Shorr Solutions: The Podcast: Ep. 65 – Optimizing Staff Performance: How to Hire, Train & Manage Your Team Strategically – Shorr Solutions

Hiring, training, and managing staff in a strategic way can be challenging. You may wonder, “How do I know which positions I need to hire and when? Where do I even start when it comes to measuring staff performance?”

In this episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast, “Optimizing Staff Performance: How to Hire, Train & Manage Staff Strategically” hosts and practice management experts, Jay Shorr and Mara Shorr, join forces with Charlie Winn, co-founder of Liine and patient lead management expert, to help YOU, make smart staffing decisions for your aesthetic practice!

Tune in now to learn how to use data to make hiring decisions, why individual staff performance metrics are important, key characteristics to look for in front desk staff and what to focus on when onboarding and training new front desk staff!

Schedule your free 30-min consult with our experts, Jay Shorr and Mara Shorr, here!

Convert more patients and boost your revenue! Sign up for our Conversion Cascade online course to attract more patients, convert calls to consults, convert consults to treatment and keep patients coming back for more. Get started here! Use code PODCAST to save 20% OFF!

Free Workbook: “How to Build & Maintain Your Dream Cosmetic Practice”. Download now here!

Connect with the Liine team:
Website: https://www.liine.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liinetech/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liinetech/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/liinetech/

Mara

Today we are going to be talking about something very, very specific. We’re going to be talking about optimizing staff performance, how to hire, train and manage your team strategically when it comes to what we’re seeing in our clients’ offices. And of course, we’re going to do real quick intros. I am Mara Shorr, one of the partners here at Shorr Solutions, your all-time favorite practice management consulting firm specializing truly on the practice management with aesthetic cosmetic practices.

And with me is one of my very favorite humans in the whole wide world, Jay Shorr. Jay is not only the founding partner of Shorr Solutions, but you’ll notice that the last names are, yes, Identical, and that is because we are a father daughter team. So, I always love being able to do webinars with my pops. So, when you hear the inside jokes and you hear the very familiar tone, that explains why. We have 39 years worth of practice of doing this together.

And here with me as well…

Jay

Unfortunately, those jokes aren’t funny anymore.

Mara

No. So it’s a good thing we’re giving you a fresh audience. That’s really the goal of the webinars. We’re getting a fresh audience for the jokes.

Jay

I appreciate that.

Mara

And with us, who still appreciates Jay’s jokes but also brings a wealth of knowledge, is our good friend Charlie Winn. Charlie, over at Line. And Charlie, can you give us just a 32nd description of your role at Liine and tell everybody that as well?

Charlie

Sure. Charlie, Chief Revenue Officer at Liine. So, anything customer facing I’m involved with. So, I work directly with practices all the time. And our company is a call recording and automation platform that uses A.I. to automatically record and analyze calls. So, we’ve got a unique perspective on anything related to staff performance just because we’ve analyzed 1.5 million phone calls to date. And I’m here to share some of the things that we learned.

Mara

And Charlie, just for anybody that’s not familiar with the term A.I., that is?

Charlie

Automated intelligence.

Mara

Okay, so we are going to keep all of that in mind and understand that everything that we’re talking about today really is with a very special blend. So, we really work together very closely. Jay and I work with Charlie and his team as well as software, and we are not we’re not aligned. In other words, we are certainly not partnered together as far as our two companies but able to come at the conversation today from a strategic data perspective, an integration perspective, a technology perspective and automation perspective and he’s able to give very specific trends as far as what he is seeing in the industry.

Jay and I, of course, are able to come at things from the other side, which is the perspective, the training perspective, and with Jay’s eyes having decades of years of experience in this industry, working with–we both work–both of our companies, meaning working with clients across the country and in Canada. So, we are proud to bring that collective knowledge to everybody today.

So, we’re going to go ahead and get started, and so let us dive into the conversation. I hope you’re all as happy as this lady is right here. I am jealous that she has a plant in the corner that her cat does not eat. So, we’re just going to add that into the mix there. I am going to be really moderating the conversation and leading the conversation, chiming in here and there with, really, showcasing so much of the knowledge that the three of us provide.

Mara

So, number one. We are going to just dive right into it. When leads come into the practice and I want you to keep in mind, we’re going somewhere with this. So, question number one, who should be following up with the digital leads? So, Charlie, I’d love for you to kick off this particular question of digital lead follow up.

So, who should be following up on those leads and what does that process look like? Both traditionally and then what you’re seeing with your role in line?

Charlie

Sure. The there’s a couple of ways you can do it in terms of who is going to actually make the follow up touchpoints. But the most important thing is it has to be defined. Probably the most common setup we see with practices is a web lead comes in meaning a patient fills out a form on a website or a landing page that goes into a shared email inbox that usually front staff or a group like that can go in and check and there’s sort of a general directive of, “Hey, let’s monitor the inbox as often as possible and then we need to call them.”

So, trying to they get the phrase “If it’s everyone’s responsibility, it’s no one’s responsibility.” Right? A lot of people have probably heard that. So, if possible, if you have a team where you could dedicate a person to always being the one who follows up with web leads, that’s great. But if you don’t have the ability to do that, at least have a schedule of some sort where when your staff gets into the practice in the morning, there’s a person assigned to each day that goes in and looks at who has reached out to us overnight.

And it’s that person’s responsibility that day to make sure that they follow up with the lead. So, it’s not as important as whether it’s one person all the time or different people. It’s that there’s specific responsibilities assigned so they’re not shared, and thus the leads won’t fall through the cracks. In terms of process, the most important thing is to follow up with people early and often.

It’s fine to have and great to have a combination of types of communication. You really want to make sure you try to call people as fast as possible. Emailing is great, texting is great as well. But one of the things that we find is a lot of practices will get way too focused on like a really long, complicated kind of nurture campaign.

Where they’re like, “All right, we’ve got 14 emails over a three week period with all this information.” I’m not saying that’s not good, but then you ask them, “When are you calling them?” And some people say, “Well, we call them if we can,” or like “we call them the next day.” It’s way too slow. So, the first thing that you need to focus on is calling a web lead as fast as possible and until you have that figured out, the other steps aren’t as important, although they’re additive. So, making sure that you’re calling people quickly is critical.

Mara

And I’m going to chime in as well, that one of the things we’ve found to be very, very helpful is, I’m going to mention something specific with Liine software here, is the ability that when somebody actually fills out that form online that it generates. And Charlie, I am certain you can get into the specifics of this better because I think, you know where I’m going with that, where when somebody fills out the form, it triggers a phone call to be made to the practice so that if somebody is not actively looking at their inbox, that info@, for example, then they might be on the phone. They might be checking somebody in or out or they may simply just have their backs turned and working on doing some filing et cetera. Then talk to us.

Mara

Can you say a little bit because I always honestly love a good automation if something can make everybody’s life a little bit simpler? Can you talk about what triggers that, the phone call, and the phone to ring in the practice and how you’ve seen that actually cut back on the time that it takes and the lag that it takes to check an inbox for sure?

Charlie

Yeah. We hadn’t seen tools that really were designed for the environment that the staff is in because I mean, most of the time same person handling this is checking people and checking people out, answering phone calls, dealing with existing patients, new patients, whatever. It’s very difficult for someone who has all those jobs to respond quickly. So, the auto call feature in our platform is what you’re talking about.

Yeah, basically, when a patient is on the site, your site, and clicks submit, then we immediately call the practice. So instead of monitoring an inbox, the staff gets an inbound phone call and when they answer it, it says you have a new web lead from Charlie or whoever it is, and it prompts the team to press one on the keypad and is then making an outbound call to the patient so that automation is taking the responsibility off of the plate of staff to have to monitor something and turning it into just answering the phone. And then the patient experiences, like they’re clicking submit and within 30, 45 seconds their phones are ringing. They’re still on your site, right? And they’re thinking there’s no way this is that medical spot or whoever. And they pick the phone up and they’re just shocked and pleasantly surprised that it’s you. There’s tons of research on this. We were talking about data at the beginning.

If you call a web lead within 5 minutes of it being submitted you are 1000% more likely to get them on the phone. So not only does that increase your connection and conversion rate, but it also reduces the subsequent follow up tasks, right? Because if you get to somebody right now, you’re not going to have to follow up with them later. So there’s lots of benefits to calling somebody that quickly.

Mara

What I will say, Jay, I likely know where you’re going to go with this, which is why I’m leading in this direction, is that one of the components is that if a practice is able to, even on nights and weekends, have somebody on call and it could be somebody different you know, each night of the week. So, you know, if you have this staff member takes Tuesdays, the staff member takes Thursdays, et cetera.

So, it’s not one person that never gets their nights and weekends. We know that really one of the things that is affecting a lot of turnovers is that work life balance, so to speak. So, if we break that up, then a practice can have that rollover. So, if the Web read is submitted, it triggers the phone to ring.

That phone can then ring at you to say that you want calls from 6:00 to 8:00, for example, or Saturdays from 10 a.m. or 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 10 p.m., whatever that looks like for your team, then that means calls can be answered nights and weekends. And Jay, tell us a little bit more about your philosophy when it comes to being able to convert those nights and weekends and we can say calls because I know you have some input on this. Can you share a few minutes of how that would affect it?

Jay

I have a very interesting story to share as to why I believe now as a former medical practice owner, I have always believed in night and weekend call for staff members. If you are in the aesthetic cosmetic business, which is fee for service and it is out of pocket cash, then most if not all of the time the patient and or prospective patient has the ability to pick and choose verses an insured medical practitioner.

Yes, they do have the option to pick and choose, but most of the time they don’t. They go to whomever accepts their insurance, me included. I’ll do my reviews and you know, if it’s new and I want to see who has the best reviews and things like that. But here’s my story having owned an aesthetic, cosmetic surgical practice, I always assign somebody to be on call up till 9:00 at night. All right? Because it’s reasonable. People work and they get home and have dinner and they’re doing the research and they have their calls and on weekends now there’s always been conjecture that people don’t want to be bothered on weekends. All right, because they either have synagogue on Saturday, church on Sunday, whatever it is, or you have familial obligations. And I’ve always said, “but they wrote or called me on the weekend, right?” Therefore, they’re interested. So, it’s not like I’m blind calling you. I’m returning your call. My personal situation is I watch and go to all the Miami Dolphins games. All right, bar none. That is my plan. Nothing stops me and it’s 9:30, 10:00 in the morning. And I’m looking because I wanted to get research on a Harley Davidson motorcycle because as I got older, my wife told me she wouldn’t drive on a two wheel big bike anymore because I had hand surgery and I said, “What about a trike?” She says, “But that’s the biggest bike out there.”

And I said, “What would you go on?” And she said, “Yes.” So, I search on the internet, and I see a trike that I want at one of our local Harley-Davidson dealers. And of course, there’s like eight, ten questions. What vintage are you looking for? What color you looking for? What options are you looking for? I did all that.

I hit submit. I’m not kidding. Within 5 minutes my phone rings and it says, “Hi, I’m Lou from X, Y, Z, Harley-Davidson dealer. I got your inquiry what are you doing today?” I said, “watching the Dolphins game.” He said, “Well, we open at X, but I’ll come in early. We’ve got the bike you’re looking for.” I’m thinking, of course you’re going to tell me you’ve got the bike I’m looking for because it’s not going to be the bike I’m looking for when I get there, but you’re going to try and sell me one that you already have. I said, “Okay”. He says, “Well, why don’t you just come in and take it for a ride? Test drive?” I said, “You know, doing that is like taking a puppy home for the weekend.” All right. That’s a no brainer. So, I went, and I took the bike out for a ride.

And I am a hard person. To sell anything to except when I want to buy it. You no longer have to be a salesperson in my world. You have to be an order taker because I’m going to direct the sale in this particular situation, just like a patient. They may not necessarily know what they need. They know what they want.

And when they call you, what they want may not necessarily be what they need or control. Indicative of what they need. And it’s up to you as the medical practice to guide them in that direction. It just so happened I walked into this Harley-Davidson dealer, and they had what I wanted. Can’t say what I needed. I didn’t need this bike, but they had what I wanted, and I bought it because the price was right. They had the bike I’m looking for, and I drove home in a brand-new Harley-Davidson bike. And I use this story all the time because had he not called me back, I wouldn’t have gone that day. And there are three other Harley Davidson dealers in the Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area that I would have gone to, wouldn’t have been that day, may have been over a week, two weeks I wouldn’t have bought it from out of town and had it shed without physically seeing it and driving it.

Mara

And for those of you that are interested, send us an email and I will personally make sure you get a photo in your inbox of Jay on his tour, on his Harley trike. We will make that happen for you. So, send me an email at mara@shorrsolutions.com. We’ll make sure you get that.

Mara

So, with that, one of the things that we hear over and over again and really a big part of where we’re having this discussion today is the next conversation when we hear from people and they tell us, well, this is all great in theory, but I can’t do that with my team, my current team. Right? I can’t do that Charlie, what you’re telling me as far as having people call back for just a few minutes. I can’t do what I was telling me. And we’re really looking at today how to make those the strategic hiring decisions as well based on data. So, when the leads increase and we’re assuming that based on all that you’re doing with your marketing, this is based on the assumption that your leads are increasing, so do team responsibilities. And we know this, right? One person can only do so many things no matter how many options we put into play for them. So how can the practice decide when it’s time to hire more team members? And looking at it with what data do we use to make those decisions?

So, Jay, let’s start with you. As far as which particular data should a practice use to determine how do they know if they need an additional marketing coordinator. For instance, how do they know if they need somebody at the front desk? How do they know if they need somebody at the front desk or if they need to train somebody at the front desk? Or do they need somebody like a patient care coordinator? So how do they use what data? Because, for those of you that may not have met Jay in person, I have luckily inherited this: show me the facts. I want to see the data. I only make decisions based on data. It is a rite of passage in our family.

So, Jay, what data does somebody look at when they want to know who do they hire?

Jay

Right. Well, I am a fan of fact versus opinions. All right? Because your opinion, although I will respect it, is only that an opinion. But even if you have given me opinions that I do or do not respect at a specific time, if you show me the facts that lead to why now let’s start with the front desk.

All right? Because that is the most important person to me outside of the doctor or practitioner, because without that director of first impressions that we call that front desk receptionist, without the director of first impressions, that makes that first impression on the prospective patient, there are no patients for that physician or practitioner to treat. So, what I want to know how many calls are coming in and how many calls are coming in at what time of the day? Because I want to know how do we schedule. Because let’s be fair with one another, there’s the old age-old question: what is more important, the call coming in or the patient in front of you? Some people say, well, for customer service, the patient in front of you. And then I have other people say to me, but the patient in front of you is the patient you already have the phone call coming in is the patient that you’re looking for and need.

Now, that warrants a yes on both sides. However, I always want to look at how many calls are coming in to a certain time, how many calls are going to voicemail, how many calls are even going unanswered if you’re not fortunate enough to have a call center or a line that can transfer those calls to you. How many calls go to five, six, seven? And the one thing that bothers me to no end and I apologize ahead of time if any of you are in this position, but how can a doctor’s office be closed from 12 to two for lunch? And I hear it all the time that we’re entitled to that time. And I always say, “Yes, you are, which means you don’t have to treat patients,” but that doesn’t mean the phone never rings. And I have staggered my staff on the front end so that that phone is always ringing. So, when I see that data, all right, then if it’s on the practitioner’s side, how far out do I have that opportunity to schedule that incoming inbound patient? Because remember, the patient that we have in front of us right now, hopefully you’re doing what a dental hygienist does. You’re doing what an ob gyn does, telling you come back in six months for your cleaning, come back next year for your annual check or pap smear or whatever. And that appointment should be made prior to exiting that appointment. So now that is potentially filling half your schedule ahead of time.

So where is the time that you’re going to have to treat the inbound new? Because there’s nothing that turns me off more. It’s just me personally. And I’m sure if it turns me off, it turns a lot of people off. I can’t get to see you for four weeks. Six weeks. That’s Okay. There is somebody else that can and there’s nothing special about a B.C med spa that’s going to do a Botox exam.

And at this point, I want to be fair. There’s always something special to an existing patient because they already have. You’ve already shown them the love, but to a new person who doesn’t feel that love for you, I’m going to go to the next practice that can get me in because I may have an event coming up that I need that particular service for. So then,I have to figure staffing wise how far out of my book that I can’t satisfy the needs of the patient. So now we’ve touched the director first impressions that isn’t able to answer my phone, my patient. We touched the practice. People who actually do the procedures, medical assistance, that’s an easy one. When I don’t have enough medical assistance to treat my existing patients, I always believe that over staffing, but I never had a staffing problem. Of course, I also didn’t live through a pandemic, all right? But I didn’t have a staffing problem because I paid more than anybody else in the in the community. And secondly, because I always had bench strength. So, if somebody did leave, I was overstaffed, so I didn’t burn the people out.

And when you were talking about training, Mara, because the front desk, when do you train them? You never stop training them. Never ever stop training them. There should always be training, whether it’s vendor training or it’s staff training consistently, all the time.

Mara

So, to come back, Charlie, I’d love to hear from an analytics point of view and a data point of view. So, if somebody is talking to us just about the data that you’re seeing as far as the amount of missed calls or the percentage of missed calls and how to know that when you hit perhaps this key performance indicator of missed calls, it’s likely time to hire somebody else to answer, or what are some of the key issues that you know? Your front desk team is not either fully trained to answer the questions and therefore appointments are converting, or they just might not be the right person. So, can you talk a little bit about data and how you use data to make some of those decisions as well?

Charlie

Totally love what you do. Good stuff there. Jay, I was writing down some stuff as well that you were talking about data wise. The key thing to do is you need to look at who you already have information on who is scheduling, right? That’s going to be on your calendar. You need to try to find a way to track how many people are not scheduling and why that is. So, examples of why would there be missed calls. If people are calling in while you’re open or when you should have your phones on during lunch and you’re not answering the phone. Huge problem, by the way, a lot of people are going to call you during lunch because that’s when they’re available. So, you should be open then.

Jay

That’s when over lunch.

Charlie

That’s right. So, from the standpoint of capacity, you want to look at missed new patient calls. Really missed calls in general is what you should be looking at and, the web leads.

Jay

Let me stop you for a second because people may not know how to find that information. So how do you find missed calls will you?

Charlie

First of all, you call me, and I can help you. Sometimes your phone system doesn’t have it right, so you need it. You should check if you don’t know how to do that, you should check with your carrier if you have a third-party IT person. Honestly, if you can’t get it, we can do that for you. But you want to make sure that it’s missed calls and not voicemail messages. Why the vast majority of new patient leads do not leave a voicemail, right? They don’t really know that they’re looking into something and they’re not 100% sure. Maybe they just want to get some information or whatever. They’re not going to leave a message with that. So, if they hear your voicemail message, the majority of them will hang up and go back to the Internet, which they probably have access to, and then they’re going to call the next place. Right? So that is a low hanging fruit to capture more missed opportunities. So, if you’re closed during the day, you need to change that. If you are not and you’re your team is unable to get to the phone, then that is the next thing you want to do. You need to start thinking about the value of a new patient. When we have someone reach out to us and book an appointment on average, how much are they spending in their first visit? And then the advanced one is what about lifetime value? Right? Jay was talking about: you want to schedule the next appointment before people leave. What you’re going to find in this space that you’re in is patients are extremely valuable when you start thinking about lifetime value. It’s tens of thousands of dollars. And so that’s what.

Jay

You can even count referral.

Charlie

That’s right. Then they’re going to.

Jay

Bring a third one as somebody who’s not your patient.

Charlie

Right, exactly. So, you need to do that math. So then at that point, you can say, all right, over the past month or whatever time frame we are on average every week missing this many newly calls, what if we scheduled 20% of them? 30% of them, you can start figuring out what that revenue amount is and then it’s a lot easier to pull the trigger on bringing on another staff member.

So, Jay’s concept of over staffing. Yes, tough labor market right now. We’ll talk more about that later. But that’s how you can feel good about having more staff than you might think that you need. And it’s really about attaching a revenue value to those leads. So, for that capacity issue, there’s that. I was going to talk about the training stuff, but did you have a comment there?

Jay

I like to parlay or refer everything in my life business life to sports. Go Panthers, by the way. Right now, the reason I play at the sports is because most sports are about winning. Most sports are team events, and it takes everybody to win that team and the problem that we don’t have is most sports have a farm system or an affiliate like a minor league, but yet, we don’t. Right? Baseball has a minor league team. Baseball for basketball has the D-League. Their development league football, their minor league teams, either their practice squad or collegiate. All right? Hockey teams have their minor league affiliate. So, the point I’m trying to make is when there is an injury or you need to bring people up, they already have the people that they have drafted in our business. We don’t, and hence that’s why I brought up that. I always overstaffed. Yes, it is costlier, but I don’t burn out my staff and I always have room to grow, even in our consulting business. Now we have one or two extra staff members so that in any given month we can bring on several different clients at any time and assign them to both Mara and I and our team because we all handle different things without having to worry.

We can’t bring on new staff because the worst thing I wanted to do is provide lesser service that we’re used to providing. And I’m only saying it not from us as a consulting company, but for everybody listening for you either as a vendor or as a medical practice, don’t minimize the value that you place to the patient, because remember, this is an insurance, and they will leave if they don’t feel the love.

Mara

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Mara

Now, one of the things that I want to transition to is the next question here. How, in this sea of great resignation craziness… and just for those of you that haven’t heard us talk about the great resignation, for those of you that haven’t heard the term the great resignation, I think most people have at this point, that really it became after 2020 and the onset once the world opened up again, if you will, there was just an incredibly great exodus from the workplace. People at an incredible rate were leaving where they had been. They saw that they were either more disposable than they thought they had, or they had taken the time during shutdown to reevaluate what they wanted to do. And so, they were leaving their workplace in every part of the world, in every industry at a great pace. Thus, the great resignation and our industry is no exception, truly.

So in the time of the great resignation, there have been several things that we have seen. Number one, the request for a higher pay than we have ever seen before for many, many positions within a practice. The greater request for paid time off so we’ve seen not necessarily a greater retirement package request that that pretty much remains true, but we have seen everything from the request for a gas stipend as gas prices have risen to a pretty incredible rate. We have a couple of practices who said to say to us, look, my team is asking for more money because it cost them more money to come to work. So, it’s literally costing them money to come to work more than it ever did before.

So, when we look at all these different components and we are looking at hiring, Jay, I’m going to ask you to kick this part off. What are the key characteristics when looking for a lead response position? So, lead response position, meaning it is the person that is responding to your social media lead requests.

This person could be responding to phone leads, they could be responding to surgery or nonsurgical feeds. There were a variety of different platforms. So, it may not necessarily even be somebody that’s at the front desk. It may not be necessarily marketing or patient care coordinator. But when we’re looking and we’re talking about a patient, that lead response physician, can you give us a couple of characteristics of what to look for and some of these answers I know will be the same as what if I would have asked you two, three years ago, but what are some of the things to look for differently now in today’s hiring climate than if I would have asked this question, say January of 2020?

Jay

I will change it up a little bit and say it’s not necessarily for a lead response position. I’m going to say my characteristics for position because even the title of our webinar is Retaining Valuable Employees, and a lead response happens to be one of them since that’s, you know, what we’re speaking about right now. However, what I think today may not necessarily be what I thought a couple of years ago because a couple of years ago when I looked at a resume and there were a lot of gaps or job hopping, you automatically got disqualified for me because I don’t want to be the next business name on your resume, but when the pandemic hit, involuntary resignations, by the way, slash furloughs came upon and through no fault of the employee, they were either laid off, minimized on hours or furloughed. So now, although we governmentally have a lower unemployment rate, why is it that there’s still a hard time finding new staff members? So, what we have to do is not only look at what we’re looking for, but also be part of what are they looking for and they mean the lead response position or an employee. All right? And hey, most people now, they want health insurance. They do want retirement programs. They do want PTO. All right. They do want maternity slash pattern leave. Now, I’m not going to acknowledge positively or negatively what I think about some of those things because we still have a business to run. All right? And in my former practice, we had 29 women. It is impossible, seriously, to offer maternity leave to 29 women, one, three, four or five, maybe pregnant at the same time. It can create an impossible workplace when they go out, when you don’t have bench strength to bring other people in. And then what do you do? You don’t want to know the reason.

Mara

Just like you were saying before, the bank bench strength, man, you were able to get those words out a lot clearer than I could. It’s so important to always have that bench strength.

Jay

I didn’t have that problem because I did have been the strength plus, I also had positions for pregnant women. I had a write up requisitions and you have other duties because I wouldn’t allow a pregnant woman to handle chemicals, all right? I wouldn’t allow them to handle a work with lasers. Now, this is just Jay’s personal opinion. Okay? Always check with your doctor. But me, I found positions that women could do and stayed until the end. And then I also allowed nursing moms. All right, so it didn’t create a hazard in my workplace. Now, what we were looking for is we first have to keep our own house clean and be that stellar workplace that people want to come to. Now, as for what we’re looking for, to me, the smile bar none will cure a lot of ills to me because I can teach you knowledge. I can’t teach you work ethic if you don’t have it. This is not a high school internship. We’re looking for true professionals. And if you don’t have work ethic by the time you’re coming to work for us, I can’t teach you, nor do I have the time to teach. But I can teach you knowledge and that knowledge is powerful and will stay with you. So, I’m looking for that.

Generally, the hospitality industry is very good because they’re always used to fly. I’m always used to smiling. Flight attendants, believe it or not, if they want to get out of that business for the most part, are always used to servicing people, and they do have safety protocols. I’m a big safety guy, so that it’s an entertainment.

You know, if you’re dealing with people, fine. And of course if you’re able to grab people that are already experienced in our industry, but what makes you different than any other practice to come work for you.

Mara

I want to ask one more question before I tag Charlie. I’m on that question. But one of the questions that we are getting is due from many, many of our clients. And again, we have clients all over the country. And in this industry, but we are getting this feedback again and again, is with experienced injectors now going out on their own at a pretty incredible pace and rate. So, we have experience injectors that were previously employed within another practice. They are now going out on their own. And I know this because we’re hearing from some of that. We’re here, we’re helping them set up their practices. But that then leaves a gap in the marketplace because experience injectors want to be in their own business. So, when a practice looks to rehire an injector, they are getting inexperienced injectors that are the candidates.

So, can you talk about the level of experience from an injector perspective that you would recommend and what sort of level of experience would you recommend for either? And I will actually say any level provider outside of an MDR so I’m not talking about a surgeon, but what level would you recommend in terms of laser RF and injectables? And threads too?

Jay

You know, people may disagree with me, and they do all the time. If you have the time to train usually what happens is you’re willing to do the training because you want to offer them less money. That’s usually the reason. But if you want an experienced injector, you’ve got to have at least one to two years of solid injectors experience.

I don’t want you learning on my watch and then you become my competitor. Now I have nothing against pays and PS going out on their own and in DNP and in some areas now, integrative medicine physicians are now allowed to perform lasers in certain areas. I don’t have anything against that. I just don’t want to train you to be my competitor, but I have never seen the compensation rate as it is today that these NPS pays are asking for a right that are making $150,000 and $200,000 like in California $80 to $100 an hour plus. Now I always look at it this way. Let’s talk about the numbers because numbers tell me everything. If you can generate three and a half times or more of the revenue, then I don’t mind paying you a lot of money. But don’t ask me for $50 an hour making $100,000 a year and you’re only going to bring me $200,000 worth of revenue, not inclusive of my cost of goods. Now let’s drop it down a notch and say a laser tag and restitution. A master restitution in Florida. It wouldn’t fly because in Florida institutions are not allowed to operate lasers, except if they are an electron allergist and they’re doing hair, but they can’t do lasers for our meningioma as into land pages. That’s a ANP doctor in Florida. Regardless of what somebody says to you, that under the direction you can in Florida, you can’t. All right? Other states, medical assistance can perform these. But you want experience because we’ve had situations where clients of ours have come to us and they’ve explained where a different Fitzpatrick scale patient was burned because they didn’t understand the difference between a Yag and an Alexander Right. This is very, very important. And these IMAs and institutions coming right out of school are trained on the device that this school has. I’m not going to name any laser institutes that are around the country because I don’t want to call anybody out. But they have weekend courses. And when I interview all these people, it is an absolute disgrace, seriously, about the lack of education that they’ve given to people in one weekend and then throw them out to the wolves to now treat patients that don’t know how to properly treat a patient.

So, I look and smile. I look at one or two years experience and be prepared to pay higher level revenue compensation for income generators. But to me, just because you have letters after your name doesn’t qualify you for big dollars, unless you have the experience to generate the revenue.

Mara

So, Jay, this actually goes into the final question that we are going to address collectively however, I do encourage anyone that is listening alive and watching live. Please go ahead. Put your questions in the chat box and we can certainly answer those once we wrap up asking answering this particular question. So please go ahead, put your questions in the chat box.

Mara

But Jay, this feeds in beautifully and I want to get your input and then hear from, of course, Charlie, you on the data side of things, but what should practices focus on for both? You know, when we look at onboarding and training, onboarding for a new team member and I know we say, you know, those patient response team members.

So for the sake of this part of the conversation, we’ll talk about that. But what should somebody focus on when they’re onboarding versus what type of, and Charlie, I’d love for you to take the next part of this for existing team members, how do we utilize, again data one of our favorite things, how do we utilize data to continue to train team members effectively, even if they’ve been with the practice six months or six years or 16 years?

So, Jay, can you take the onboarding component and Charlie, you take the existing patient component or existing team member?

Jay

Many times, as I lecture on staffing and training, when you hire a warm body, just to fill a hole in your practice, you’ll always be taking the heat. I’m from Miami, so go Heat. All right? Now what I mean by that, an email or improperly trained staff member can do you more damage than good in my former practice.

When we hired somebody, you never got to answer the phone until my trainer said it is okay for you to answer the phone.

Mara

Say, approximately how long would you say that? I mean, are we talking one hour, one day, one week, one year? I say one. You’re exaggerating knowing that that’s a little preposterous as far as the length of time, but all right.

Jay

A week, two weeks. And I’m going to do a shout out to Allen for a second, and I can’t compare it to anything else because during the time where we had elegant practice consultants, they had all these modules for telephone answering skills and lead management, and they were great. If you didn’t send your people to a conference, they could study these manuals and then there was a test at the end. So, I believe in training, training, training and having good policies, procedures and protocols. PPE, that are clear, concise, and consistent. Sexy because it’s much easier for somebody to keep going back and everybody speaks from the same hymn book. Now, the air you’re talking about, the last question you ask is, what do I look for?

I look for somebody also that has computer savvy. All right? Because in the eye side, if you’re trying to analyze the data and you can analyze the data and you don’t know even what to look for, even if it’s important that your existing staff knows how to train people, and now what are you looking for to analyze the amount of leads that came in and the amount of leads converted and the revenue generated by that? That’s really important. And with that, I’ll turn that over to Charlie.

Mara

And so really quick, I would say as well, Jay, that we want in that initial onboarding period, make sure that your new team members, make sure that they know all the software, give them a list of usernames and passwords that come with their particular position, front desk position and their usernames and passwords. It’s going to be different for example, than social media.

Make sure you’re training them on the software and every piece of the software that they need have vendors train them on that initial software as well. So, spend that week going through that with them. I even encourage new team members to sit in on treatments from every different provider with the patients. Okay, of course if that’s Okay. But we want to make sure you have them look, what does, and I’m not particular to any brand, but hydro facial or diamond glow right? Let them let them look as the machine sucks up the gunk right? Let them look at the jar when you’re all done. Let them watch your injector mix the neurotoxin and explain this is why I mix it not because they’re ever going to do it.

But this way it gives them: what does that look like? Let them watch and explain that they are new to the practice, and we really want them to get the full patient experience. I truly encourage make sure that your new team member knows that any questions asked about the procedure itself should not be asked in front of the patient.

It should be asked after both the team members walk out the door out of that treatment room but give them the opportunity. Have them sit in on those all team staff meetings and even make sure, as silly as it sounds, that there is someone assigned to go to lunch with them and have lunch with them for that first week because they’re going to have a lot of questions and make sure that that gives them that downtime.

Have someone give them a tour of the office. Don’t just let them figure out where you store the pens and pencils and the toilet paper because otherwise, you’re going to be three months in, they’re going to have to change toilet paper and they’re not going to know where it is as silly as it sounds.

Jay

Mara, when you talk about the training of the website, their own website, that staff know exactly.

Mara

We always say that they don’t need to know how to make changes on the back end of the website if that’s not part of their position. But even within our own team, we unpack this part of our teams onboarding. We make sure every Shorr Solutions team member spends time going through every single page of the Solutions website and every single page of every one of our client’s websites.

Sometimes they have feedback, sometimes it’s just an FYI. We’re just really wanting to make sure have them do several mystery calls for your competitors. And so, give them an idea of how other people answer the phone. Have them listen for opportunities for improvement with your own team member. If you record your phone calls, have that new team member listen to some previous phone calls that you flagged as these are amazing phone calls where customer service is really strong, and these are some opportunities for improvements.

So within that first week or two, those are some of the onboarding items that your team should be focused on. But once we get past that so often it’s this “said it and forget it” mindset that we hear from practices and people get these very complacent. They get then it’s just laissez faire.

Mara

So, Charlie, can you talk about how to use data to continue training? What data should they be looking for to determine what sort of training is needed and how often should the data be viewed in order to dictate what type of training and how off to the training?

Charlie

Sure. Yeah. And the comment on the initial training specific to lead response, the phrase that I think in my head is KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. I love the all encompassing experiences that you described. We totally should do that because they’re going to feel more comfortable as a part of a team, as a part of the team as well.

But the people that handle calls with new patients and leaders should clearly know that their job in that job function is to help people schedule. They should be thinking about that. Of course, patient experience, a customer service mindset like that is the goal. So, when you’re doing ongoing training, if you’ve established what I just said from the very beginning, it makes it so much easier to continue to come back to that concept that is so straightforward but easy to forget that they are answering the phone with new patients to try and help them schedule. That’s the reason why we’re answering the phone. In terms of the data, if you don’t record calls, I highly recommend doing that. It’s hard to go through all the call recordings, but at least you can get some sense of what’s going on. The air that I talked about, beginning with our system, is we actually analyze 100% of your call recordings to tell you everything that’s going on. So, it is sort of a much faster way to get the insights but as much as possible, you want to understand how many new patient leads are reaching out, what the conversion rate is. So, you already have, like we said, before, the number of patients who are scheduling, you want to know the number that isn’t scheduling. And if you can get that on an individual staff performance, basis, that’s huge because then you can understand, all right, this person has X percentage conversion rate. This person 20% lower. Now, their response isn’t to go to that person and go, what the heck are you doing? It’s to dig in.

Jay

Or not doing.

Charlie

Or not doing, right? It’s to dig into the why. So, if you’ve got call recordings, then you can get a sense of what is actually happening in the conversation and the nature of what that training should be taking everything back to the basics of what is your job? Your job is to help these people schedule. And then when you have recordings you can have very specific examples of situations where they weren’t focused on helping people schedule and something else happened and then you can give them very specific direction of what to change. If you don’t do that, then the training is going to come at them, like, be nice to people and do better. Not actionable at all, right? So, you’re going to have a conversation with them and then you’re going to have the same conversation with them next time, the next time, the next time. So, it’s got to be data driven as much as possible.

In that way, that’s specific to the individual and their conversion rate. And then finding the reasons why people that are struggling or having a lower level of performance in terms of frequency, so in practice is do it every week. Some do it twice a month. I think you really want to try to be on top of this in some meeting a couple of times a month. A month is a little bit too infrequent, but you don’t need to do it every single day, right? You don’t want your staff to feel like you’re a big brother hovering over their shoulders on a daily basis. Give them a week or two to go implement something that you talked about and then have a structured standardized, you know, check in with your team as a whole and individual staff members, at least on a bi monthly or twice a monthly basis so that they have consistency that Jay mentioned earlier. And as long as that message is coming back to the same thing, speed, would you say, speaking out of the same hymn book? I love that. Got to have a common language around what are we trying to do, and if that’s continually preached, it’s going to make its way into the bloodstream. And in that way, when new staff come in, you can also be really confident that when they talk to your existing team and they hear them, they’re going to see and hear the stuff that you’re preaching. And that’s when it becomes really easy. It’s like a self-sustaining organism of how you’re supposed to handle those calls.

Mara

We get the question a lot when it comes to your recording calls. Charlie, you would even hit it there when it comes to Big Brother and so practice saying, number one, if I’m recording calls or my staff feels like I’m checking up on them and, is that legal? So, you can certainly record calls. We have all heard, “This call may be monitored for quality assurance.” So that is a thing it does that needs to be turned on and let your team know we’re recording calls so that we can all do better. I actually always encourage the team members to listen to their own calls as well so that it’s not a matter of I listen to the calls and I’m going to tell you what you did wrong because that can come off as Big Brother. It can come off as just that. It just doesn’t give a good feeling for how they can improve on their own. Not that we’re about feelings, but the better approach is let’s listen to some of these calls together. I always say, have your team listen to three to five calls that they did per week and ask them what are their opportunities for improvement and what do they think that they have already improved on.

So those are some workarounds to that. But those recordings, letting them see the data themselves. Again, let them see what is that you’re seeing there are no secrets here.

Mara

So, the other question, Jay, is that we got from a great colleague of ours. So, Kathy, we are going to ask your question when onboarding new staff, what kind of pay should you pay them? Regular pay or less because they are training and not necessarily working on their own, we get this question a lot and there are a couple of different theories here. We truly recommend staggering and so really because you’re right, they are not totally autonomous in from day one. However, they are still a professional coming to you with that skill set. We know it’s going to take a bit to get them up to snuff. So, Jay, you and one of our other success managers really work on the pay component when it comes to hiring and the negotiations of that. Can you speak to one of the ways you have found to be mutually beneficial when it comes to staggering pay of a new team member?

Jay

Depending upon the position because you contractually usually will not do this with a position under contract and contract, I mean, like a doctor. Many people interchange that word contract. I refer to it as an offer letter because at will, certain states if you have a contract, you may be legally obligated to for four. So, you don’t violate the terms in the agreement of a breach of contract.

Usually, a contract has specific dates in mind. It’s a year annual agreement or a two year. And if you violate that contract or that other provisions in the agreement you could be sued for a breach of that agreement. However, if you have an offer letter, all the offer letter does is state terms and conditions of your agreement to employment with the benefits and the job description.

If you put that in there and holidays and PTO and all the other things with pay, I usually stagger so if it’s by the hour, I’m just going to throw out a number of $20 because everyone understands $20.

Mara

The round number, it’s easy.

Jay

All right, so if somebody might want 25 and I might say I’ll offer you 20 and in three months I’ll bring you to $22.50 and in six months you’ll be at 25 now what did that do in the first 90 days? And I want to caution everybody to not use the word probationary period any longer because it has been disputed with the Department of Labor. A person can be on probation when they first start. All right? I call it the training period and because we’re at will, we can let that person go at any time and not necessarily have to increase them to 20 to 50 or 25 or 20, 21, 22, depending upon when you post an ad for a position. I caution everybody about this. Don’t post a range, you post a range between $20 and $25 an hour commensurate upon experience.

Do you know what the person reading that advertisement sees? 25. They never saw 20. It’s always the high number. So therefore, if you want to stagger that while you’re in training, you are acknowledge that. However, if you’re going to pay compensation for revenue production from the very beginning, they can always make production revenue and not necessarily you don’t stagger that.

That’s a constant look. You can always increase from 20 to 25 at three months, but when you put it in writing and they offer a letter, they already know what it’s going to be 20, 20 to 50, 25 or 20, 2122. You can always bring them up to the max whenever you want if they’re a great employee. All right, but you can’t lower it. All right? And I always said, well, what happens if the person, you know, just doesn’t cut it to that higher rate? I hire slow and terminate quick, you know, I don’t keep you for just doing your job. You know, I pay you to do your job. It’s those people they’re going to help me to get ahead in my business.

All right? I don’t need to look for trouble. Trouble knows where I live. So therefore, I want you to help to accelerate my profits. All right? From the very beginning. Look, bring in the revenue. I have to worry about profitability by cutting costs. It’s usually not a direct or first impression it’s not the patient care coordinator to reduce expenses in my business.

All right? It’s up to the doctors. It’s up to the other people in the business to reduce expenses. So, all I want you to do is help me bring in the revenue. I’ll worry about everything else. All right? So long and short of it. So, there’s nowhere to go if you give them their top money right away. This way, if you stagger it over six months and you don’t want to give them a raise for another year, their expectation isn’t going to be for another year, but if you give them that number right up front, they’re going to tell you how they’ve checked around and the societies and the other practices and, well, how much money they’re paying and they’re going to leave you.

Mara

And with that, I am going to begin to close out because in case all of you cannot tell, we honestly could talk about this all day long. The three of us have talked about all these things for quite some time. So, with that thank you so much to both Jay and Charlie and all of you that are listening and watching for joining us on another episode of Shorr Solutions: The Webinar/ Shorr Solutions: The Podcast, because this will be going up onto our podcast as well.

For anybody that does want to contact us after, we are always available to answer questions. I have our information here up on the screen. And for those of you that are listening to the podcast, it will be in the show notes. So please go ahead, feel free to contact us whether you are looking to connect with the fine folks over at Liine, and that would be my good friend Charlie or if you are looking to connect with your all-time favorite father-daughter team and the rest of our team as well, that would be Jay and I.

So, thank you all again for joining us for another episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast/ Shorr Solutions: The Webinar, Optimizing Staff Performance: How to Hire Train and Manage Your Team Strategically, and strategically being the key part. Thank you everybody for joining us today and have a wonderful rest of your day.

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