Last week I promised to begin sharing with you some of the ideas that I have implemented during my practice of dentistry over the last thirty years that have impacted significantly to separate me from “other” dentists in the provision of dental services in my area. These points of difference made my dental office *THE* Dental Office of choice in Parramatta, in Western Sydney, and allowed us to command great respect from the community as being *THE* Dentist to go to.
Over the next five weeks I’ll share simple changes you can implement in your office that will impact immediately on how your clients and patients perceive your dental office as *THE* dental office that cares, rather than being seen as just another dentist.
CHANGE NUMBER ONE.
Treat the patient as a person, not just as a mouth full of teeth.
Although this sounds trite, and impossible to believe, I have seen time and time over where the patient is not seen as the most important person in the office.
I know you’re saying this is NOT your office, but the patient with the doctor must be given 120% attention, all the time, no matter what!
What this means is this:
1. In the treatment room, the patient must NEVER be left unattended. I mean NEVER! Doing so tells the patient you are not ready for them. Remember, they are paying the bill. They are paying the rent, and the wages. This means they should be given centre stage.
2. When the dentist is not yet in the treatment room the patient and dental staff must always be in conversation. Nothing horrifies me more than walking past a treatment room and seeing two people in the room not conversing, and don’t laugh, it has happened in my office.
3. Worse than this is two or more team members in the treatment room having a conversation or discussion amongst themselves purposefully discluding the patient. Not good! Ask yourself; have you ever been in a retail situation as a paying customer where you feel that your presence is interrupting two shop assistants/tellers/bar attendants in the middle of a story, and your purchase or enquiry is an interruption to them? This is how your patients will feel if this goes on in your office!
4. The weather is not a topic of conversation.
Talking about the weather shows laziness. It’s a non-topic. An absolute no-no.. So, is Christmas. And also time. Don’t ever talk about how quickly the year has gone…Non topic! Time is a constant. It travels at the same speed, hour in hour out, month in month out.
5. Don’t talk about yourself either.
Talking about yourself is boring. Don’t get me-me-itis. Here’s a tip: You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more than you talk.
So what should you talk about, I hear you ask?
Talk about the patient!!
It’s not rocket science. If you want to make the patient feel important then talk to the patient about their favourite topic: talk about them!!
Everybody loves to talk about themselves and to people who listen attentively and intently. For some people this can be difficult to learn to do. Some people love to but in. they love to talk about their topics. If you want to impress your patients greatly then start listening to them. Remember, the patient is buying time from you as well as [dental] procedures. They’re paying for it. Like I said before give them centre stage!!
Over the next four Tuesdays, I’ll reveal another four simple changes you can implement in your office that will impact immediately on how your clients and patients perceive your dental office as *THE* dental office that cares, rather than being seen as just another dentist.
(Also, in future weeks we will discuss some great dental patient ice-breakers, some great questions to ask your patients to get them talking about their favourite topic, themselves!!)
If you master these simple changes you will find you are well on the way to making your dental business a stand out business in your area. Reason being is simple: No other dental offices are doing this. No other dental offices are treating their patients as people…they’re treating them as mouths teeth and procedures.
Make these simple changes and you’ll definitely have people out there talking about you, because your office is different. Because it’s not like a dentist; in fact, it’s not like most other businesses out there!!
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