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Can machine learning improve customer service?

How To Apply Deep Learning To Improve Customer Service

How much can we expect a machine to learn from a human?

Is it realistic to believe a machine is capable of adopting human communication, actions, and responses to the point of replicating human behavior?

It’s not crazy to think entire businesses may eventually be automated and able to adapt to market changes based on how well machines can learn from their human instructors.

How To Apply Deep LearningThink about the last time you called your cell phone carrier or Internet service provider to talk about your service. You probably had to use an automated voice answering system before you eventually spoke to a human. Many automated answering systems aren’t very intuitive. In fact, you probably have more than a few memories of yelling into the phone or speaking like a robot before you either finally reached the person you wanted to or hung up in frustration.

A recent Forrester Research study shows almost 80 percent of U.S. adults choose “valuing a customer’s time” as the most important sign of good customer service. It’s hard to feel like your time is being valued if you’re becoming more frustrated with every attempt. For every misroute or repeated voice command the customer experiences, each instance can erode a caller’s trust in your company’s service.

What is Machine Learning, or Deep Learning?

So, what exactly is machine learning? Global management and consulting firm McKinsey & Company has an excellent definition of machine learning:

“Machine learning is based on algorithms that can learn from data without relying on rules-based programming.”

Instead of being programmed to do a certain task, computers can be fed a series of information. The systems will detect whatever data is entered and will match the new data with the data set already in its memory. For instance, rather than teaching a computer how to draw a dog, programmers can load millions of pictures of dogs into the computer’s database so it will recognize any dog or sketch that resembles a dog.

So, why is this important?

Machine learning builds mathematical and logical algorithms inside a computer’s processing system. This allows the computer to learn, adapt, and respond based on the information it receives.

You may wonder, “Is machine learning really that important?” It is if you can use machines to enhance your client’s care and provide admin support for more mundane tasks, like resetting passwords, collecting contact information, such as email addresses and phone numbers, and even provide sales support. Having a reliable machine-learning system in place frees up live customer service agents to handle more complex conversations with customers or revenue-generating activities, like closing a sale. With 75 percent of people preferring to solve a tech problem on their own, the value of having an automated system that learns what people truly need in the moment is priceless.

This is only made possible if the machine-learning experience is efficient, nimble, and most importantly, hyper-accurate. A Harvard Business Review study article states that businesses incorporating machine-learning processes and systems into their everyday operations are experiencing both top line and bottom line performance increases. Study author H. James Wilson wrote, “Powerful machine-learning algorithms that adapt through experience and evolve in intelligence with exposure to data are driving changes in businesses that would have been impossible to imagine just five years ago.”

Machine Learning Helps Businesses Handle High Volumes of Clients

Machine learning allows businesses to engage with a high volume of clients on a daily basis. Each interaction creates its own set of data specific to both the client and the customer service process itself. Machine-learning systems can curate the data collected from each interaction and adjust the algorithms for even better accuracy. Now, does continual training of a computer lead to ongoing costs? Yes, but think of how much time is already being invested in a customer service personnel base that experiences high turnover, low expectations, and a stigma of being one of the least fulfilling jobs in almost every industry.

Imagine if a customer service machine-learning process can also use predictive analytics to suggest a repeated issue that the caller may be calling about again. Imagine if a customer starts a phone call with Tech Support and receives a personalized response based on what the system already knows about their previous interactions. How do you think the customer will feel about the company? It’s a faster, more accurate, and friendlier process that no longer feels cold and uninformed. Integrating a Natural Language Processing (NLP) system may even make the customer service experience one of the easiest ways for a customer to feel appreciated and heard by your company.

As with many tech sectors, machine-learning startups are the ones with the freedom to explore some of the newer frontiers. Google spends billions of dollars acquiring fledgling startups, some of which turn into headline-snatching mistakes, like acquiring Nest’s smart home technology valued at $3.2 billion but riddled with bugs. Of course, many of Google’s acquisitions are massive successes. Is acquiring scores of wild-card startups expensive and unpredictable? Yes, but in the case of Google, money is never the issue and when they hit paydirt, the windfall may be historic. One of the biggest winning acquisitions made by Google is their $500 million purchase of DeepMind, a London-based artificial intelligence startup whose acquisition signaled the beginning of AI as a major tech sector.

DeepMind has already helped Google with energy efficiency. Google operates data centers around the world and put DeepMind’s data and machine learning capabilities to use improving power usage efficiency, or PUE as it’s also called, in all its data centers. DeepMind adjusted the computer usage patterns and reduced Google’s power usage by several percentage points. That may not sound like a lot, but think about this: Google used 4,402,836 MWh of electricity in 2014, roughly the same amount of energy used by 366,903 U.S. family homes in one year. Reducing power usage by one percent every year will translate to hundreds of millions of dollars saved in energy costs… and all because a machine learned how to use data to make changes. Using DeepMind to save energy costs will pay for the acquisition of DeepMind, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In fact, Google had probably some of the most efficient structures in place for its data centers, and DeepMind still improved on their design. In spite of excellent over-all efficiency, Google had inefficient cooling systems in place before integrating DeepMind’s AI learning. Imagine how much energy, time, and most importantly, money could be recouped or saved by implementing machine learning for everyday processes. Retail giant Amazon is also experimenting with machine learning for fraud detection, website marketplace optimization, and even packaging and shipping processes. Simply restructuring a conveyer belt by a matter of feet could save Amazon tens of thousands of dollars every year in wasted energy.

Microsoft is rumored to be building a machine learning tool suite called Open Mind Studio. The intent is to integrate Microsoft’s machine-learning technology across its product spectrum, including Outlook, Skype, HoloLens, and search engine Bing. At the core of Microsoft’s machine-learning efforts is its Cortana Intelligence Suite combined with its Azure Machine Learning Studio that can be used by businesses and developers for creating, testing, and integrating predictive analytics with user data. The more tech leaders expand the reach of machine learning, the greater the potential for businesses to enjoy the possibilities.

Over a dozen European banks have replaced their outdated statistical-modeling systems with machine learning. The results are eye-opening in some instances:

  • 10 percent increase in new product sales.
  • 20 percent saving in capital expenditures.
  • 20 percent increase in cash collections.
  • And, 20 percent decline in churn.

Part of the machine learning systems initiated by the banks are microtargeted models that can accurately predict which patrons will default on bank loans or cancel service with a built-in intervention process. Machines are now helping save humans from their own spending habits by predicting failure and intervening before it becomes a reality.

This article is an excerpt from NEO founder Jesse Morris’ new book Data and the World of Today: The Reality of Today that will Impact your Business Tomorrow. Purchase your copy via Amazon.com.

What Is Data Warehousing and Why It Matters

What Is Data Warehousing
Let’s say your company wanted to collect and store all the data generated by customer activity and everyday business operations. Where would you store your data? You probably want to store it on a computer in one of your offices. On-site data storage is fairly secure… but is on-site data storage up for the task?

Think of all the big data that could be collected by your company: transaction details, call information, customer service details, purchase orders, shipping information, CRM task management, and the list goes on and on. The sheer volume of data generated by a business with a seven-figure annual revenue is more than a single computer can store on site. If you’re wanting to collect and store data for your business, I recommend looking at data warehousing.

 

Data Warehousing Basics

Data warehousing (DW or DWH for short) is “a technology that aggregates structured data from one or more sources so that it can be compared and analyzed for greater business intelligence.” It’s worth clarifying that data warehousing is not intended for immediate data recall, like a standard operational database.

Data warehouses are designed to collect and store massive amounts of data for long-term structure and access. Think of data warehousing like renting a storage unit at Public Storage or SmartStop. You probably don’t have your storage unit as organized as you like, but it’s safe, secure, and there when you need to pull out something valuable.

Data warehousing essentially gives your business all the storage space it needs to aggregate data from any relevant source. Why does this matter? Is data warehousing that important to your business? It may not seem like a mountain of unsorted data is important now, but I promise, you will be thankful for your stored data in the coming years.

What Does Data Warehousing Allow Your Business To Do?

The best decisions in business are based on empirical evidence, such as data contained in client surveys, purchase trends, year-to-date cash flow markers, and more. Data warehousing gives your company the necessary fuel to feed a data aggregator, such as a CRM algorithm, to identify money-saving or sales-generating trends in the future. Want to know what’s your most profitable week of business each year over the past ten years? Transaction and customer activity recorded and stored in your data warehouse can give you unprecedented insight to start answering that question.

Businesses are just starting to scratch the surface of data’s reach and potential. At the heart of implementing stored data is business intelligence. CIO defines business intelligence as the following:

Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. BI as a discipline is made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting.”

Business intelligence is empowering businesses with exact insight to ignite intentional growth into the future. When future economic trends start affecting entire industries, businesses who leverage their stored data for business action will have an immediate competitive advantage. What does this mean for your business?

Imagine having the ability to mine any volume of data for lost transactions. You could also extract any criteria of business activity to capitalize on new opportunities. What if your business could open up a new market sector just by using previously stored data? The right amount of data can also give you a reliable 360-degree perspective of your business and all personnel making an impact on your success.

Data integration allows you to build complete profiles for hyper-accurate marketing campaigns. Reducing ad waste will allow your sales and marketing personnel to start with optimal marketing-qualified leads. This means you’re not spending time talking with people who are not good fits for your company’s buyer profile. Better leads means a higher likelihood of maximizing sales from the first conversation.

Business intelligence curated from stored data in your data warehouse allows your company to understand how and where your staff spends their time. How often does a certain client call each month? How many emails does it take for the average prospect to convert their interest into confirmed sales? The ability to know how much each client (and each of your team members) is costing you provides clear-cut data to make the best business decision. Wouldn’t you rather know which team members are pulling their weight and which are not?

Data Ready To Use

All of these benefits are possible simply because you have the data at your disposal. No data warehouse, no opportunity to leverage data to increase dollars. If your business is not using data to make intelligent, concrete decisions, you will be left assuming what you’re doing is working well enough.

NEO can consolidate, integrate, and organize your enterprise’s data in a meaningful way with custom database warehousing and architecture solutions. Database architecture solutions mean we can build the right data warehouse for you with the right criteria to tag the appropriate data as it comes into storage. We work with a variety of data solutions, such as: SQL, MySQL, noSQL NEO4J, Big Data Solutions (example: Hadoop), and more.

We work with you and your team to help you know how to access your data from your system. If sorting through an entire data warehouse sounds daunting, we also have self-service business intelligence (BI) solutions to give you a simpler way to search your data.

The first step is starting a conversation about data collection and storage. We help you answer big questions, such as the following and more:

  • “How much data do I need to store for my business?”
  • “How frequently do I need to access my data warehouse?”
  • “How secure is my business data warehouse?”

Click here to schedule your initial consultation with our NEO team. We are a Denver business intelligence firm built to help your business build a profitable relationship with data. We can help you collect data intentionally to power intelligent business growth.

Artificial Intelligence Is Literally Changing Lives

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Artificial Intelligence: I know I mention this as a topic and your thought immediately goes to the movie Terminator: droids that are built to look, act, and sound like humans who are intent on taking over the world. Don’t worry, droids taking over the world probably won’t happen any time soon.

What is closer than we might realize is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into our everyday world.

How Artificial Intelligence Will Change The FutureThe concept has been growing for years, but it’s never been closer to reality than today. Artificial Intelligence is finally living up to its potential. It’d be helpful to know what we’re talking about when it comes to Artificial Intelligence.

As silly as it may sound, ‘artificial’ may not be as clearly understood as it seems, and also, ‘intelligence’ may have different levels of expectation from each of us. The human brain as the home of natural intelligence is, of course, the birthplace of artificial intelligence. The human brain experiences a cacophony of electrical activity that translates into motor movement, spoken and nonverbal communication, situational processing, and at the very basic level, our ‘fight or flight’ response.

A Story of a Monkey and AI Changing Lives

Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, Professor of Neuroscience at Duke University (Durham, NC), became fascinated with ‘brain storms’: electrical activity caused by neurons firing between the more than 100 million cells in the human brain. Dr. Nicolelis’ research recorded this neural activity and decoded the neurons as a sort of alphabet to communicate with extensions and devices outside the body.

Dr. Nicolelis and his team developed a Brain Machine Interface from 2000 to 2001 with a multi-channel sensor system to receive the electrical communication from the brain. The receptor system then processed the electrical signals as part of real-time analysis of brain activity. The sensors are designed to specifically look for any signals that are connected to motor movement: raising an arm, shifting a foot, flexing fingers, or even standing up from a seated position.

Any motor movement information was then sent through a telemetry processor to a 3D artificial limb, such as a robotic arm. But the question remained, how well did the translation of the motor movement work, from the brain’s electrical impulse to the robotic arm? Dr. Nicolelis’ team started experimenting with a rhesus monkey named Aurora in early 2003. The research team monitored and recorded Aurora’s brain activity while playing a simple computer game with a joystick. If Aurora completed a basic challenge in the game, she received an automated drip of Brazilian orange juice as her reward.

Aurora’s ‘brain storms’ were uploaded to a robotic arm using the Brain Machine Interface so the computer and a robotic arm could begin learning Aurora’s impulse and motions to play the same game. When Dr. Nicolelis’ research team switched to the Brain Machine Interface after thirty days, Aurora was able to simply think of the direction to move the sensor in the computer game and the robotic arm responded based on her brain activity.

Two Monkeys Changing The World

In a similar situation, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University experimented with two macaques monkeys in using robotic arms to eventually establish brain control over an artificial appendage. The scientists identified 100 motor neurons that a computer analyzed in their electrical activity and translated the neural activity into an electronic command to move the robotic arm. The arms were mounted flush with the macaques’ left shoulders and the computer initially helped the monkeys move the robotic arm to help establish motion control.

As the monkeys learned to adopt the movements, the research team noticed an adaptation of movement that could not be anticipated in virtual environments. The testing results show the brain’s amazing ability to adopt, adjust, and use a prosthetic appendage based solely on the brain’s motor activity fired in a specific area of the cortex. Dr. John F. Kalaska, neuroscientist at the University of Montreal, after seeing the macaques’ progress, noted that, “[Brain-activated prosthetic limb adoption] would allow patients with severe motor deficits to interact and communicate with the world not only by the moment-to-moment control of the motion of robotic devices, but also in a more natural and intuitive manner that reflects their overall goals, needs and preferences.”

So, if the brain is capable of creating the right type of data to control a prosthetic limb, could the brain control more than one prosthetic limb at a time? Dr. Nicolelis and his research team posed that same question while continuing to study Aurora’s ‘brain storms’. The difference is that Aurora was controlling a single robotic arm over 7,000 miles away at Kyoto University in the Kyoto Prefecture of Japan. The control signal between Aurora’s brain and the robotic arm at Kyoto University was registered at 20 milliseconds faster than the brain signal between her brain and other muscles in her body.

The Duke University research team added a second monkey to their experiment… and a second robotic arm for both monkeys. Implants in the monkeys’ brains tracked and translated between 374 to 497 motor-controlling neurons to send the appropriate signal to the robotic arms. The two rhesus monkeys have successfully controlled both arms at the same time using a new and improved bimanual brain-interface machine. The results are promising because, of course, the ultimate goal isn’t just to allow perfectly functional monkeys to control robotic arms. The hope is to empower paraplegics and amputees with the brain-controlled capabilities to enjoy life without limits.

What Does This Mean For Humans?

To put this simply, this research proves that our brain has the ability to form new pathways. How does this translate into our daily lives? It means that while you are working there is the potential for your brain to be controlling a robot at home cleaning your house. It takes the concept of multitasking to a whole new level.

Think about the possible implications!

But, how can artificial intelligence be applied for quadriplegics? What if no neural activity is registering any motor control inside a human body? The same advances in brain-machine interface technology are now allowing monkeys to control a robotic wheelchair simply by thinking. Dr. Nicolelis and his team monitored the brain activity of two rhesus monkeys that were trained to maneuver a wheelchair just by watching it move. The monkeys transitioned to using their brains’ neuron signals to navigate a two-meter path across the room to retrieve grapes from a dispenser. The experiment required careful insertion of intracranial implants to register the monkeys’ neural activity for far superior motor control of the wheelchair.

The data received from monitoring the two monkeys’ brain activity while telematically controlling the wheelchair is the same type of data that may be used in the future to improve the livelihood of severely disabled people. People suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s, or any number of motor neuron diseases, now have hope of controlling their livelihood. Dr. Nicolelis and his team have now started implementing the discoveries and data tracking capabilities of their brain-machine interfaces into human experimentation.

This article is an excerpt from NEO founder Jesse Morris’ new book Data and the World of Today: The Reality of Today that will Impact your Business Tomorrow. Purchase your copy via Amazon.com.

 

Denver CO Business Intelligence Company Never Ever Ordinary

Shake Up Your Business With Data Analytics

Denver CO Business Intelligence Company Never Ever OrdinaryBusiness today doesn’t look like it did for our grandparents, or even our parents.  In fact, technology is changing so much and at a staggering speed that we can’t keep up easily!  In fact, 90% of the world’s data historically has been created in the last two years!  That’s a lot of data being created and therefore a lot of data that a business needs to put to use.

Just because business looks different, and just because data feels daunting at times, this doesn’t mean that businesses should ignore it.  In fact, a few basic measures can get a business tracking, analyzing, and measuring data in a way that makes their business work more efficiently and effectively.

Big Data For Big Results:  Denver CO Business Intelligence Company Weighs In

• Baseline Metrics – Know where you started from to measure growth

• Key Performance Indicators – Put a measurable standard to the things you find most valuable.

• Demographic Understanding – Know your customers.  We mean really KNOW.   And, not just with an emotional hunch, but know something and back it up with the numbers.

• Business Opportunities – See clearly and easily where your business is falling short, so that you can know where to focus your efforts.

• Measure What-If Scenarios – Understand the implications of a decision before you make it.

• Understand Market & Industry Trends – The data will tell you what is going on and what you can expect.

• Predictive Analytics – Make educated predictions of what will happen in the future, based on hard facts of what is happening now!

• Competitive Intel – Get a leg up on your competition.

• Real-Time Knowledge – Base your business and marketing decisions on things happening right now in your business, not data that is months or years old.

& More…

The reality is that data analytics are constantly opening new doors and opportunities of how we can use data to propel our businesses forward.  The best part is that the technology and development needed to collect and analyze data is now more affordable than ever before for mid and small size businesses.  It is not out of the question for any size business to be using data analytics and business intelligence to grow their business.

Never Ever Ordinary is a business intelligence and data analytics company based in Denver, Colorado, but serving clients all over the country and even some internationally.  If you want to learn more about how to use data to grow your business, we’d love to talk to you.

10 Reasons Why You Need a CRM

Why You Need a CRM

As a successful business owner, you wear a lot of hats and have to manage many aspects of your business.  Sometimes it feels like A LOT!  Sometimes you just need some help keeping everything straight.  That’s where a CRM comes into play.  A CRM is really an essential tool for a savvy business in today’s digital world.

Here are 10 Reasons Why You NEED A CRM Today:

  1. Why You Need a CRM | Energize CRMOrganization.  Do find yourself making endless lists of to-do’s or reminders?  Or, maybe you email yourself ideas constantly?  Do you have piles of business cards scattered throughout your office?  A CRM is the solution to consolidate all of your tasks, contacts, and notes in one central place.  You’ll sleep better at night, knowing that your business is organized!
  2. Central Spot For Communication.  A CRM allows you and your team to combine all of your communication on one particular client or project in one spot.  Texts, emails, phone call transcripts, notes, and more can all be synced and stored together under one umbrella.
  3. Improve Memory.  You no longer have to memorize all of the details about every prospect, client, or business contact.  Store notes on each person and project within your CRM to pull up prior to meetings and refresh yourself on the client.
  4. Manage Sales Teams.  CRM’s allow you to easily see where customers are in the sales process, as well as allow sales team members to communicate seamlessly on customers.  The amount of communication can drop significantly because the team can easily see what’s going on.
  5. Nurture Client Relationships.  Remember milestones, birthdays, and anniversaries of your clients easily with the help of a CRM.  Send automatic communication with the client to gather information, thank them for submitting various items, or send notes for holidays easily.  A little bit of set up at the beginning allows you to let it run and do the work for you with these simple tasks.
  6. Manage Tasks.  CRM’s allow you to see at a glance the outstanding tasks, major deadlines, and big picture perspectives on what’s happening in your business.  Rather than feeling like you’ve got emails in one spot, notes in another, voicemails, and other documents in various places, you can know in one simple glance what’s happening with your customers and clients.
  7. Learn About Your Business & Sales Cycles.  One of the best things that a CRM can do for you is give you valuable insights into your business and sales’ cycles.  You can track key metrics to know for a fact things like close ratios, revenue, project completion rates, and more.  The possibilities are endless!  You become a smarter business owner when you know hard-facts about your business’ performance.
  8. Gather Data.  Data is the way of the future, and the fact of the matter is that businesses that aren’t utilizing data WILL be left behind in the coming years.  However, most small and mid-size businesses don’t gather data and simply don’t know where to start.  CRM’s help you gather the core data that you can start to use down the road.  Don’t know where to start?  A customized CRM could help you gather the unique data for your specific business!  And, they’re not out of range for a smaller business!
  9. Predict The Future.  Once you start to gather data on your business, you can start to measure trends.  CRM’s provide you valuable reports to help you view trends and be able to predict customer and staff behaviors.
  10. Grow Intelligently.  Any business that wants to grow in a smart way, needs to be using data.  Rather than guessing at what will work, you can KNOW that the decisions you’re making are good ones because they are based on facts, not just feelings.  CRM’s help you view and understand your business in a way that allows you to grow and scale efficiently and effectively, all supported by data!

Never Ever Ordinary has developed the best solution for growing businesses that need a CRM.  Energize CRM is completely customizable and can scale with any size business.  It’s attainable, yet versatile enough to scale and customize for a large enterprise.  We want businesses to be using data to their advantage, but for many, that means simply starting to gather data.  Energize CRM is the way to do just that!

If you want to find out more on how Energize CRM could benefit you or your business, talk to our team today!

What Does Business Intelligence Mean For Businesses? | Business Intelligence Firm, Denver CO

Business Intelligence Firm, Denver COYou may not realize it now, but you will…and soon.  Business intelligence is going to be a crucial thing for businesses within the next five years.  The reality is that business intelligence is already vital for businesses, but as with most things, businesses haven’t caught on.  We’re seeing this already locally, Business Intelligence in Denver CO is vital for the growing number of startups and tech-based businesses that are popping up.  The competition is fierce and there is no room for failure.

If you want to stay competitive, your business simply MUST be employing business intelligence and data analytics in your planning strategy.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is a broad term that applies to the software applications used to analyze raw data, data mining, analytical processing, querying and reporting.  There are immense amounts of data available today, and a business that can organize that data in a meaningful way can leverage their business above the competition.

Why Is Business Intelligence Important for Denver Businesses?

Denver is a prime example of why businesses need business intelligence and data powering their business.  Denver has been ranked as a top spot for entrepreneurs and startups by publications like Kiplingers, Nerdwallet, CNBC, and more.  The tech startup scene is alive and thriving.  New ideas are thriving and being promoted left and right.

With all of this new business and great energy, there are huge opportunities to start a business off right.  Data can help inform if an idea has viability and a future.  Data can also help a startup track and measure their growth. The best part is that these newer businesses can start from day #1 and have a comprehensive business approach with data. This is something most businesses cannot say because data was an afterthought and implemented later on in the business.

Data Is Not Just For Denver.

We’re based here in Denver and provide business intelligence solutions for businesses in Denver, so we have a keen vantage point to see the fun energy here.  But, we work with businesses all over the country, and even internationally.  The reality is that ALL businesses need a data plan, and if you don’t realize it and start now, your business WILL be left behind within a few years.

Could A Positive Attitude Save Your Practice?

Cultivating Positivity In Your Team | Business Intelligence For Private Practice

NEO positivity - Business Intelligence For Private PracticeA positive attitude is perhaps the best thing you can cultivate within your practice to not only improve your office’s atmosphere, but create a stellar patient experience every single time.  However, positivity is not something that will happen automatically, nor will it happen overnight.

How do you cultivate positivity into your practice?

  1. Start Off Positive.  Start your day by writing down five things you are grateful for.  It may be the same five things each day, or you can change it each day.  The point here is that you are taking time to mentally think through the things that you are thankful for.  Slowing down and being mindful of these things is so important, especially in our fast-paced lives.
  2. Express Gratitude To Others.  Find ways to thank others and verbalize gratitude to them.  Make it a point to thank people in your life for the little and big things they do.  Your patients will notice that you are grateful and respectful to your staff, and they will respect you more for it.
  3. Look For Silver Linings.  One of our favorite movies is Silver Linings Playbook and from that movie, we’ve adopted the habit of looking for silver linings in all situations.  Yes, bad situations and bad days happen, but there is always something good you can find.  There’s always something you can learn from bad days.
  4. View Difficulties As An Opportunity.  You have a great team behind you, and when you face difficulties, include the insight of your team as an opportunity to solve a problem.  That problem doesn’t have to always be a problem, and by seeing what you can learn from it the first time around, you can avoid these challenges in the future.
  5. Take Ten Minutes For Mindfulness.  Finding space in your day to be mindful of your emotions, be thankful, and recognize what is happening in the day is a great way to reset yourself.  We live in very busy lives, and most practices run at very fast paces.  Breaks are important and can be vital to helping you maintain a positive outlook on life.

Positivity Starts With You.

As the practice owner, you set the tone for the entire practice.  You need to project the positivity that you want to be prominent in your team.  Your team will follow your lead, and your patients will follow your team’s lead.  If you’re reading this and you’re not the team leader in your group, know that positivity starts with you too.  You can become a leader simply by projecting positivity into your environment.  Ultimately, no one can make positivity happen in your life for you; YOU have to choose to make it a priority in your life.

Cultivating positivity is so important within your practice, but these tips are applicable in any aspect of your life.  You can cultivate positivity in your friendships, your home, your marriage, or even just your interaction with the next store clerk you encounter.  Positivity can do wonders.  We’ve seen it turn practices around from failing to excelling beyond all belief.

 

Learn more about Never Ever Ordinary and our practice and dental analytics services and tools!

The Best Ways To Improve The Patient Experience

Grow Your Practice By Improving The Patient Experience

Successful practices know that the patient experience is not just an important focus, it is THE main focus.  That stellar patient experience starts and ends with your team.  As you focus on improving the patient experience, there are a number of things to think about.  We recommend starting with one or two tactics and then build on from there.

Top Tactics For Improving The Patient Experience:

  1. Improving The Patient Experience | Never Ever Ordinary Jesse Morris Business IntelligenceThe Power Of A Name.  Using someone’s name is a simple thing, but is actually a really BIG thing.  By using someone’s name in a sentence, you validate their worth and let them know that you care about who they are.
  2. Remember Details.  Remembering details about a patient and then recollecting those details at later visits will blow your patients minds!  For example, if you have a patient who loves fly fishing, you can ask them if they’ve been on any recent fishing trips.  By doing so, you signal to the patient that you care about them, and not just the fact that they are filling an appointment slot.
  3. Body Language.  Pay attention to your body language to see if you are closing people off, or welcoming them into interaction with you.  Crossed arms, indirect eye contact, and turned away shoulders are all signs that you don’t care about engaging with the patient.  Conversely, direct eye contact and body positioning to the patient tell your patient that you care about them.  Especially for dental and medical teams, remember that often positions that patients have to be in for exams is not comfortable.  Go the extra step, literally, and move to look at your patient, instead of down from behind.
  4. Active Listening.  Active listening, instead of passive listening, means that you are directly engaged with what the patient is saying.  Repeat back the patient’s questions or confirmations that you have heard what they are saying.  For example, if a patient is telling you about their family trip to Alaska, you could respond with a phrase that starts off with “While you were in Alaska, did you see…” or ask the patient about the most memorable part of their trip to Alaska.
  5. Speak in short, simple sentences…and then shut up.  Speak clearly to your patients when you are explaining procedures and then allow the patient to process the information you gave them.  Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence.  You risk bringing up concerns the patient didn’t have originally, or overcomplicating the explanation by rambling on and on.
  6. Do What You Say You’re Going To Do.  It’s simple really, but this is often the biggest reason that patients are disappointed.  If you say that you will do something, simply do it.
  7. Cultivate Positivity.  A positive attitude can go a long way in improving the patient experience.  If you and your team are committed to excellence and positivity, your patient experience will improve now and continue to improve over time.

Every practice can benefit from taking a few minutes to look at their own patient experience.  Whether you have a little to work on, or a lot to work on, it is worth taking the time to improve the patient experience.  A little effort to improve your patient satisfaction could be the key to growing and improving your practice!

 

Other Resources For Improving The Patient Experience:

The Beryl Institute

Improve the Patient Experience – Forbes