that $149 a month includes Jamison Whiskey. Did I get this right, it was four categories receptionist, scheduler, treatment, office manager?
Laura Hatch: Financial coordinator so there's 5 categories.
Howard Farran: Okay so receptionist, financial coordinator.
Laura Hatch: Treatment coordinator.
Howard Farran: Treatment coordinator.
Laura Hatch: Scheduler and office manager.
Howard Farran: Okay so is that 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 then, is it in a certain order or just not really?
Laura Hatch: Well the concept behind it is a progression, when you start at a dental office you typically start as a dental receptionist you start in the front. The next step is scheduler because that's usually what you're doing next, you're scheduling their cleaning appointments, you're handling the phones when somebody calls in. The next is financial coordinator and then treatment coordinator because then you have to make sure you understand the breakdown of insurances, we need to understand how to do consultations, how to talk to patients about their estimates. Then lastly is office manager, once you've kind of done every position in the office you get promoted or you move up to office manager and in those categories we have things like, how to get the team motivated, how to hire, how to fire, how to cancel employees, all of the management stuff. A lot like myself, I never grew up to be a dental office manager, I've had to figure it out on my own so I wanted to have resources for other office managers to help them as they're moving into that role.
Howard Farran: It's 120 videos right now?
Laura Hatch: Yeah like I said I'm adding new ones and on top of that there's also policies and procedures. If I wrote a policy in my office about how to do a hand off or how to do a good huddle it's on the website downloadable for anybody there, they can adapt it any one of my clients can use it. Then there's an ask Laura section where they basically can reach out to me at any point if the doctor has a question or the employee and I'll answer their question and then add it to the resource list on the site. It's the, the idea is that it's going to be a go to website for clients to go to when they're like hey how do I handle a patient that cancels all the time or what if I have a patient that doesn't want to pay, they can go there to find the answer that they need.
Howard Farran: Okay well I'll ask my first question then, when I was born in 1962, 90% of all murders in the United States went unsolved, now in 2015 65% percent of murders are unsolved so if you wanted to murder a patient how would you do it so you'd be in that 2/3rds and not ever get caught?
Laura Hatch: I am going to keep that one to myself.
Howard Farran: Ohhh you have to be a member, you have to give the credit card before you answer.
Laura Hatch: Yeah exactly.
Howard Farran: Hey Laura, you know what I think the best marketing you could do?
Laura Hatch: What?
Howard Farran: I think for Front Office Rocks, I think if you got 5 sections, receptionist, scheduler, financial coordinator, treatment coordinator, office manager you should put, you should go to dental town and put up the first video of each one of those five sections as a teaser and then say if you like that subscribe here $149 a month. I think if they saw you, I know you, I know of you, I know people in San Diego, I think you're amazing but there's 205,000 dentists on dental town. 205,000 so there's got to be people out there that haven't heard of you, haven't seen your stuff and the best advertising I think is a sample.
Laura Hatch: Yeah well and we have, if you go to the home page there is a video sample for each one of them. If you go to the top of the page you can watch a free video. That's a good idea, I am actually starting to get a lot of dental town.
Howard Farran: Go ahead I interrupted.
Laura Hatch: I was going to say I'm starting to get a lot of dental town referrals, people are starting to talk about it on dental town. I haven't gone on it myself to start doing any flagging but it's been, I know you got a great following so if one person says hey check out this new website that's out there. I'll gain a ton of clients from that just because they, you know, these are doctors in the trenches going hey we need help and here's something that's good to help your staff in your office.
Howard Farran: One thing you do at dental town, you would register to become a member and there's a thread talking about front dental office and you can subscribe to that time so anytime somebody posts or emails... by the way can the townies listen to you right now, can they email, how do they contact you? Do they just go to frontofficerocks.com?
Laura Hatch: Yup.
Howard Farran: Do you take email or phone numbers, any of that?
Laura Hatch: My preference is email because I travel and speak a lot, in fact I'm on the road tomorrow. I'm taking off for three days to speak so my preference is email. If they have to call me, they have specific questions they can leave a message if I'm travelling.
Howard Farran: What's the email?
Laura Hatch: It's Laura, L-A-U-R-A at
Howard Farran: L-A-U-R-A Laura
Laura Hatch: Yup
Howard Farran: At
Laura Hatch: @Frontofficerocks.
Howard Farran: Frontofficerocks.
Laura Hatch: Yup .com.
Howard Farran: Frontofficerocks.com that is just awesome. Why don't we, we'll talk about whatever you want to talk to but we'll go through, I wish you would just go through the five deals and just talk about the low hanging fruit, the highlights because what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to get these people to get the, I'm trying to motivate them with a free podcast so they get the information they need to be happy and healthy. Why don't you go through the top five if you'd like to, give them some low hanging fruit, kind of show them your stuff, seduce them say I want to hear the rest.
Laura Hatch: Yeah well I mean, one of the first thing that for my office or what I train with Front Office Rocks is that we are so insurance focused in the dental office. We get upset when patients say to us do you take my insurance or they're insurance driven. Typically in a dental office when a patient calls in, the third question we ask if we're halfway decent is, what is your name, how did you hear about us, and the, the third question is what insurance do you have? Honestly yes we can be in network, yes we have to help people with their insurance but let's not focus on that first, lets focus on why are you calling, what can I do for you today? Lets put customer service and put the person ahead of the insurance because the issue is, we want to work on teeth. That's what we're in the industry for but if we don't get in communication with the patients and the people, we're not going to get a lot of teeth to work on.
A lot of the receptionist training that I do is really customer service, getting in communication with the patient, knowing how to handle the questions because patients call and they're going to ask do you take my insurance, do you have weekend hours. That's just what they know, they don't know to ask how great is your dentist, where did they graduate in their class, how much CE did they do last year, it's our job to make sure our patients know how wonderful we are and get them in and insurance isn't going to be there to do that. Insurance isn't looking out for the best interest of our patients, we are. Really that phone call is so important, you only get one chance to make that first impression and doctors miss that. I'll do mystery calls here and there if doctors ask me to do them and I've had doctors say okay but I don't want you to talk to this lady I want you to talk to these. I'm like if you're afraid one of your employees might be the one answering the phone, don't have her answering phones. You're missing the opportunity to get that patient if that happened to be the new patient that called in. That's all about the receptionist and getting that part well trained before you have anyone answering the phones.
Howard Farran: Let me just stop you there, a couple questions. When I go to, I have to admit I love dentist I really do, I love my dentist friends because they're all readers, they all got years of college. You can talk about any subject and they know a lot about it, I do think in everywhere I've been, dentist, vets, and chiropractors are still ten times better than the physicians. I can't even go to a physicians office where someone will even make eye contact with you they just push the plate and then shut the door, they totally let you know they don't give a shit, they're booked forever and they can see you for your next appointment in one month from today at 2 o'clock take it or leave it. What would you, still there are a lot of dental offices that are more like health care, what do you think of the sliding glass door where you come in and they open up the deal and push a clipboard out and sign in and what do you think of the sliding glass door? I would just, I want to pick up a chair in the waiting room and just bust it down myself. What do you think of that thing?
Laura Hatch: I do, I think that right there says you're not welcome, it's cold, it's very don't bother us. The issue is we have tasks we have to do at the front desk, but we have to remember that those people sitting in the reception area are the reason we're in business. When you have someone sign in and you close that window and you go back to the insurance claim in front of you, that person now a days even more so than ever can turn around and walk out your front door and go to a guy across the street. We have to remember, just on my street corner alone we have 7 dentist. Our patients could easily leave our office and go somewhere else if we're not giving them the customer service that they deserve.
I think our patients expect it now, I think they're more savvy, they understand their insurance isn't covering as much, they expect more, they could be using their money for something else and they're using it on dentistry. We have to increase our level of customer service, which means get rid of that window, stand up, shake the patients hand when they come in. When a patient calls don't put them on hold, I don't care if you have the fanciest recording in the world, people don't like to be put on hold, handle the call. There's so many things from that first, because this is how patients judge us. Before they even see you in the chair they're judging you on your staff, they're judging you on customer service, they're judging you on your website. They're judging, they judge on everything. You hardly see a patient walking around going look at my great crown, look at you know, they're talking about your staff. They're talking about how they were handling from that first phone call and it's so important.
Howard Farran: Keep going, is it, are extroverts better to do this than introverts? I always cringe a bit when I see these companies selling scripts of how to teach your staff what to say. I'm like dude if you have to teach a monkey how to talk to a stranger that walks in your front door, maybe that monkey should be on the assembly line putting a bolt in a hole. Do you like extroverts, introverts, they always ask do you like uniforms, name tags, if you like uniforms are they dresses, are they scrubs? Talk more about the human being that's going to be the first contact.
Laura Hatch: The person, yeah for a receptionist or anything when you're handling the patients they should be an extroverted person. They should be somebody outgoing, one of my policies in my office is, every other policy in my list of things they need to know is to smile, to smile. All of my staff get that naturally but I've had, that's so funny, I had a dental assistant that came in and she wouldn't smile and I talked to her three or four times. Just when you see another employee smile, when you see a patient smile, so she would walk by me whenever after I counseled her and she'd just go, like it was, you know. I'm like okay this isn't working, you really need to feel it naturally.
From the beginning I, my biggest thing because I have our doctors, my clients ask me how do I change somebodies who's been with me ten years or how do I make them do better on this, and how do I make them do better on that. I'm not for scripts, I don't believe in scripts, I don't think there should be scripts. I'm more about having the right intention and having the right purpose. When that person answers the phone, their intention or purpose should be to help that patient on the other end of the phone become a new patient of ours. When we're making confirmation calls, the purpose of the confirmation call is to get the patient to arrive. When we're doing consultations the purpose of the consult is to help the patient so they get the dentistry done.
That's more important, if an employee knows their purpose and their intention and they're in line with the doctors goals they can say whatever natural to them because it's coming from the heart and patients will appreciate that much more than it's a smiley day here at Dr so and so's office. That's not really, that's not the person saying that. I'm more about lets get our employees to understand, that's why training is so vital. Doing the tasks are one thing but knowing why you're doing them and what the ultimate purpose is, is what helps the employees do better when they're learning how to work in a dental office. They need to understand their intention, it's not just answering phones to answer phones, it's to get that patient to schedule and that's the biggest difference that I suggest for a front office or for everybody actually.
Howard Farran: This is dentistry uncensored and I like to talk about the things most likely no one has the balls to talk about...
Laura Hatch: Uh oh...
Howard Farran: I believe that, you're never supposed to talk about sex, religion, politics, violence. Let's just start with race, I've seen, you go into some offices and the doctor might be from a foreign country and everybody in that office is from that country and you just, you leave Phoenix and the next thing you know you think you're in Pakistan. Do you, I've always been very constantly aware that I'm 100 miles from Mexico that 25% percent of my 5 mile radius was born in Mexico. I've always had half the front desk, half the assistants and I'm not talking about someone that's third generation Hispanic that can understand her grandma speak Spanish but doesn't know how, I'm talking about full blown Latinos that when they talk English you have a hard time understanding them. I've always done that, I've always been racially sensitive to my community and I see other offices and they don't seem to be doing very well where their staff does not match the ethnicity of their zip code, do you agree with that or is that politically incorrect or...
Laura Hatch: I don't know that I....
Howard Farran: Should we edit this portion out...
Laura Hatch: Yeah exactly no I'm going to be good. I don't know that I've seen it with staff necessarily, I have seen it with marketing though. I have seen it where there was an office downtown San Diego that I went and met with and they, they're in a very Hispanic community. The name of the practice was a, I can't remember the word but something Spanish and they brought a marketing company in and the post cards that they had this dental office do had all white, blonde Americans from like SoCal somewhere, L.A or something and they changed the name to like Ballpark dental. They're like 10 miles from any ballpark in San Diego but this marketing company said that they need to bring in a different type of clientele.
You've got to service the patients that are there, you've got to take care of the patients that are yours and your staff needs to take care of them. I don't know so much about hiring but I do know that unfortunately dentist get advice typically from other dentist and they don't necessarily, they just don't get the training that they need to say does this make sense. I went in and said this does not seem like a really good marketing campaign, you're entire demographic is Hispanic and you have postcards going out with blondes that are at the beach. It doesn't match. That's kind of where dentists, I think they're trying to do the best they can but like I said University of Maryland Dental School taught my husband 0 marketing and I love University of Maryland, my husbands a wonderful dentist but he's not good at marketing. He's not good at, he had to be taught or he had to go to a resource to help him with that.
Howard Farran: Okay lets go to number two, scheduling. How can you teach anything about scheduling when you need an hour, I just look for an hour opening, what more do you, what more do I need to know? That's pretty much it, you need an hour and I see an hour opening on Tuesday at 2. How can you add value to that?
Laura Hatch: This is, Doctor this is why you wouldn't be able to go behind the computer in my office and look at the schedule all right. Typically when you say you need an hour, you need an hour and a half or two and but you think you can get it done in an hour which really messes up the schedule. Part of the scheduling is that anybody who touches the schedule really needs to understand what productive scheduling is. What block scheduling is, where we put primary appointments, where we put secondary appointments because if you don't understand what a good schedule looks like, you're going to just stick an hour appointment wherever there's an hour. What happens is then we run around, running behind like chickens with their head cut off, patients get upset, staff gets upset. This is part of the reason why dental assistants don't like the front desk staff and the front desk staff don't like the dental assistants because it's if only they knew how to schedule better, well if only they could work faster. There's a lot of issues between the teams because doctors and staff don't have the right policies set up. The one thing I can say about the schedule and what I teach on Front Office Rocks is when we walk in the morning and we look at our schedule for the day, the only thing I can guarantee is that is not how the day is going to run. Never does the day run like it's printed on that piece of paper in the morning. We need to plan for it, we need to understand that some times doctors run behind, patients run behind we have emergencies that call in, we have to rearrange the schedule and if we don't have policies and training we're just sticking things where we think they should go and crossing our fingers. This is why we work through lunch and into the evenings because we don't have the right training for the people that are putting the patients in the schedule.
Howard Farran: I know Colin Powell says the first casualty of war is always the battle plan.
Laura Hatch: Right.
Howard Farran: I've worked through lunch for 28 years and still I can't explain why I'm so fat.
Laura Hatch: I'll tell you, here's the tip and trick that I teach all my staff and training whenever I'm speaking is that the doctor always tends to be okay to work through lunch. The doctors, I don't know don't need to eat, they're going to save the world or whatever , but what happens is the day we get to that schedule and the doctor is scheduled through lunch, the doctor goes hey who put that patient in over lunch. Now what we do is we put in per Doctor Hatch like okay to schedule at lunch, that way when that comes up and he's working through lunch he remembers that it was him that said that and necessarily us that squeezed somebody in. I believe that lunches are important and to keep those in there whenever possible but Doctors are pretty guilty of that for sure.
Howard Farran: Well I think seriously the fat doctors are more committed to their patients because fat is just future meals already eaten. I'm committed to fat so that I can work through lunch because I'm that committed to my patients, okay.
Laura Hatch: There you go.
Howard Farran: I don't carry around this belly fat for nothing.
Laura Hatch: That should be your marketing campaign.
Howard Farran: I want to ask you the biggest controversial thing on scheduling that gets the most hairs on the back of the neck stand up. A lot of hygienists say I'm too busy to schedule their next appointment and they just walk up front and say you do it. Then a lot of front offices say well you know if you weren't back there talking about your kid and your holiday and your birthday and what you wore for Halloween and you were committed to this patient and you had to reappoint and then you didn't get them to commit. How come you don't do your job and then when we're up front and then Laura comes in and says hey front office you could have rescheduled 8 cleanings for a 6 month recall and you only did 4 so you're only batting a 50% average. The receptionist are saying well maybe if your hygienists had to do it, she would give a better service because she would get the score card at the end. If I spent an hour with you and said okay Laura you had an hour with me, was I value added enough that I can schedule your recall in 6 months and you say naw, not really. How would you answer that debate?
Laura Hatch: You know, I'm not going to go on one side or the other because I think every office is different, how the flow goes. Again I think it's intention and make sure that they understand what their purpose is with getting the patient to schedule. We need to get our patients to schedule, we need to make sure. My hygiene department alone I have 5 hygienist, I mean 3 hygienist that run 5 days a week. Keeping those patients in the schedule is super important. In my office we actually have the receptionist/hygiene scheduler schedule the appointment because I feel like their job is to make sure the schedule stays full that's not right or wrong...
Howard Farran: So you have 3 hygienist that work Monday through Friday 8-5?
Laura Hatch: We do, yeah.
Howard Farran: I mean I think it would be easier to find 6 unicorns.
Laura Hatch: I say I'm the biggest employer of hygienist in San Diego for sure.
Howard Farran: Just 3 people...
Laura Hatch: No we have 5 hygienist that...
Howard Farran: Oh 5 people to cover 3 slots, my point exactly. I have still yet to meet my first hygienist who works 40 hours a week.
Laura Hatch: Yeah no we don't have, well we have 1 full time hygienist and she's a serious, she got into hygiene to be a hygienist and she's amazing at it.
Howard Farran: She does it 40 hours a week?
Laura Hatch: 40 hours a week, yup.
Howard Farran: I always thought there's something about the job where that's just too much, is she like a triathlete or?
Laura Hatch: Well her husband is military and she's, they're all in.
Howard Farran: Okay, well that makes sense. What branch of the military?
Laura Hatch: He is Navy.
Howard Farran: Navy okay so they're used to go out on a boat for 6 months so anyway what's 40 hours a week.
Laura Hatch: Yeah exactly.
Howard Farran: Okay so then number 3, financial coordinator. I mean your portions $89 what else do I need to know?
Laura Hatch: Yeah, well the thing is, yeah exactly. The thing is to realize that in fact, we're having training issues with our staff on this to make sure that they understand that patients, we're a business not a dental office. It's like when patients get anesthesia they get brain loss and memory loss and they're very, kind of like oh I was supposed to pay for the crown today. I forgot my checkbook and out they go. We need to understand from the doctor to the dental assistant to the treatment coordinator to the financial coordinator that you don't walk into any other industry and not pay for your service. You book a seat on a flight, you pay for that before you even leave. Having the financials worked out in my mind it's business but on the other side of it is that patients will show up if they've paid, patients will show up if we've got the financials worked out. When they haven't worked out the financials that's when you get the phone call the morning of where they're like I'm sick, I'm not making it today. Basically they woke up and went oh crap I have a root canal scheduled today and I have to pay $1,000 and then they're sick and they don't show up.
Making sure that everybody is trained when talking to patients and understands the purpose, especially doctors, doctors tend to be the worst. Part of the reason we don't let dentists talk about money I think is because who's the first person in the dental office to give stuff away, the dentist. Having everybody on the same page, and the same purpose and trained well and a lot of the front office clients do this, they'll do the videos as a team. They'll watch a video about taking payment from patients or asking patients to pay as an entire team and then that's the focus that week to go to the next level with the entire staff.
Howard Farran: I know, I'm guilty as charged, Jan gets so mad at me because especially if it's someone poor and they're coming in, they gotta pull one. I'd rather pull four wisdom teeth in under 10 minutes, I can't think of any other pleasure in life, that that is just that cool and they're pull and they got this one and the other three are bombed. I recommend four and they but anyway long story short, I get in there and numb it up and I just say well today it's Tuesday you buy one wisdom tooth, you get three for free. For me it's so damn fun and he needs it and he's poor and when does it take me, 4 extra minutes.
Laura Hatch: That's okay if you're doing okay in your practice, I mean we should be there for patients who need it and we don't want to send somebody out who's got an infection or something. When we're letting people leave who drive off with their Lexus and they have their new Iphone 6s and they're on their way to the cruise this Friday and the doctor can't even figure out how they're going to pay next months mortgage or rent, that's the issue. We hear so much patients say I don't have money, I don't have money, go to the apple store, have you been to an apple store lately. They don't even have cash registers anymore because people need to buy faster. Dentists just need to, we hear so much I don't have money, but think about what we sell. We sell drills and needles in their mouths. We're selling things that patients don't want. I don't want that, I'd rather go buy a new Ipad or a big screen TV at Costco so we have to learn how to differentiate between somebody who really doesn't have the money and you're helping versus somebody who has the money but doesn't necessarily want to spend it on what we offer.
Howard Farran: Okay and so then what's the treatment coordinator and I want to, I'm just guessing because I'm a dentist 28 years but I'm guessing if you've been out school 5 years you're saying what's the difference between financial coordinator and treatment coordinator, isn't that the same person. Maybe their working in a corporate dental office and they just thought that financial coordinator and treatment coordinator is the same. By the way I want to ask you a question I can ask you because you're a female and I'm a male. It seems like if you call a hygienist assistant a dentist you're all good but it seems like it's very sensitive when you talk to front end, some people get offended. When you said receptionist I just thought damn you can say that because you're a woman if some crack hair male called her a receptionist you might get your head taken off half the time. When you're writing a sentence or a paragraph for a column or a blog you don't want to say receptionist/financial coordinator/scheduler/treatment coordinator/office manager, is there a one word term that you can call all the people up front, that's politically correct?
Laura Hatch: Well actually I make a joke about this a lot when I'm speaking because we're typically called...
Howard Farran: Because I heard front desk bitches is not politically correct.
Laura Hatch: No that probably, you're probably going to make some people mad with that one but front desk, we're the only people named after furniture. We're like the front desk, right, so that's the politically correct thing right now is we're the front desk. The reason I have it broken down that way is if I'm, I might in one dental office, you might be all of those people. You might be the office manager, the receptionist, the scheduler, the treatment coordinator, you're in a small office and you're it. When you go to pick up the phone, when that phone rings you're a receptionist, that is what you do. When someone walks up and they need to schedule their cleaning appointment, you're a scheduling coordinator. We need to understand that when we're doing whatever role it is that that's the position. In my office I have 5 staff upfront now, I have a receptionist, a scheduling coordinator, an insurance coordinator, so I have because as you grow you need to separate those roles. In a small dental office, you might be it. When my husband and I started both offices I was everything, the entire front desk. That's as you evolve, that's where the positions typically go to.
Howard Farran: What's that one word then?
Laura Hatch: Front desk.
Howard Farran: Front desk?
Laura Hatch: I'll probably...
Howard Farran: I love that, you're named after furniture so from now on I'm the dental chair, instead of the dentist I'm the dental chair.
Laura Hatch: Exactly.
Howard Farran: That is hilarious, I never even though that you were named after a piece of furniture. Okay so treatment coordinator, I want to ask you the elite question on that. It seems like whenever I find a dentist doing the one and a half to three million range the treatment coordinator is usually a hygienist or an assistant. Someone that knows about all the treatment, as opposed to the front desk who knows how to bill for a root canal but she's never seen one or done one or assisted one. Is a treatment coordinator, would you say more trained if she was an assistant or a hygienist or what are your thoughts?
Laura Hatch: Yeah I think it's more about the personality and understanding. I do treatment coordinating in my office for a short staffed, I jump in a do the consults and the treatment coordination. Our treatment coordinator right now was a dental assistant and she, actually our last two have been dental assistants who were promoted to this and they're phenomenal at it. I believe that they are because they, they're clinical they've seen an old amalgam that's failing and they've seen a fractured root. I'm not clinical at all, I assist once and I gave a guy a hickey with the suction on the inside of his cheek. I don't know what it looks like when there's a bad crown or whatever but I do believe that the treatment coordinators if they come from assisting is great. The biggest thing that I talk about is that if we can bring the dentist in at all to help it just makes such a big difference.
In our office our doctors go into the consult room and talk to the patients along with the treatment coordinator. What happens is a lot of times doctors talk at the patient they tell them what they need chair side and then the treatment coordinator hides around the side of the wall and then goes, did they book, did they book, are they scheduling. That's such a disconnect that really the patients need to hear from the doctor, the doctors the best person to be telling the patient about what they need. Granted you have to have your schedule set up accordingly to have some time to do that and a lot of offices run double triple booked and the doctor doesn't have that much time. In that case the treatment coordinator, a dental assistant is great, we have two in our office and only one was a dental assistant the other one kind of learned through the ranks and they're both phenomenal treatment coordinators.
Howard Farran: You know I like the hygienist as a treatment coordinator the most because if you're in that 2-3 million range, she's doing all your numbing and the treatment coordinator so when you walk into the room you're ready to drill, fill and bill and you get passed. When you go into the hospital the MD's never give you a shot they always call in the nurse. They come in here and say okay you're going to have to get stabbed 5 times so go get the vampire to come do it. Okay and then so also I wanted to talk to you about, now lets go to office manager and you're a classic example because the untrained mind sees everything binomial, yes, no, right, left, up, down. I love the fact that you even said earlier that you don't want to commit. So many people say that the wife is the worst office manager in the world.
Laura Hatch: The wife office manager.
Howard Farran: Here, yeah it's no longer the wife anymore a lot of times it's the men.
Laura Hatch: The husband.
Howard Farran: The data is, since America's lost so many manufacturing jobs men are pouring into healthcare, it's the largest sector of the economy, it's 17 cents of every dollar. My office manager is a man, I have two dental assistants that are males on the dental town, some of the greatest posters on hygiene are all male hygienist so it's a really changing world. When you, on your first date with your husband before he kissed you was he asking you office manager questions and you qualified for that and then he started holding your hand. Is that how that worked?
Laura Hatch: No, you know it's funny for the first year or two we worked together, we wouldn't tell patients that I was his wife. In fact we had an open house and we had a patient come through with her mom, she didn't know I was Tony's wife because I wanted to prove that I could do this, I wasn't the dental wife, I had the experience and the knowledge needed. She came through and they were whispering about how hot the doctor was and they asked me if the doctor was available and dating anyone. I was like you know I've been known to sleep with him once in a while, kind of like our little inside joke because they had no idea I was his wife.
For me I do believe that the spouse is the best office manager but also sometimes gets a bad rap and I think that comes from old, the old office manager, wife, spouse types that use to come in, change the paint, yell at somebody about something they do and then disappear for a week, two three weeks, four weeks and the staffs going okay, you don't even work here day to day. I think now a days spouses are actually in the office and they're actually I mean I'm part of a 8m spouse group on Facebook and we share information, we're in there helping our spouses do better. It does have that kind of bad wrap but I think that's old school mentality.
Howard Farran: I'm going to hold your feet to your own fire. You tell me what is your intention and purpose of being the office manager.
Laura Hatch: For me it's to make sure that my staff is kick butt, to make sure we're taking care of every patient and supporting like I said early on when you read my bio, supporting the doctor. Clinics typically, dentists are not really good at verbalizing their goals, motivating their teams. The number one things we get from our staff, is we don't hear any good stuff from the doctor so I kind of kick him in the but and go make sure your staff knows they're appreciated, let's play some games, let's do some fun stuff. I think it's a balance of doctors think a lot about production, production, production and that's great but we have to take time out of the day to make sure our staffs on the same team and that we're having staff meetings regularly and that we're following policies and procedures. I think it's a good balance especially from the clinical side point, you know stand point where they didn't get a lot of this training in dental school.
Howard Farran: I'm on my Iphone 6 and you always know, I'm wearing readers these aren't prescription they're readers and I have to get the Iphone 6 just so I can blend but it's funny because you get on the dental town app which over 40,000 dentist have downloaded and do a search for Front Office Rocks. There's 205,000 dentists that have posted 4 million times, the first 5 Front Office Rocks seminar was awesome and amazing way to automate your practice. I mean you have 5 threads all talking about how you rock. You should really become a member and say thanks because when you become a member you're not allowed to plug your own stuff, you can share content but your signature area, underneath your signature could be you, your logo, your website, your speaker dates, all that. We have a line between content and deal and I swear I think if you put up a teaser video for one of this 5 deals it's going to explode your website.
I want to talk to you about, you said you're a member of that AADOM which I think is amazing because the dentist, I went to college for 9 years, my hygienist went to college for 4 years, my assistant Jan went for a year program, I got a dental assistant right now at Brookline Dental School doing a 9 month program for $14,000. The receptionist are just hired off the street with no training. What do you think of AADOM and do you think it would be, are you planning on getting your fellowship in AADOM I'm not sure I.
Laura Hatch: Yup I already actually did, I got my fellowship about two years ago so for those who don't know...
Howard Farran: So you're a FAADOM.
Laura Hatch: I'm a FAADOM.
Howard Farran: That's F-A-A-D-O-M?
Laura Hatch: Exactly.
Howard Farran: So you're a FAADOM.
Laura Hatch: So I can put my letters after my name.
Howard Farran: I'm a FAGDA, Fellow the Academy of General Dentistry, I'll never forget I was so proud when I got my fellowship I put it on my card and the only person to ever mention it was an 80 year old lady and she said I see your a FAGDA, I had a friend who was gay. I thought wow, okay. Tell us about your FAADOM journey and was that a good thing?
Laura Hatch: Yeah so for those who don't know what AADOM is it's American Association of Dental Office Managers. Started by an office manager I think maybe 10, 15 years ago and I found AADOM about 3 years ago. I walked in the first meeting I went to was in Scottsdale and I walked in and I don't remember how many office managers were there, maybe 500. I remember walking into the room and kind of like, these are my people like people who understand what I deal with, it's all practice administrators, office managers, pr, leaders of dental offices who we come together. There's an online forum and then there's also a conference every year where you know as the office manager we're not the owner but we're also not the staff. We're in that, we're on that island by ourselves and this group I think I saw speak two years ago at AADOM.
Howard Farran: At San Diego.
Laura Hatch: San Diego right.
Howard Farran: You didn't have to fly to see me you just had to walk across the street.
Laura Hatch: I know, I actually stayed down there though because there's also the social part of it which is quiet fun so. It's just a great resource because you're at the office and you have an employee who runs late 5 days in a row and you're like what do I do and the doctor doesn't know, the doctors doing dentistry maybe is busy and you can't talk to other employees. You can go on to AADOM and you can search threads, a lot like dental town, you can get ideas you know. What's a medical history form someone can share. It's just a resource for dental office managers that is phenomenal. For FAADOM to have a fellowship that, we had to do a certain amount of CE and you had to do certain requirements to become a fellow but there's really no recognition right now for office managers besides this. This is really now I don't know how many fellows there are but I know every year they graduate, 10, 20, 30, women or men that have gone the extra miles to prove office managers are an industry, we are a career, we are a business. We have a lot of knowledge, we've gotten more knowledge because of the fellowship. It's an amazing group, so anybody who's at that level should really look at AADOM because I really do believe in a lot of what they're doing.
Howard Farran: My office manager is a man and I'm trying to get him to do that and I think if you're listening this, I think one of the biases that dentists have is they think that since they do root canals, that's more important than office managers. What I have to tell you that is dude you went to school 8 years to learn how to do one thing, you stick pink rubber in a tooth. I mean could you imagine what aliens are going to think when they come back a thousand years from now. They're going to come back and say oh my god in 2015 when a monkey had a cavity they'd take a drill, drill a hole in it, take little wires, pull the guts out, rinse it out with household bleach and stick pink rubber down the tooth and the person was alive! We have evidence that the human was alive when this barbaric act of bullshit happened.
Then you take your job which is how do you deal with a complex human who's running late 5 days a week and maybe she's a single parent, maybe she's going through a divorce, maybe, the complexity. I had a patient last week came in tied up Jan and Dawn for two hours and then didn't schedule then didn't want to do anything and didn't even want to pay for her x-rays and everything, was all upset. We spent two hours with a crazy monkey and then she left upset. That is a... you will understand what happened there a million years after you understand what the hell happened in a root canal.
Laura Hatch: Yeah, true. The number one complaint on the internet when it comes to dental offices has nothing to do with dentistry typically. It's the front office staff and how they handled my issues and insurance and estimates and all of that, if a doctors looking to grow their practice, if a doctors looking to make their marketing mark, you got to watch your online presences. Everything we do at the front desk from that first phone call through the final bill, that's what goes on the internet. Now a days what do they say, a happy customer will tell 1 person and a mad customer will tell like 7. Now a days they'll tell 7,000 by going on yelp or one of these websites and complaining about us. Knowing how to manage your team so they're always top notch, offering the best customer service and then knowing how to manage your patients is priceless for a dentist, so that the dentist could be in the back putting that pink stuff in the tooth and drilling on the teeth. That's really what the dentist wants to be doing, most dentists, run my office, help me, lets grow this place, let me go do dentistry.
Howard Farran: I think one of the most exciting things about corporate dentistry is the place to cherry pick office managers because your one office as long as you do the big procedures that cover all your mistakes, a crowns $1,000 it's half gravy, a root canals $1,000 it's half gravy, 4 wisdom teeth $1,000 it's half gravy. If you could do three to four to five of them a day, crowns or root canals or, then your whole office can be upside down and stupid and losing patients and you're still making a couple hundred thousand dollars a year and you're still a rich doctor. You can't do that and get to two locations, three locations, four locations and my god when I'm looking for an office manager, I won't or a front office desk I won't get, I don't' want anyone unless they came from corporate of a chain of at least 10-25-100 offices and my god are they trained. You're talking about your online CE, they have to do all that stuff, they're so trained then you take them to your upside down office and they just whip it into shape over night.
I want to ask you specifically one question regarding the Motorola walkie talkies that our staff has been using for over 20 years. We can't live without it. I got friends that can't live without it. You'll be calling on the phone and you'll say I'm so sorry to do this to you but I have an appointment in 15 minutes I got to cancel and she'll just push talk, Howard 10 o'clock just cancelled now all the hygienist are all looking for a filling. The other three ladies sitting next to you, her talking on the phone, now, I don't know how you could run a million dollar practice without it and I don't know anyone who uses these things. Do you use them, do you like them.
Laura Hatch: We love them. We used to be in a 1,700 square foot office and then we moved into a 3,800 square foot office we have 8 operators and the first day we were there I spent 25 minutes throughout the day trying to find my husband. Going around looking for him and that was the day I was like, we have to get headsets. Had I known how great they would have been I would have used them from the first day I was in dentistry. I can manage everything that's happening in the office and I can make sure I can hear the flow and make sure that everything is going the way it's supposed to without even leaving my desk. I know when there's somebody needs to be checked out and someone's at lunch, we can get up and run over and check patients out and we offer 100 times better customer service because we wear headsets. It does take some implementation, I have some training on that on Front Office Rocks because you do have to, it's not a place that you go on and talk a lot and gossip. It's business, it's about flow but it's great for teamwork. Assistants will jump in to help hygienists turn over rooms and the doctor will go over to do a check. It's all, we just flow the whole office with these headsets. I highly recommend it.
Howard Farran: I've been saying this for twenty years and every bodies gonna say look I can't be talking to a patient and having Shirley talk in my ear. I'm talking on the phone and this is serious, I can't have Laura babbling in my right here. I can't do this. How do you answer that?
Laura Hatch: Our doctors don't wear them, our doctors couldn't do it with a patient and all that.
Howard Farran: I don't wear them either, I don't wear them either.
Laura Hatch: Whoever is with the doctor...
Howard Farran: I got to tell you the reasons the doctor can't wear them they already have several voices in their head and they just can't add a fifth or sixth voice.
Laura Hatch: Have another one. Yeah so whoever is with the doctor, they're responsible for making sure that the doctor knows the communication so when our hygienist call for an example the dental assistant who's assisting in the doctor will help get the doctor out to do the exam. When we're with patients in consult or on the phone sometimes you got to flip it out of your ear. You want to focus on the patient in front of you but everybody understands that everybody has them in and if you don't, we're all trained that if somebodies responding, or if I'm saying something somebody has to respond to me. If you put something out on the headset and nobody responds to you it's like dead air. We all kind of use the headsets to make sure like, Laura is in a consult so she can't hear you at the moment. That way everybody kind of looks out for each other.
Patients are just wowed at how on top of things we are and its all because we're using headsets. We're jumping in a taking care of things when things arise. It's really lowered our level of stress amongst the team. When the hygienists are running behind and the assistants go over and help or one assistants assisting and they need something the other assistant can get it and bring it in to them without them having to get up and leave the room. It's really increased our level of customer service and control throughout the day to make sure everything flows the way it's supposed to.
Howard Farran: How do you answer this question them that 104% of all dental assistants believe that the front office are evil because they squeeze that emergency in at 2:15, what the hell was she thinking, does she have a head injury, why did you put an emergency at 2:15 or where you born wrong. How do you answer that?
Laura Hatch: That's training. I just wrote and article about this actually about, that's the scheduling policy. You need to have a scheduling policy in your office that everybody follows. Part of what I teach is in the morning huddle, we're in the huddle and we're looking at the day, we know we're going to get emergency calls. To train the staff and have the assistants go okay today the great times for emergencies are at 11 and 3:15. Now when an emergency calls in the front office team doesn't have to guess, they don't have to squeeze things in. They can say we have an 11 and a 3:15 and if its a true emergency the emergency is going to come in at 11 or 3:15.
That way the assistants have their say of what's going to work best because not only, the front office staff doesn't always know and we look at a day to day basis. We just plan for it. What happens so much in a dental office is like you said early on they just throw stuff in the schedule and then we hope it's going to work out. There's no planning to it, there was not forethought and that's when you get assistants mad at other assistants, mad at the front desk, the front desk mad at the assistants if they can only work harder, work faster. If we start from the beginning and say hey how do we want the schedule to run, here's all the policies that we have on the schedule, everyone can be on the same team and you don't have that animosity between he two different divisions.
Howard Farran: The tell you the way human monkeys are wired, if you go to a dental assistant and say hey I got an emergency do you want me to put it in at 2:15 or 3 and she says 2:15 it's good but if you put it in at 2:15. It's just simple, simple asking them just the respect. You know Aretha Franklin R-E-S-P-E-C-T, just a little respect, you're thinking about buying a $75,000.00 laser but how much are these walkie talkies, what are they like $70 a person?
Laura Hatch: Yeah, I think they, I mean we did a bulk one when we started but yeah they end up being like 50 to 70 a person and we just...
Howard Farran: I noticed it was only Motorola forever but now I'm starting to see Kenmore walkie talkies.
Laura Hatch: Yeah you know we just picked them, I went to like Victoria Secret and Old Navy and said what do you guys use, I don't know if you've ever noticed in the stores, they're wearing the headsets and they communicate and they're all over that store. We just use, the only issue we had early on is we had to find the right channel because we're right across the street from a belle tire so throughout the day we would here the Honda was ready or the Subaru was getting backed in. We had to kind of get out own channel but beyond that they've been so easy to implement and to use in our office.
Howard Farran: Do you know what Victoria's secret was?
Laura Hatch: There's was Motorola.
Howard Farran: No...
Laura Hatch: Oh what he was, no I know.
Howard Farran: Know Victoria's secret, do you know what her secret was?
Laura Hatch: Uh FAGDA.
Howard Farran: Do you know, you know.
Laura Hatch: It's a guy, yeah, it was a gay guy.
Howard Farran: Nope.
Laura Hatch: A cross dresser.
Howard Farran: Nope, that's urban legend I love that story. The secret, what the secret was is bundling. Before Victoria Secret all lingerie was sold where there was seedy porn videos, porn magazines, maybe a 25 cent peep show and this guy said you know what we need to unbundle that because lingerie is not the same as a pornographic video or magazine. He unbundled and he know there's only 117 major cities and these malls were only owned by a dozen families, they were all white male republican families and he went and pitched a lingerie deal and they said no way, get out of here we don't want pornography in this family deal.
He went back home and he had one problem, how do you convince old white male republicans that lingerie and underwear is not the same as a porn video and nudity in a magazine. He said I need a role model that all these white male republicans will love and who was it, it was Queen Victoria and she has an island named after her. She ruled 68 countries, the sun never set on the British Empire but got dang it when the day was over she wanted a glass of wine and lingerie and screwed half the men in London. He pitched the whole theme on Queen Victoria and they loved Queen Victoria and they got in there. The minute he unbundled that only 19 months later he sold it for 1.5 billion dollars to the gap.
Laura Hatch: That's crazy!
Howard Farran: He got 1.5 billion dollars just to learn how to unbundle underwear from a porn video. I just want to tell you if you're listening to this and you don't go to Frontofficerocks.com you are just crazy because your front office did not go to school for this job. Laura you got 5 threads talking about you and your not even a member of dental town. I had to go find and beg you to get on this show and I'm telling you...
Laura Hatch: I will as soon as we're done.
Howard Farran: I want you to put an online CE course that goes through the 5 deals and give them the first deal for free and then if they want more they go on your deal. I think that, I want my, I love dentists, they're smart, they're well read. Everyone I've ever been in that they got hundreds on non fiction books in their house, I love my homies. I just know they'll be happier and healthier if they marry someone like you or go to frontofficerocks.com and get their front office edumacated. Laura thank you so much.
Laura Hatch: They'll get me 24/7 then.
Howard Farran: Thank you so much for an amazing hour. By the way when you write those articles I think what most people don't realize on dental town, I see all the stats. Half the people, you know people always tell me how many people go to the message boards each month, only half the people that go to dental town go to the message boards. The other half go to the magazine, the blogs, the classified ads. Those articles you wrote if you posted them as a blog then in the signature of your blog it's a lure from Front Office Rocks. Those blogs are huge, in fact there's days where more blogs and magazine articles are read more that message board threads. Then go over to the message board, that's a whole separate deal and then put in Front Office Rocks and you'll find 5 threads of people just saying that you're the bomb.
Laura Hatch: Awesome, I would love that, that's awesome. Thank you so much. Now I know about Victoria Secret and about how to market on dental town.
Howard Farran: Okay, Victoria Secret's for women, for men it's a cinnabon, two entirely different stories.
Laura Hatch: Yeah exactly.
Howard Farran: All right have a rockin hot day. Bye bye.
Laura Hatch: All right thanks Howard, have a good day.