There’s More Inside by Kirk Sweigard

Dentaltown Magazine

Get the most out of what’s already in your practice management and CRM Software

by Kirk Sweigard

With a little exploration, you may be surprised and excited to discover some features that are already included in your practice management or customer relationship management (CRM) software.

I know that in a busy, thriving practice, dedicating your team’s time to better understand your software system’s capabilities can be a challenge. And with updates and new apps available almost every minute of every day, it may seem complex and difficult to keep up with, learn and implement.

But consider the technology you experience in your daily life: From the smartphone you probably have sitting within arm’s reach to the smart TV and smart home, technology is packed full of intelligence you can tap into to work smarter, not harder.

The best place to start is with a wish

When it comes to your practice management or CRM software, if your team has been using it for a while, they’ve integrated the functionality they need into their day and processes. But what about what they want? When it comes to software, it’s easy to become complacent and not upgrade or ever seek to discover the functionality within your current software. But, you may be happy if you do.

A great place to start is by asking for a wish list from the team.

“Gee, I wish my CRM software could _____.”

More than likely, your team is not the first to wish whatever wishes they tell you. That functionality may have already been thought?of, and may be in your next upgrade or already in your current version. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date with your software and have a dialogue with your provider about the newest and latest upgrades.

Next, go outside-in

Is there something your team is doing right now outside your practice management or CRM software that may be on the inside?

More and more companies are joining together to provide convenience to mutual customers. Just think of how your local grocery store now often has a location of your favorite coffee shop nestled inside, too.

One example within the dental practice is how the majority of practice management software platforms and many popular CRM systems have integrated CareCredit functionality.

Practice management software is where your team lives each and every day—managing scheduling, billing, patient records, treatment acceptance and more. And because more than 110,000 dental teams accept CareCredit patient financing, it was important to be in there, too.

Again, knowing how busy your team can be, being able to make their day just a little easier is a win. Making it easier for teams to use practical integrations such as patient financing also made it easier for patients to accept the dentistry they need, by giving them a convenient way to pay the gap between benefits and cost of care.

Much of the functionality found in good CRMs comes at the request and input of dental teams across the country, so don’t hesitate to bring up your ideas, needs and wants to your software providers. Two popular requests that have now been accommodated were having the application auto-populate from the patient screen and having transactions write back to the ledger.

A final thought

More recently, aligning with CRM software has made it easier for dental teams to communicate the availability of a financing solution, helping overcome cost as a barrier to care. Look for these features, or features like them, in your current system.

There are probably other things you’re doing outside your software that may be already integrated into it. A great place to discover new functionality is to go outside your practice to user groups (both in-person and online), software training events and local study clubs. Find out how peers who have the same software you do are getting the most out of what’s inside.

Embracing new ideas can help keep your practice team engaged and motivated—especially when those ideas save time and resources and can help more patients accept the care they need.

Of course, using new functionality in your practice management or CRM software just because it’s new may not be the best strategy. But if the outcome is happier patients, happier teams and being able to get the most out of your day, then maybe it’s time to jump in and explore.

Author Bio
Author Kirk Sweigard has nearly 20 years of sales and marketing experience and is the strategic partners vice president at CareCredit, one of the largest health care credit cards in the nation.


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