Business owners, no matter what business they might be in, need to build trust with their customers in order to sustain long-term success. For a dental practice, building trust is especially important—and, at times, difficult.
Are you having difficulty engaging your patients? Have you experienced obstacles getting patients to proceed with case acceptance and recommended treatments? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you might be having difficulty meeting your goals for the practice, and the culprit could simply be a lack of trust with your clientele. Building that trust starts by improving your communication with your patients.
Asking questions is one of the most valuable strategies for improving communication.
Ask your patients about their needs:
- How can you help them improve their oral health and meet their goals?
- What do your patients like the most, and the least, about the appearance of their smile or what occurs during a dental appointment?
- What expectations do your patients have for you, their dentist?
- What are your goals for your oral health and the appearance of your smile?
It is important to be prepared to use any feedback your patients provide—good or bad. Gathering the feedback and ignoring it will undermine the trust you are trying to build with your clientele.
Providing a visual picture is another cornerstone of good communication. Remember that many people are visual learners; to help these people understand treatment situations, consider using a dental camera to take images of their teeth and mouth. These images can be used as a visual aid during conversations and discussions. They allow your patients to immediately see the need for treatment. These images also can enhance your patient records, whether you keep hard copies or digital ones, as they can be printed or exported.
Good communication does not just occur face to face. If you only emphasize good communication habits when your patients walk into the office, you are not doing a complete job. Patient communication should continue between visits—whether it be via phone calls, email, regular mail, or even through text messages. Regular communication between appointments is especially vital when relaying changes in the practice and its policies, such as different operating hours or new services or specials that you offer. Informing your patients of these changes, and how they will be affected by these changes, often will improve your practice’s relations with patients—encouraging a building of trust.
Don’t ignore internal pressures. You cannot build trust with patients solely by using their feedback to change your office. A dental practice is only as strong as its team of staff members. Making wholesale changes without consulting your staff, or evaluating how those changes will affect employees, may do more harm than good to your practice.
Personalized Consultation Services
Bryant Consultant’s services can help you realize your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your practice. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799.
We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you for a consultation!