It’s not difficult to exceed your patients’ expectations when they are down in the treatment rooms.
After all, they’re feeling as though they are in a place that they absolutely do not want to be in.
Most patients visiting a Dental Office would rather be somewhere else.
So small deliberate efforts to improve the experience for the patient will elevate their opinion and appreciation of your business.
Here are five things you can implement tomorrow to have your patients saying “Wow! This place is different.”
1. Have the room set up for your patient ahead of time.
Nothing says, “We don’t care” more than not being prepared.
Imagine arriving at a friend’s place for dinner you’ve been invited to and nothing’s even ready?
You wouldn’t be “feeling the love”, would you?
And really, at the dental surgery, you know what the patient is going to be having, and yet you haven’t got the decency to be ready for them ahead of time?
Time and time again I see practices with patients in the chair and dental assistants running around for local anaesthetic, matrix bands, the Crown and Bridge Lab work…. the list goes on and on.
Tell the patient you are ready for them with your non-verbal communications…. Have everything assembled in advance!
2. Stay with your patient.
A patient should never ever ever be left unattended in a treatment room.
Leaving a patient on their lonesome for whatever reason is no valid reason.
Leaving a patient unattended is rude.
It shows you are either unprepared or you don’t care.
The patient is paying for your time, so spend time with them.
Sit and visit and listen to their tales and stories.
Ask engaging questions of your patient.
Get to know your patient better.
Try to extract some “Secret Service” information that you can share with your fellow workers that they can use when speaking with this patient on subsequent occasions.
3. Check in on your patient regularly during their treatment.
Some dentists get so engrossed in what they are doing that they forget that there is a human being attached to the tooth that they are working upon, and that that human being has a mind, a heart, and feelings.
Some dentists treat their patients like still life objects and reduce the appointment to a photo shoot for self-promotion at a later date.
Other dentists simply get “caught up in the moment” and fail to check in.
By pausing regularly, and placing a caring hand on your patient’s shoulder you can create a very strong bond with them.
I usually ask my patient,
“are you going OK down there Betty?”
This simply reconnects with the patient and reassures them that we are indeed cognisant with their presence and their perceptions.
I used to check in with my patients several times during a restorative appointment in this way, simply to let them know that I cared.
It’s important to make those connections.
4. The warm towel.
At the completion of treatment, nothing connects better with the patient than having your Dental Assistant greet them with a warm towel when their dental chair arrives in the upright position.
You’ll be amazed at how many patients actually look forward to this part of their appointment.
It may be because they do not get to experience this sort of service very often, or it may be because they have become accustomed to this great service already following previous visits to your dental practice.
All I know is that patients are drawn into a connection with your office and your team members as a result of these lovely warm towels.
5. A sincere and genuine farewell
In the Ultimate Handover process I emphasise the importance of steps six to ten, which are emotional components of the handover as opposed to factual clinical components.
All ten components of the Ultimate Handover process are vitally important.
The last five steps go a long long way towards cementing that perfect connection between the Dentist and the patient.
These steps are:
• Look the patient in the eye, and thank them sincerely for their time.
• Compliment the patient on being such a great patient for you today.
Everybody loves recognition.
• Farewell the patient with sincere wishes of best wishes and good health.
• Recognise or re-recognise any significant event coming up for the patient that will occur before their next visit.
• Look to create any Above and Beyond Experiences for the patient.
If the patient has mentioned something personal, the Dentist may have an opportunity to provide an article or small gift that may be appropriate in that situation.
Don’t be seen to be in so much of a hurry that you miraculously vanish into thin air at the end of their appointment.
Remember, they’ve been with you, in your company, for a reasonable period of time.
Make the farewell genuine, like you would for a friend leaving your home following a pleasant dinner party.
Do these five things consistently at every visit for every patient and your patients will definitely notice the difference and will tell their friends about how your Dental Practice is different from all others around.
And they’ll tell their friends how your Dental Practice is so different it could teach a few other businesses about great customer service, and how things should be done.
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The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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