There’s much more to running a successful dental practice than just the science of dentistry and the processes of business management. Research compiled by the American Dental Association’s Center for Professional Success shows those dentists who take the time to get to know their patients as people experience higher rates of patient retention. Not everyone is born with good people skills; sometimes, these skills have to be learned.
Bryant Consultants is here to show you seven ways you can cultivate loyalty among the clientele at your practice:
- Give and take: Remember that a conversation should have two sides. Don’t do all the talking yourself. Instead, engage your patients. Ask them how they have been feeling and about any problems they may be having.
- Start with larger concepts: As an expert in the dental field, it can be easy to overwhelm a novice with the details of a procedure. We recommend beginning any discussion of a treatment or procedure with an outline, then gradually narrow down into a more detailed look, while pausing regularly to see if your patient has any questions along the way.
- Recognize what your patients want: Has a particular patient stated they prefer a long-term solution to a nagging oral health problem? Maybe they expressed a desire for a faster, cheaper option instead. Recognize this preference during their appointment, and then recommend a procedure based on those preferences, along with reasons why. This can be approached as simply as saying, “I remember you said you want a long-term solution for your missing tooth, so I am recommending we install a dental implant because it is so durable.”
- Names, not numbers: You may not know this, but it’s considered a faux pas in dentist-patient etiquette these days to refer to teeth by number in front of one of your clientele. Instead, we suggest referring to teeth by their location, such as the far upper molar on the left side.
- Don’t beat around the bush: When explaining any treatment plan, you need to be direct. You’re not there to tell the patient what you would like to do. You’re the expert professional. Identify their treatment plan as the ideal choice or what you would recommend for yourself or a member of your family.
- Refer to past patients: You have to be tricky about this due to patient privacy laws, but you can personalize your recommendations by using former patients who had similar procedures as an example of why this is the best course of action.
- Speak in positives: When referring to any treatment or treatment plan, you always want to emphasize the advantages. For example, treating gum disease and improving dental hygiene lowers risk of tooth loss. Or, seeking orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth can save you from a misaligned bite or case of temporomandibular joint disorder later in life.
The most important thing you can do is treat all your patients as individuals
Maybe you’re not a “people person.” Simply ask yourself, how would you like to be treated by your own medical providers? You can start by making every effort to be punctual. Dentists often run late, especially as the workday progresses. Providing updates while someone is idle in the waiting room can go a long way—especially if he or she already is anxious or nervous about their appointment. Also, after an intensive procedure or an appointment that was difficult for one of your patients, a short call to follow up on them can make a world of difference in building a strong personal bond.
Still not sure how to incorporate these communication strategies and build loyalty among your patients? Bryant Consultants offers training that can help. Our services can help you define 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!