Dental Marketing Guy

Interview with Dr. Gina Dorfman | Dental Marketing Guy Show

Transcript of Dr Gina Dorfman on The Dental Marketing Guy Show:

Justin: Welcome to the Dental Marketing Guy Show, I’m Justin, the dental marketing guy, and today I have a guest who you've probably already heard of, but just in case, it's DR Gina Dorfman, she is the founder of YAPI, and it stands for -I think - yet another practice management software, or something like that.

Anyway, Dr Gina Dorfman has software that’s based on improving efficiency in your practice, going paperless, and getting online reviews. You know it’s got to be the most comprehensive software I’ve seen, outside of your patient management software - anywhere that I’ve seen. What's really interesting is, Dr Gina Dorfman, I’m sure she'll tell you her story here in a minute - how, in her office she’s created systems that have improved the profitability of her practice and how you can do the same.

So, first of all, Dr Dorfman, how are you?

Dr Dorfman: I’m doing great; it’s great to be here, on this show, thank you for having me. It's a nice rainy day in California, so we could use a few more of those.

Justin: you’re down there in Orange County, right? Somewhere in the LA region?

Dr Dorfman: I’m in studio city area, which is the Los Angles County, but we also have an office in Orange County, that’s where the development team is.

Justin: okay, got you. So you’ve got your dental practice, and then you’ve got YAPI, and that’s great. It's a huge honor to have you. What I’m hoping to do is to kind of introduce you to the viewers, you know you’ve been in a lot of podcasts, I met you at the townie meeting, and you’ve been in the industry for a long time. But just to kind of help our viewers who maybe haven’t heard of YAPI, or if they’ve been living under a rock, haven’t heard of Dr Gina Dorfman, maybe you can tell us your story, how long you’ve been in dentistry, and how you make practice run more efficiently.

Dr Dorfman: Well thank you. I graduated from USC in 2000 and after a couple of years of associating, I starting my first practice, my baby, and I kind of had an idea, a vision of what I wanted that practice to be and one of the first things I wanted to make sure we do in a practice is I wanted to be paperless, that was the big dream. And so, just after we started the practice, we did digital X-rays, we bought a very powerful practice management software, and that’s where the battle towards paperless started, we've implemented everything that we could, and it was still difficult because we realize, the first thing you go paperless, the practice management software company will tell you 'well now you need to print routing slip, because that replaces your charts, you need to have a physical piece of paper that you can move with the patient around the office' and of course, then you have to shred them, and so being paperless, we ran a paper costing plan, we were printing patient forms,  and entering data into the computer and shredding them, and scanning them before shredding them, and of course the same thing with routing slips, and it was just not working. So we started to play with the routing slips, we started to play with different systems, and one day I came in and I said 'you know what, we're not going to do the routing slips, were going cold turkey, we're going to use our practice management software the way it was intended' and my team - whenever I come up with something new, and I always come up with new things -they always say 'okay, we'll try it  your way', so I walk in the first day, Monday, I’m ready to be paperless, and my assistant says, your patients, in OP 1, I said 'great, what’s his name' and he was like 'oh, it was, I opened the chart in the operatory' So I had to walk into the  operatory awkwardly, with my little signature pad and then they'd say 'we don’t even know what we're signing' so your asking patient to sign a consent form, you give them a laminated form and you say 'your signing this form' and then they sign on that little tiny signature pad, and so that completely gets away with it. There’s no more printing, there’s no more printing, no more scanning, the data from the forms is populated into the practice management software quite seamlessly, just literally - you look at what the patient filled out, say 'ok', and it goes into the software, and that saves a lot of time.

Now on top of it, we also started doing appointment reminders and recall, and what we've been able to do is integrate those features into our paperless entire dashboard. So when a new patient schedules a new appointment, not only do they get a welcome email or 'save the date' email, they will also get a link to the online forms that they can fill out. And a great thing happens, when new patients are actually the highest appointment failure rate in any dental practice they make appointments, and then something comes up and they don’t come in, but if they fill out the form online, they’ve given you all the information already, that commits them to the appointment, and they’re a lot more likely to show up. And getting that information in advanced, to check insurance, and to get ready for those patients - that’s priceless. So we're really able to streamline the checking process, and the next thing we wanted to get rid of was the sign in sheet. I still don’t see a purpose for this, we have now those HIPAA compliance sign in sheets, so a patient walks in, they sign their name, they sign the provider name of the person their seeing, appointment time, arrival time - what’s the point of that? And then the front office peels off the sticker and puts it on something, because you can’t shred a sticker, and then she shreds it -what’s the point? you know their appointment time if you know their name, you know what provider their seeing - that information is in the practice management software; so, what we've done, we said 'okay, let’s have - you know iPad are a great device' A patient can fill out forms, you can snap their picture, now you have a picture on file, you can greet them when they walk in, you greet them by name,, you go 'Justin, Hi how have you been, have a seat, we'll be with you in a minute' what an amazing experience? Instead of having someone coming in and filling out there name on a sticker and their appointment time. And of course we tracked their arrival time, and their appointment time, so now you have data that you can improve your practice on. You know whether you’re scheduling correctly, you know if you’re running behind. When a patient is not seated on time, the avatar for this patient will actually start flashing, so the practice knows 'okay, it's time to see this patient' And another great thing that happens, when we've got rid of the routing slips, we also got rid of this old habit that many offices had, they would print routing slips and then they would take a highlighter, and with a highlighter they would highlight all the important stuff about the patient 'this patient has balance, and this patient is coming in for a filling, but their due for a cleaning, or there family members are  due for a cleaning, maybe they have a birthday coming up' so they would highlight all those important things so that they can take care of the patient when they come in, and of course it a huge time waster, the importation is in  practice management system, you just need to see it when the patient comes in. So, with YAPI, all of these things kind of pop up on the screen, so if it's your birthday there will be a little birthday cake popping up on the screen, if you have a balance, there will be a dollar sign, if you don’t have an email on fill, you’re not going to be able to send an appointment reminder. So YAPI will remind the front office go ahead and collect balance, collect email, and wish Justin a happy birthday. And talk of these things are tied together, if a patient had given us a previous feedback, maybe they wrote back to us 'you know, the rooms are too cold here, I love the office, everything is great, but I’m not giving you 5 stars because it’s just too cold' so the next time they come in, that message will display on the screen, so the dental assistant or hygienist can grab a blanket and say 'I know you usually get cold, here’s a blanket for you' again, what an amazing customer experience - patient experience, and that’s what we built YAPI around.

Justin: you know that’s really incredible because, you know, Facebook came up with this idea a long time ago where they remind you of your friends birthday - there supposed to be your friend, you should know your birthday, but now days, people are so busy, we don’t even remember peoples cellphones, because it’s just recorded,. How much more sense does that make to have that for your patients, because now that gives you the opportunity to under promise, and over deliver. Maybe if there a patient whose referred to you a couple of restorative cases over the years, maybe you might want to send them a birthday present?

Yeah so that’s a great idea. So basically my impression of YAPI, and that I would like to have you clarify for the viewers is; my impression of YAPI is, it's got a lot of different pieces of different software that people use, all in one place. So what would you say, other than that, what would you say - what are some of the pros and cons of having a different software’s for everything from reviews to recalls, and all of this different stuff - what are some of the pros of having YAPI as a one-stop shop for all those solutions that you mentioned?

Dr Dorfman: well I think the main things is, that everything is really tied in together, because if your appointment reminders are coming through your fax, or you have to log into a website to text you patient, and then your reviews are coming from the other website, and sometimes some of those systems are not fully integrated so you have to type patients phone numbers and names, in order to send them a text message - the utilization tends to drop off because you know, in a typical dental office, it doesn’t matter how small or  big, there is just so many things happening at once, especially in the front office. The front office is like an octopus, patients walking in, patients walking out, the phone rings, the hygienist bring the next patient to her so that she can schedule the next appointment - it’s just that by the time that someone takes care of all those pieces, it’s really difficult to be on multiple platforms, and we already know that using multiple platforms, multiple devices, a lot of time, creates a lot of distractions. So having this in one piece and having all of those pieces integrate with one another, I think is a huge advantage, and of course, in terms of pricing, we don’t come up with new features to charge more, the fee is the same. We come up with features as we find that they fit into that platform, that they make sense for our customers, so rather than paying $2.99 here, and $3.99 there, and $69.00 over here, you get all those features at one place at one price. Huge advantage.

Justin: yeah. So it's organized.

Dr Dorfman: absolutely, I like organized, I thrive on organized.

Justin: I think most dentists do, right? It’s important to have all your ducks in a row in that office where it can kind of be like controlled chaos, but the control part is really important.

Dr Dorfman: absolutely. I have taken a lot of time in my own dental practice that can be scaled or replicated, and whenever we bring in a new employee, we have a system whereby we bring this new employee into our team, and systems that we teach them 'this is how we do this, and this is how we do that' and even though we are busy, we're not dropping the ball.

Justin: yeah, okay, so I want to focus a little bit on this review thing, because a number of my clients who are interested in getting online reviews, one of the objections for getting reviews is - and these are dentists with immaculate reputations, but online you wouldn’t know it, because they only have 0-5 reviews - what would you say, because one of the objections is 'well we don’t know if were really comfortable having our patients online, they sing our praises, they refer to us, but were a little nervous about asking for reviews, because its going to go straight to google, it’s going to go to yelp, and what if it’s a 3 star review? What if it’s a 4 star review? So one of the features of YAPI -correct me if I’m wrong, your actually asking them through the software, and if its 5 stars does it go straight to google or yelp, or if it’s under 5 stars you can address the feedback issue? Is that right?

Dr Dorfman: absolutely, so we have - part of the app is that patients are sent a link, it’s a text message with a link, when they press the link, it asks them 'did you have a 5 star experience?' and if they say yes, then they can go to one of the apps on their phone, whether its google or yelp and leave the feedback directly there. If they say no, it will go into YAPI's dashboard, again this all goes back to the same dashboard, they don’t have to look for that feedback elsewhere, and then they can deal with it. Not a lot of bad feedback comes back to my office, but when it does, the sooner we will chat to the patient, the less likely that patient is to fall apart, the less likely we're likely to lose that patient, and the less likely we have that patient to go and vent online. And so, that part of the capturing feedback is just as important as getting reviews, and then there is the second component to that systems, that if they didn’t give us the feedback then they receive an email with a survey where there are more opportunities to receive feedback, and then if they give us excellent feedback then they can post that on either google or yelp.

So it’s a multi-step process, and it’s completely automated, and one of the objections, there’s actually 2 objections that I hear from dentists, the first on is; 'it's just so difficult for patients to do it, we need to explain to them to do it, they need to log in, so we don’t even want to ask them, because this a lot',  and the other is 'we don’t want ask old patients because we don’t know what kind of feedback they are going to give us' even sometimes happy patients can go back and give  you a 3 or 4 star review because - actually 4 stars is not bad, the customer is  satisfied, but that’s not the reviews we want, we want 5 star reviews. And the third reason, and probably the most common reason is that. Doctors just don’t feel comfortable asking, and there team members don’t feel comfortable asking, and they don’t have the verbal skills to confidently ask, there almost embarrassed to ask. So that’s probably the main reason, why doctors with excellent reputations, doctors who have a ton of reviews, but don’t get them.

So, with YAPI,  there are a couple of ways that we address it, the first one is, we actually give you  a little card, we give you the verbal skills, we tell you have we want you to ask for those reviews. There is a way that, it's a one button click where you can send the review right in front of the patient, in the operatory, or in the front office, where ever you want to send it, you don’t have to enter any information, any phone numbers or anything like that, because it’s all built in together. So, you ask them for a review, and then you tell them 'I’m going to send you a link, so you can do it when it's convent for you', you send the link, they get it right away, they can do it now, they can do it later, but somehow, the fact that you asked, and then you send the link right away - that increases the conversion.

The second feature is; for those doctors who are, you know, still not comfortable to do that you can do it on autopilot, so every patient will get a request, same link, same request, and that’s when the software is going to filter them.

Justin: excellent. So, online reviews, I guess you touched on a point that I didn’t even think of, that wasn’t just that fact that; feedback can be delivered this way, and maybe it might lead to a low star rating if you’ve overlooked something, but also, one of the biggest objections in all of the dental marketing, has to do with the fact that the front desk isn’t necessary getting paid more for more work.

Dr Dorfman: it's true. That is very true.

Justin: so I come in, and it’s weird because - one of my clients, the front desk, actually - I was just kind of curious, I was like 'hey, can I check out you guy's tooth brushes? Like the branded ones, with the brand name?' - because we just made them a new logo and I was thinking about getting them some toothbrushes with the new logo, and the front desk was kind of like 'well I know you’re in marketing, you know, we're probably going to stick with our brand', I was thinking 'wow, wait a second, you have the wrong impression of me!' but I think it's because, the dentists brought me in, and then her job is to stop me, and then if the dentist says 'no, no let him through', and then her job is to let me through, but the whole time she’s got in the back of her head, or he, that 'look, this guy is going to create more work for me, if new patient means new work, new tasks - where's the pay raise?' right?

So your software, it's talking away the task of earning these online reviews, much of the work. I would say - would you say one of the key benefits of YAPI is that is actually makes the front desks job easier?

Dr Dorfman: absolutely. That’s our goal. Think about this, automation is to time what a compounded interest is, to money. If you put $100 in a bank account with 8% interest and you don’t touch it for 30 years, in 30 year, you've have a little over $1 000 by just putting that $100 away. With time, the same thing happens. If you spend 100 minutes creating some kind of a process, or automating and learning how to use this automation, that can save you 1 minutes a day, every day, over the next 10 years, you would save 416 hours over the next 10 years. Imagine what can be done in that time. So our goal is to automate low hanging, easy things, like entering information, or looking for information, or transferring information, and leaving those very busy front office ladies, as well as back office ladies - or gentlemen, to concentrate on what matters - the patients, doing the work that a software cannot do, like building a relationship. You know we have relationship management software, and people are doing data entry, it’s backwards! People should be doing relationships, and the software should be doing the repetitive meaningless tasks. So whether we're doing reviews or we're doing appointment reminders or whether were doing paperless - our job is to create more time for these very hard working people, so that they can do things that matter. And the reason why things have changed, is because they are so busy as it already is, and they don’t always see that there is a better way, because they kind of tell themselves that story that 'we're too busy to implement something new' so when the dentist brings you in, his job, partly, is to explained how someone will benefit, how will this front office benefit from this software, marketing campaign, SEO, whatever we're bring in - who will the team benefit, or how will the patients benefit? Because team members, a lot of times, most of the times, what the patients to benefit, so how will the patient benefit from this?

So I don’t want to have someone in the front desk that needs to remember, to type in a review request from every single patient, if I can get everyone in the office to ask for reviews, and let the software automatically send the reminders - I would love that! That would be ideal.

Justin: and you would know as a dentist, as a practice owner, you would know these things. That’s why I really love when dentists create software - because we know that - you’re making it, I guess in a way, you made it for yourself first, but of course you’re thinking of other practices too. But yeah, that’s what’s really good about that! you know - I want to say, before we sign off, the picture idea is really good, you know Fred Joyal, the founder of 1800Dentist, in his book, wrote about a story of a guy who walked into a dental office, and the front desk looks up and she goes 'are you a patient here?', 'no, I just randomly walk into dental offices in the middle of the business day' - like come-on! of course he’s a patient, take a stab at it, he's basically like 'you know Mr Jones is scheduled for 3pm' - well maybe they don’t know, maybe its disorganized, maybe they don’t have YAPI, maybe there just not, you know, with the paperless thing. And so, the picture thing makes a lot of sense, because, you know even need to know the person’s name, you see the persons face, and then the names next to it right?

Dr Dorfman: yeah. This is so - you know, we talk so much about creating great experiences for our patients, and we wonder 'what can we do to make it a better experience' and then we give them a sign in sheet, and then we give them, you know, that ugly paper that you’ve copied, god knows how many times, to fill out, where they - I always wonder who makes those forms, because they makes this little box, and then you have to write something really long in there - like your address, and then they give you a big space for , you know, 'city', even though Los Angles doesn’t take that much to write, and pretty much anyone who walks into your practice or my practice - lives in LA - So, you know, patients tell us thing’s and we don’t  record them anywhere, or they get buried somewhere, and the pop-up notice inside of the software, that people tend to ignore because there are way too many of them, they pop up all the time, regardless of where its important or not. And your right, I created YAPI for myself, I created a picture of what I wanted to have, and we've implemented it in my practice, and then, as other dentists looked at it, they said 'how can I put this into my practice now?'  And that’s how we ended up as a software company. This was honestly not a long term goal.

Justin: excellent. Well, were coming to a close on our time, but man it’s been a real pleasure having you on. Dr Gina Dorfman, from YAPI, maybe just some quick tips on how this can help dentists in there practice with efficiency. Maybe you could give us 2 or 3 quick tips on how your software actually helps them, and helps the front desk save time?

Dr Dorfman: I want to tell you about one feature that I particularly love - I mean I love all the features, but there’s one feature that I particularly love, and that is the recall manager. Our recall manager is a system where you can set up a cascading system of automated messages, where its text messages, email messages, or postcodes, and it all goes - it generates automatically, and its great because this is where the front office does not need to think about it, the problem is; not every single patient schedules an appointment from those messages, and think about it, every new patient that we see in our practices is coming form a new practice where they used to be a patient, and they left, why? Something happened. So, if we put our recall on autopilot, then we never know why they left, we never get to capture them back, or invite them back. And this is one of the things that Sandy Pardue talks about all the time, you've got to have her on your show, she's absolutely fantastic, and so, she actually created a system for reactivating those lost patients, but none of the automation software supports this kind of system, so what we've done with YAPI is that, you could do lots of messages, send them out automatically, and then there is now a portal where you can see all the  patients that haven scheduled, and what you can then do with that is, you can call those patients, and the great thing is with YAPI, it gets recorded, what automated messages they received, so you know they got a text message, an email, but they still haven’t scheduled. So you get them on the phone, you say 'hey Justin, we were just - you know Dr Dorfman was just looking at your records, and she’s noticed that it’s been a year, we've sent you a couple of messages, so I’m calling to see if I can get an appointment for you today' and then they'd be like 'well...' and this is where you have to deal with whatever objections they have. And so, with our system it's very easy, because you can filter those unscheduled patients by the time that they received there message, and that’s great, because a lot of times you get a message, and you think 'oh, I’ve got to call and schedule my dentist appointment', but then you get busy and you don’t call. So when we call you and we say 'Justin, let’s get you scheduled' and you say 'oh, I’m so glad you called, I was just meaning to call you, I got your message a couple of days ago' you are hot at this time, so it’s easy to schedule. Or you could filter people by, they received all the messages in the system, and they still haven’t scheduled, there’s a problem, there’s an objection, we've got to call them right now. And by combining this personal touch, this atomization, we get the best results, because if you ask front office team members, why is it that they don’t call past due patients, the response you get is 'I don’t have the time' so if we can save them time, and then they can use that time to reach out to patients who don’t respond to automation, then we give you the best of both worlds. And that’s my favorite feature.

Justin: well that’s excellent. I like that one center hub, I think a lot of dentist like to stay organized - all of them do, all of our listeners do, that’s going to be a really good thing, a really good feature.

So if you want to get organized, if your front desk and you’re watching this - this is going to make your job easier, not harder. So thank you very much Dr Dorfman. Thank you so much, it’s been a huge honor to have you. And thank you for watching then dental marketing guy show.

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About the Author - Justin Morgan

Justin Morgan is the CEO and founder of what most of us affectionately refer to as the “DMG.” From all circles within the dental industry who address dental marketing as a topic, Justin Morgan is the dental marketing guy that everyone keeps talking about.
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