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Top Customer Service Tips for Dentists

Did you know that in today’s day and age, in many cases, dental providers may be employed by a large corporation and the dentist may not have any ownership in the company? This can lead to patients feeling they are not important and are just a number in the office. That is not only bad for the patient but also for the corporation. The top priority in every dental officeshould be seeing customers smile. One because they’re proud of their teeth, and two because they’re happy with their dentist.

Chances are, there are plenty of dentists to choose from in your area. So what makes patients pick their dental practice and stick with it? It’s not just how you treat their teeth, but how you treat them altogether. Yes, to run a successful dental practice isn’t just about how you handle dental procedures, but how you serve your patients in all the other aspects. Your attitude and atmosphere can go a long way.

Customer service is key in setting you apart from your competitors. And in this day and age, with the ease of social sharing and online reviews, it’s really important. So, you might be wondering the best ways to make an impact on your patients and keep them coming back. These five easy tips will help get your patients passing along their good experiences, giving you free referrals and recommendations.

  1. Remember your manners.

It’s free and easy, and quite possibly the most important: make your patients feel valued! Sure you’re busy, but don’t let them know it. Give your patients all the patience you can and don’t make them feel rushed. Talk to them about their concerns and explain procedures in detail in a way they can understand everything in easy terms.

  1. Create a culture of top-notch customer care.

Create a standard for your team to live up to everyday, with every patient. Make sure your staff is genuine and observant. Be sure they welcome patients as soon as they walk in and that they’re overly-pleasant every time they pick up the phone. Remind them to pay customers compliments and to converse with them like they’re a friend.

  1. Go above and beyond.

Anybody can give out a free toothbrush. Go for the gold vs. the ordinarydental officeexperience. Pass out gift cards if they have to wait a while. Offer incentives for referrals. Provide special toys or trinkets for kids.  And when you have an unhappy patient, make things right, right away. Actually listen to their complaints and work to resolve the problem.

  1. Give patients a positive experience.

Many people hate going to the dentist. But offering an office that feels welcoming and refreshing can make all the difference. Create a space they feel comfortable, whether it’s bringing a comfy couch into the front area or playing soothing music while they wait.

Oh, and don’t make them wait long. A good rule of customer service is making people feel like they’re a priority, and making them wait for you does the opposite of that.

  1. Keep a clean space.

Having a dental officeobviously means keeping your clinical areas hygienic. But making sure the other areas are clean can be just as important. What’s the waiting area look like from the patient’s perspective? How does the parking lot look? Is your receptionist’s desk cluttered with paperwork? Are your restrooms tidy?

No matter how good you are at what you do, customer service can make or break your practice. Having a friendly staff and a caring team can take your dental officeto a whole new level. The best way to get referrals and grow your practice is by fostering a patient-focused culture. After all, they’re the reason you’re in business! Learn more about what you can do as a  dentistto grow your practice with this program created to help improve the customer care you provide.

 

Podcast: The Jiffy Lube Experience


Dr Kevin Coughlin ruminates on the excellent customer service he received at the oddest of places – a Jiffy Lube – and connects the dots on how that kind of customer satisfaction can be applicable to the dentist industry.

Customer experience is the key to growing your dental practice

How do you view your clients? When it comes to how they choose you they are obviously consumers first. They do research online and ask for recommendations from friends and family. And you need to market to them as potential sources of recurring revenue for years to come.

However once they sit in the chair with mouths wide open, they become your patient.

And that’s how they see themselves as well. I’m going to assume that your skills as a dentist are good to great. So how do you differentiate yourself from the dentist down the street?

I suggest that providing a good “consumer experience” is just as important as providing good patient outcomes to the success of your business.

If you constantly make mistakes on your billing, or let your waiting room overfill with patients waiting to be seen as they flip through decades old issues of Dentistry Today, people will be less likely to return to your practice or recommend it to friends and family.

If you want to be successful over the long haul you need to have the processes and procedures in place to turn your patients into repeat customers.

It really is the little things. But also the big things. A solid customer focus should be as important to you as providing great clinical outcomes. People remember waiting rooms and billing issues – and they talk about them with their friends because they understand them and can be communicated as short anecdotes that sum up their experience.

If patients have a positive experience with all aspects of your business they are more likely to agree to treatment plans recommended by you. This is key to growing your practice.

If patients do not believe, like and trust (BLT) you, it can become very difficult to get case acceptance. And even when you do get grudging case acceptance from a patient who does not 100% believe, like or trust in you, it will ultimately it will lead to problems.

In the end, health care providers are held in high esteem. But selling is not negative. You are a service provider. And if your service has value and it is demonstrated at every point of the customer experience your practice will grow.

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.