A Dentist I know well was looking at his appointment book for the upcoming week.
He noted an appointment scheduled for a New Patient for a Checkup and Clean.
Here’s where it gets interesting…
He asked the appointment coordinator for some details about the new patient, and what the new patient wanted for that appointment.
“He was a walk–in” was the only thing my Dentist friend was told.
So let’s look at this scenario and see how it could have been improved…
What’s happened here is that the Office has only *scheduled* this chap an appointment.
They have not *made* him an appointment.
They have in no way at all done any more than put a name into a slot on the appointment book.
We know the chap came into the Dental Office to book a time.
“Do you live nearby, Mr. Jones?”
“Have you lived there long?”
These would have been great icebreakers.
The appointment was scheduled during the middle of a week day.
“Will you be coming from work?”
“Do you have the day off work?”
“Are you on leave?”
“Do you work nearby?”
“What do you do?”
More great icebreakers.
Icebreakers are questions we can use to open up conversations so that we can find out more information about our New Patient that will help us, and others on our team, to get to know the client better before he arrives for his scheduled New Patient appointment.
Did Mr. Jones complete a “Welcome to Our Practice” form and medical history form?
Or was he going to arrive on the day and have to go through the paperwork then?
It would have been so much better for the Dental Office and for the New Patient if the paperwork was completed ahead of time.
Because, having it ahead of time allows the Office to get to know his details so that we can be much more familiar with Mr. Jones before he arrives.
If we had have gotten the paperwork ahead of time, we’d know Mr. Jones’s age, where he lived [exactly], and other relevant information, that our team could use to provide Secret Service for Mr. Jones.
We’d have been able to send him a welcome letter, or email, or package ahead of time.
With information that would be relevant for that first visit.
A map of parking nearby.
A photo of the Dental Team, with a short bio on each team member.
A welcome oral care package…
Imagine Mr. Jones’s surprise at receiving something, anything in the mail before his first visit?
“Will you be driving or walking to your appointment on Thursday, Mr. Jones?”
“Do you know the best place to park?”
“Which direction will you be coming from?”
“Mr. Jones, let me show you how to access our private parking…”
Our Front Office team can use and ask any of these questions to not only break the ice, but to also start establishing The Law Of Reciprocity with Mr. Jones.
The Law Of Reciprocity states that if I do something unexpectedly for you, then now, subliminally, there is a debt from you to do be ingratiated to me.
And of course, if we do nothing, then there’s no perceived favour expectation established.
If we don’t engage, or attempt to engage with our New Patients *BEFORE* their first appointment, then we certainly miss out on an opportunity to create a huge differential for our Dental Office.
We miss out on the chance to make our Office appear different from any other Dentist they’ve been to before.
Because no other Dental Offices are doing this!!
They’re all just putting names in slots!
“So you’d like a checkup?”
“How long since your last checkup?”
“You’ll be seeing Dr. Brown himself on Thursday. Is there anything in particular that you’d like the Dr. Brown to look at for you?”
“Are you experiencing any pain or discomfort or twinges in your mouth, or in your teeth?”
Any of these simple, unobtrusive questions asked before the patient’s appointment would be more than handy for the Dental Team to prepare for Mr. Jones’s upcoming appointment.
Dr. Brown could then say, “Jacqui tells me you’re having a small issue on the top left back teeth when you chew…”
How good would that be??
What if Jacqui had asked Mr. Jones:
“How long has it been since you last had your teeth cleaned Mr. Jones?”
Just having the answer to this question will allow the team to be prepared as to what sort of cleaning they may have to provide for Mr. Jones.
“Is there a special occasion coming up, Mr. Jones?”
You see, Mr. Jones may be celebrating an important event and might want his teeth to be sparkling for any photos being taken?
Or Mr. Jones may be going for a job interview, or promotion, and felt that a radiant smile would improve his chances?
Or he might have been going on a date?
Any of this information would have been handy….
But not many Dental Offices are gathering or offering this sort of information prior to the New Patient’s first visits.
Imagine what Mr. Jones would have told his friends and work colleagues?
“You won’t believe this Dental Office I just booked in for. They were so friendly. And helpful. I’ve never had *THAT* before. And I haven’t even been there yet! I’m really looking forward to going there next week. I’ve got a good feeling about them…”
It really is so simple to gather more information about the New Patient at the time of booking. And when we do, it allows our Dental Office to stand out as being different from any other Dentist around.
Because other Dental Offices *ARE NOT* doing this!!
It’s easy to do…
But it’s also very easy to be just like everybody else. Like every other dentist.
The opportunity is there. To stand out.
*MAKE* their appointment.
Don’t just schedule it.
*MAKE* their day…
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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