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Opportunity Mindset

How Your Opportunity Mindset Results in Effective Scheduling

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What does it take to fill your schedule with real opportunities? There are many factors impacting the hearing healthcare industry today, whether it’s over-the-counter devices, big box stores, managed care, or unlimited marketing budgets. Whatever is challenging you, you have to think differently in order to move forward. An opportunity mindset is focused on true opportunity appointments that are going to help your practice grow. This way of thinking rejects complacency, embraces new strategies, and implements efficiencies that improve both the practice and the patient experience.

Here’s what you need to know about the opportunity mindset:

Opportunity vs. Fixed Mindsets

To understand an opportunity, or growth, mindset, you first have to understand a fixed mindset. When people have a fixed mindset, they have a preconceived notion that they can’t learn new skills or accomplish new goals. Maybe you have tried the task before and failed, or maybe it took more effort than you were planning on. You might think the way you’re operating is good enough and you don’t need to change. An opportunity mindset is the willingness to learn new strategies and ask yourself, “is this the best that I can contribute?” With an opportunity mindset, you know that it can take effort and time to see the growth that is necessary in the hearing healthcare industry.

To start thinking with an opportunity mindset, you have to remember that everybody got into this business because they want to help more people hear better. While it’s great to increase sales, pay the bills, and make bonuses, it really boils down to helping the patient. You know that the typical patient needs to buy a new set of devices after about three and a half years and technology is going to change and improve, so you have to make sure that patients want to come back to see you so you can ensure they have the best care. Even if you don’t own the business, thinking of the practice as your own is a great way to make sure you’re in the opportunity mindset. It makes a significant impact if you have complete buy-in from the whole staff. Everyone shares a focus and a goal.

You Can Take Control of the Opportunity Funnel

The days of having your practice’s phone ring nonstop are over. There is a lot more competition, misinformation, and there are many options for patients to seek car. In fact, the latest surveys suggest that most new patients are making at least two appointments with different practices before they’re ready to purchase hearing aids. Reaching out to your own patients in your current patient bucket is very important, but it’s also crucial to reach out to potential customers in your database. If you were offered your competitor’s database, would you want it? You most likely would. Instead, take advantage of your own lists of people that you can contact that have already discovered you.

The opportunity funnel starts with identifying and taking advantage of opportunities coming to you like incoming calls and digital inquiries. If you’re on the Iris+ by CQ Digital platform, you get easy access to get those people that are submitting forms and wanting more information. You have to jump on those and make sure that you’re converting those into appointments. You can also create your own generated potential by contacting those patients that are out of warranty, tested not treated, or tested not sold. Continue to stay in contact with them from a place of concern, and not from a place of wanting to make a sale. If they were diagnosed with a hearing loss you can treat with hearing aids, you know that you can help them to lead a more fulfilling life. You want to make sure that you answer all their questions and help them feel supported.

When it comes to support, the appointment companion is a critical component. Asking for a patient to have someone accompany them to an appointment is going to benefit not only the patient with their satisfaction and compliance of wearing the hearing aids, but it will potentially encourage the patient to make the decision to move forward.

Throughout the opportunity funnel, you will lose people. It’s expected for patients to drop out of the funnel, but it’s your responsibility to keep that opportunity mindset and make sure that you continue to reach out to them and put them back into the funnel.

Effective Scheduling Impacts the Patient Experience

Patient scheduling by itself may seem like a simple process, but efficient patient scheduling is very significant and impactful to your patients’ delivery of care and your ability to keep wait times to a minimum so patient satisfaction stays high and practice profitability stays consistent. There are a few components to consider when making effective scheduling decisions:

Time of Day

We know that adult learning and is typically stronger during the morning, especially for some of our target demographics. You do have to balance that consideration with making sure you have time for people that are working and have busy schedules. They may not be available earlier in the day.

Like Appointments

You want to schedule like appointments together. You have a patient that is potentially unhappy, you may not want them in the waiting room with a new patient. Their potentially negative experience could overshadow the experience of the new patient and leave a biased judgement.

Managed Walk-Ins

We recommend that you have a specific set time for walk-in patients. Then, you have unscheduled time that the provider can help the patient without seeing and holding other patients back. If you let them walk in any time they want, you could be pushing scheduled patients later and later. It can create a lot of frustration for scheduled patients. Managing your walk-ins sets reasonable expectations for patients.

When schedule mishaps occur, it can leave a lasting effect on the patients. They are more likely to share a bad experience than a good one, so they might feel inclined to leave a bad review online. Keeping things running smoothly, efficiently, and calmly mitigates negative experiences.

For all scheduling decisions, you need to be able to adapt and hold that opportunity mindset. You need to be able to reschedule, move things around, and make sure the patient gets to see you. It’s not about waiting for patients to contact us, it’s looking at it as the business and how we’re going to make it grow and be successful.

An Opportunity Mindset is a Team Effort

Encouraging the opportunity mindset among your team starts with making sure you have the right people around you. If you, as an owner, look at your staff and you’re able to tell who has a fixed mindset and who has that growth mindset, you can make those growth mindset people the patient facing ones. They’re the ones you know will look and see that something is or is not the way to make the make the bus move forward. As a team, reframing your thinking from considering something to be a problem to an opportunity or challenge can be a part of your mission – the core value of your business is that you need to grow. There may be some growing pains, but you know that to get to the other side you have to be willing to try some new things. Understand and allow for there to be frustration, but overall, commitment from the owner and staff has to be there to grow.

If you need support in growth and adopting an opportunity mindset, CQ Partners will be there. We’ll be on your daily huddle, if that’s what you need, cheering you on and strategizing how we’re going to get those opportunities filled and make the most effective schedule possible.


About the Author

Miki Follin

Miki Follin has been an Assistant Account Manager with the West Team at CQ Partners since 2016. She has more than 15 years of experience in retail store management, customer service management, and training. Miki graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, and previously worked for CVS/Pharmacy and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. She enjoys working with different staff members in practices and sharing her excitement for helping people hear better.