I look at Dental Practice websites all the time.
And I’m amazed at all the big words used on them.
Who are these dentists trying to impress?
Are they trying to impress their mothers?
Are they trying to impress other dentists?
They Certainly Aren’t Trying To Impress Their Patients
Patients don’t understand big words.
They don’t understand technical dental words and they certainly do not understand the identification of regular English words.
They don’t understand these big words on websites and they certainly don’t understand these big words when they are spoken at the dentist.
A patient doesn’t really have any idea what a preventive maintenance examination is?
Is it some form of test? Like a school examination?
Isn’t it something that your high performance European car should be having?
A twenty-six point preventive maintenance examination?
I once heard a dentist tell a patient that their “tooth could become problematic”.
Why not simply tell the patient that the tooth could start to hurt….
The patient will understand that one..
Problematic? Symptomatic? Automatic? Autonomic? Hydrodynamic?
All too confusing….
Another dentist said to a patient:
“While I’m conducting treatment…..”
I’m thinking, maybe “conducting” an orchestra? Or a bus?
Why not simply say:
“Mrs. Patient, while I’m fixing your tooth….”
I’ve Always Said Patients Don’t Come Back For Fillings
Patients don’t buy fillings.
They don’t come back to get fillings.
But they do come back….
Patients Will Come Back To Have Decay Removed
Patients do not want to have decay in their teeth.
Patients understand that decay is something that rots their teeth.
Patients understand that decay is not static. It grows.
Patients want it removed.
“Treating a cavity?”
“Completing a restoration?”
What the heck? Patients don’t understand these dental adaptations of the English language…
“Just get the decay out would you doc?”
“I’ll be treating this tooth conservatively” is what the dentist told the patient…
Like a conservative political view?
What does that mean to the patient?
All the patient wants is for you to fix the tooth so it won’t hurt them.
Patients presume and assume that all dentists treat teeth in a conservative manner.
Patients have no idea what the opposite of conservative is in this case…..
And it just doesn’t stop there in the treatment room….
When the bewildered patient and their thesaurus arrive back at the front desk following treatment, they are bombarded with more jargon and big words.
“I’m going to schedule you an appointment…”
“I have an opening…”
Who speaks like that?
“And if circumstances change….”
Here’s what is better…
Firstly, we are assuming that urgency about the next visit has been created with clarity by the dentist and the dental assistant.
Then, all that needs to be said is this:
“Theresa, the soonest I can get you in with Dr. Moffet to [solve your problem] is next Wednesday at 930am.”
And then go ahead and make the booking….
Also, after making the appointment time, always finish by saying:
“And if something comes up sooner Theresa I’m going to call you and bring that time forward for you.”
[Because the dentist has already created this agreement with the patient in the treatment room]
Have you ever noticed that confused people just nod their heads and go along with things…..
Rather than make themselves look stupid?
That’s what happens when you use big words… the other person sometimes just agrees so as not to look stupid.
I once saw a comedian in America showing an audience a fine polished piece of wood that he had crafted.
He told the audience how luxurious this piece of wood was, as he stroked it fondly…
He told the audience:
“It looks very lavernous…”
And many in the audience nodded in agreement.
The comedian then explained to the audience, made up mostly of dentists, that the word “lavernous” was not a real word, but rather one that he had made up.
And he was surprised at how many of the audience just nodded and agreed with him about how lavernous his piece of wood looked….
Our patients do exactly the same thing when we speak big words to them.
They nod in agreement.
And then later, usually when they get home, they call back and cancel their appointment.
Because they are confused…
You’ve heard me say this before…
CLEAR. NEXT. STEP.
Always make sure that all communication in your dental office is one hundred percent understood.
With total clarity.
Just because you know what big words mean, doesn’t mean that your staff and your patients know and understand.
So seek clarity.
And remember, sometimes small is better.
My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Melbourne Australia on Saturday 1 April 2017 with Jayne Bandy and Wolfgang Hofbauer.
You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order
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
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