How to Improve the Patient Experience in the Dental Practice?
Where to start? There are so many ways to make the patient experience great! Adversely many things can negatively affect the experience the patient has with a practice. Here are 3 ways to improve the patient experience in the dental practice.
1). Greet Patients with Enthusiasm and Positivity
This may sound remedial but it is surprising to see how many practices get distracted with sideshows (i.e. claims, scheduling, hiring, firing, etc.) and forget about the "main show" which should be the patients scheduled that day. Always greet with a smile. A forced smile is always more inviting than a sincere frown.
Personally I cannot remember all the oral treatment I have received over the years but I do remember how friendly the staff was the first time I visited my current dentist. Patients will forget their treatment (if it was done well) but they will not forget how they were treated. The quickest way to an empty schedule is hiring unfriendly, boring staff.
2). Help the Patient Feel Comfortable
There are so many ways to do this. Just imagine yourself at a dinner party and you do not know anyone. How do you feel? That is the same feeling patients have when they first enter the practice. If the staff is joking around with each other and not giving great attention to the patient it will enhance the awkwardness for the patient. Joking around is great but not when it comes at the expense of quality customer service. Maintain a balance of fun and professionalism and make the patient your main concern.
3). Build Quality Relationships with Patients
A great way to do this is to review the patient’s file before their visit. Pick out things that will be of importance to the patient (i.e. marriage, new baby, surgery, etc.) and ask the patient about it when they arrive for the appointment. This little bit of knowledge will personalize the experience for the patient. Be sure the person greeting patients has a friendly personality who can do this without appearing fake. When done correctly, patients will love coming back to the practice.