The goal of every dental office piece of communication is to secure the next appointment for our patient that is valued, wanted, and kept.
“The purpose of an appointment is to make another appointment.”
And the purpose of every piece of communication needs to be to secure that next appointment.
Every time a dental patient leaves without an appointment or phones and fails to make an appointment, or cancels an already scheduled appointment, or worse still, fails to attend an already made appointment without notifying our practice, then we have failed that patient.
You see, the fact is this:
Nobody ever calls a dental practice because they have nothing to do.
When a group of mums have finished playing midweek tennis, phoning around to dental practices is not an after-tennis game that they choose to partake in.
Similarly, a group of men sharing a couple of cold beers at the pub do not start phoning dental practices to see what dentists are charging this week for a scale and clean.
Every person who phones a dental practice does so because they have a dental problem, and they are phoning THAT PARTICULAR DENTAL PRACTICE because they have done their research and homework and decided that this is the dentist they want to help them with their dental concern.
Because the internet now allows all prospective patients the opportunity of doing their homework and their due diligence on your practice.
With that thought in mind, all any dental practice needs to do when prospective patients call your practice is BE THE MESSAGE that this caller wants to hear.
Solve their problem.
If you can persuade your callers, and your patients in your practice, that you will definitely be able to solve their problem at their next appointment, then that patient, or future patient, will most certainly be there for their next appointment.
However, if you FAIL TO CONVINCE that patient of the necessity, and the urgency of their next appointment, and you are “vague” about the consequences of them taking action in the correct time frame, then that patient will delay or defer their appointment.
And in so doing, in allowing that scenario to EVER HAPPEN, your practice has failed to provide the necessary and required service to that customer for them to benefit from your skills as a dentist.
Any patient who leaves your dental practice without what I call a
CLEAR. NEXT. STEP.
has been let down by your practice procedures and protocols and systems.
Because dental conditions that patients have do not resolve by themselves, and because people consume too much sugar and are lazy with their oral hygiene, there will always be a necessary reason for each and every patient you see to attend your dental practice again.
And so team members who say:
to patients who call to cancel or reschedule [because the patient wants to] without checking the clinical notes WRITTEN BY THE DENTIST, are failing to look after the HEALTH INTERESTS of the patient, and are actually undermining the professional decision previously made by the dentist.
And that is poor customer service.
The aim of every communication in the dental practice needs to be to keep the patient on course to complete their necessary diagnosed treatment in the recommended time frame.
Anything else is a disservice.
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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 email@example.com