Why Your business needs to be TRACKING!!!
October 2020, 7 months into the Covid19 pandemic, at the AudBoss2020 Private Practice summit (In Denver!), I gave a presentation, 5 Ways to Grow Your Practice in front of ~70 private practice owners.
With the pandemic causing business mayhem and an uncertain future, the idea of private practice growth was daunting. However, with so many ideas…I ended up sharing more than 5 ideas, but 1 of them is what I want to focus on today. In my presentation I discussed my updated version of the well-known SMART Goals, called SMARTEAR Goals (Image A). Which leads us to why you, your team, your business, etc…need to be TRACKING!
For the purpose of this write-up, let’s focus specifically on M – measurable. How are you
measuring your success? Some business owners look at their profit and loss statements. Some business owners use their annual taxes as a measurement tool.
However, the most efficient tool you and your teams should be using are called Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Did you know your teams are more efficient when you’re tracking their progress?
It’s called the Hawthorne Effect!!
What the heck is the Hawthorne Effect and how does it apply to my business?!
Great question! The Hawthorne Effect (Named in 1958 by Henry A. Landsberger) is a psychological concept where individuals modify an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed…usually in a more productive and efficient way!
Using this knowledge, imagine your teams tracking their effectiveness using KPIs. I believe it’s a natural reaction for employees to reject change. No one enjoys being measured. So, let’s discuss the who, what, when, where and how you are going to track those KPIs!
When it comes to hearing aid sales, it’s a team effort starting from the Front Office Staff (FOS) to the Providers. The FOS should be involved in setting the providers up for success by making sure each opportunity patient arrives with a companion, all the appropriate forms are filled out, insurance benefit information is readily available and that the appropriate expectations have been discussed with the patient and set prior to their appointments. The FOS can add data to the KPIs by adding the number of opportunities and companion info. Providers can fill in the rest.
What (Image B)
We have so many metrics available to us on a daily basis, which ones are the most important? I know that there are many variables to add here, however, I’ll keep this more high-level and you can add to it based on your needs.
Gross Opportunities – the total number of appointments scheduled that could be opportunities for purchase
Net Opportunities – how many of those appointments were candidates for a sale
Number of private pay patients who purchase – which of those net opportunity purchasers were private practice pay instead of third party payment
Number of private pay hearing aids sold – total number of private pay hearing aids sold help calculating a true average selling price (ASP)
Number of patients with companions – important to track this metric as studies show patients with family members, friends, care takers, etc, choose to purchase more than those without a companion
Number of non-private pay units sold – important to know how many sales are via third party, at a reduced cost. Also good to know if you are seeing too many TPA patients
Number of return for credits –
Important to know if you are getting too many returns, an opportunity to learn
Net private pay hearing aid sales – This is your total dollar amounts received in private pay hearing aid sales. Using the number of aids sold and the net private pay sales number will give you an accurate average selling price (ASP)
If created effectively, you can add formulae to calculate all your data for you! The bottom section of image B are numbers calculated from the hypothetical information entered in the above section. If you’re considering using this type of template, I recommend copying and pasting the information into the tabs at the bottom of the Excel sheet and track annually!
In image B, you’ll see a monthly tracker. However, data input should be inputted routinely, perhaps even daily. As the opportunities roll in, the data can be entered! When focusing on the SMARTEAR Goals E – Evaluate, I recommend reviewing the KPIs monthly at a minimum, but if your SMARTEAR Goals are short-term, review weekly. The advantage of more frequent reviews is the ability to push to get more opportunities in the door if that metric is low.
Where & How
The first option is a simple white board strategically placed, hidden from patients’ view. You can create a grid similar to image B, using a permanent marker or thin black tape to create your grid. With a white board, I recommend only tracking your KPIs monthly and reviewing it immediately after the month is over. Once reviewed, document the numbers on a spreadsheet or journal, erase the board and start the next month! The white board is also a great place to list any announcements, words of wisdom, encouraging quotes, etc.
In a digital world, having a networked Excel file for everyone to access is a great solution. Everyone should be 100% dialed in on who enters what information. It could be detrimental to have duplicate entries. Each responsible team member would add their respective data and have it pre-populate as in image B.
Alas, it’s 2020, and 2021 couldn’t come fast enough! Everyone has a smart phone, and who are we kidding…our team members are checking their phones all day! New technology is available where you can input your data via your smart phone (like the HearWorks app – Image C) and link it to your database/OMS and have accurate and timely data with real-time results. For more info on HearWorks, click here.
If you’re not tracking using KPIs, it’s time to ask yourselves - why not? Starting a KPI tracking policy will be met with antipathy and non-compliance at first. In fact, some team members may flat out reject it due to their own insecurities or worse... KPI/tracking success is incumbent upon your leadership and your ability to emphasize the importance of tracking. Present it as a net positive and not an added burden on your team. Your investment into tracking will lead to the program’s success, which by default will not only help you grow but identify areas of improvement! Remember the Hawthorne Effect!
Start tracking now! If you need more help with achieving your goals, tracking, etc, sign up for my one-on-one coaching ‘Achieve Growth’ course at https://www.decibels180.com/what-we-do/ or click here for more info!