Three Ways to Improve the Patient Care Experience

Your dental practice has a unique culture. That gives you an opportunity to consider how you and your team will uniquely service your patients.

It’s useful to seek and implement best practices. There are customer service benchmarks that can set new precedents for your team.

You know (from personal experience) how it feels to be on the customer side of things. Recall how you’ve felt when you’ve received less than stellar service from a business.

If your memory’s short or if you’ve had the fortune of outstanding experiences do some eavesdropping. Listen intentionally to the service others receive when you’re ordering fast food, checking out with a cashier, or waiting in line at an event.

Transfer the service providers voice tone, response time, problem solving ability, etc to your practice environment.

Always be observing and listening. And learn from customer service misses as well as wins.


Leverage Your Strengths

You probably have more going for you than you might realize. Inventory your customer service assets.

Hiring is essential to the service environment you create. Dental skill, depending on their role, is important. But so is their people-skill.

V. Kumar, author of Managing Customers for Profit, encourages you to look for empathy, consistency, and patience. He also advises that experience is vital, but it can be a ‘double-edged sword.’ “Too much experience can result in someone who comes across as pedantic or condescending; too little, and they won’t know how to handle delicate situations.” [1]

Find Out What Works

For example, living in the digital age, it might appear evident that SMS (text messaging), email, and other digital strategies are the only viable means of connecting. Yet, the age(s) of your patient demographic can determine what type of digital technology works, is ineffective, or irrelevant.

Don’t assume that you can service every patient demographic the same. What works for those in their 20’s to 40’s might not work for those above that age range.

Do your patients schedule or communicate better via SMS (text messaging) or voice call? Are they active on social media or is email their preferred means of communication?

Connect your voice across a variety of channels with your patients. Know them and cater to their preferences.


Simplify Patient Management

It’s essential to keep every patient interaction easy. The easier you make it the greater your results across every “touch point” in your practice.

Make everything simple to navigate from your scheduling process, to your website navigation, to your check-out procedures, to your treatment planning presentation and acceptance, to your financial arrangements, and your insurance providers.

Give your patients an opportunity to provide useful feedback. If you want to know how you’re doing or how you can improve be unafraid to ask.

Harvest as much information from your reviews as possible. Read between the lines regarding what worked for a patient…and what didn’t.

Course adjustments are somewhat free when it comes to customer service. A second opportunity to make a first impression…perhaps not so much.

Listen, learn, and leverage every opportunity. Your patients will reward you.

Stay connected here for ongoing dental industry marketing and practice building content. Contact us about financing solutions for dental patients.


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