Yasmin Downie offers a guide to practice owners and their teams on how to achieve their goals and realise their business’s potential.

Integrating new practice management software into a dental practice involves significant change, whether installing a system for the first time or moving from another provider.

Software of Excellence recognise this and works with practices to closely manage this change. From the outset we appoint a dedicated customer success consultant who will work with them on a one-to-one basis for the following 12 months, or longer should they want or need to.

My role as a customer success consultant is to ensure the practices we work with are using and optimising their practice management software as well as possible. We take the time to understand their goals and what they want to achieve as a practice. We offer a bespoke consultancy service, provided as part of our service to customers, with every aspect tailored around customer needs – remembering no two practices are the same.

We want practice owners to know great results are achievable. We make sure they know we are available to help them get the results they want, while making sure their team feels empowered.

There’s a huge amount of data stored within a practice management system. That’s why we work to help practice owners understand why this data is important, how to measure it and how it can be used to their advantage to make their goals achievable. If we can see why a practice may be struggling in certain areas, we can help find the answer. 

Levels of engagement

Practice owners engage with the Customer Success Programme in different ways. We get the best results when owners and practice managers collaborate together, and that filters down to the whole team. It comes down to the importance and value of teamwork. We engage with the different departments, teams and responsibilities within a practice, and work with them throughout their entire journey with us. 

My role is primarily about reassurance and making what may seem complex, simple. It’s a gradual journey, during which we want everyone to succeed, without overwhelming them with data and statistics.

We have more than 1,200 practices who have gone through the Customer Success Programme and I work with around 80 practices, at any one time, on a regular monthly engagement. I have other practices where I may catch up less frequently – whatever suits them best.

The Customer Success Programme is designed to change mindsets – turning dentists into business people. I find most practice owners I work with fully understand the challenges and legislation that has to be dealt with, and appreciate the rising costs of running a business.

Getting results

All new Exact practices are automatically assigned a Customer Success Consultant to guide them for the first 12 months, but, of course, we work with our existing Exact practices as well.

A practice that was doing really well a few years ago might suddenly find its appointment book is no longer full. They come to us and we’ll get them back to where they want their practice to be.

One of my practices had an FTA rate of 15%, which is poor when considered against the national average of 4% to 6%. Together, we’ve managed to reduce this to 7% and, though higher than average, this single element has had a significant impact on their business. We’re working, and succeeding, on getting it lower still.

There have been great results for our practices across the board. In June we saw:

  • 42% of our practices growing more than 50% private revenue
  • 77% of the practices enjoying a growth in private revenue of more than 20%
  • 95% of practices are seeing a growth in revenue year-on-year
  • 96% of our NHS practices met their UDA contract obligations for 2018-19.

Software of Excellence aims to give customers everything they need to get the full value out of Exact and help turn their good practice into a great business. For more information about joining the Customer Success Programme and Software of Excellence’s practice management solutions, visit softwareofexcellence.co.uk.