How do children spell “Love”?
They spell it: T.I.M.E.
And our patients spell care and compassion the same way:
Take a look around your dental office.
Are you and your team spending time with your valuable patients?
Or are you rushing?
Are you rushing them in and out of your operatories?
Are you rushing them at their checkout?
Are you in a hurry when you greet them as they arrive?
Are you rushing their examinations in the hygiene room?
There are many instances of us “being in a hurry” when it comes to our dealings with patients.
And sometimes we are in too much of a hurry.
Sometimes we are in so much of a hurry that we actually ignore the fact that we are indeed dealing with a human being, with a person, and not just a tooth, or teeth, and a credit card.
And if you think that your patients don’t notice you’re rushing them, well think again.
Sixty eight percent of patients who leave a dental practice and go elsewhere for their treatment do so because of apathy and perceived apathy that they feel from the staff and the dentists where they have been going.
Here are some of those moments:
Are you in a hurry when you greet your patients when they arrive?
Is your office guilty of just “parking” your patients once they arrive at your practice?
So many times when I visit a dental office to consult I see patients arrive only to be “brushed” into the “waiting room” where they then have to sit for what seems like an eternity being entertained by some old tatty out of date tabloid magazines or worse still, a blaring television set.
How can that be a welcoming arrival?
More often than not the arriving patient has to identify themselves by name, despite the fact that the Dental Office already knows who they are [they have an appointment schedule, after all…].
How much nicer would it be if our front office person was able to “beat the greet” with the arriving patient:
“Hi Mrs. Smith. So good to see you. How has your day been so far?”
“Please, make yourself comfortable, and I’ll go and let Dr. Moffet know that you’re here”
“I’m about to make myself a cup of tea. Would you like one as well?”
Isn’t that so much more pleasant than:
“Won’t be too long. Just take a seat.”
Wouldn’t it be more courteous then to be concierging the waiting patient, instead of simply just parking them?
It’s so easy to raise the amount of “connection” we have with our arriving patients, rather than just “parking” them and allowing a significant “disconnect” to occur.
Are you rushing your patients in and out of your operatories?
I’ll bet that if you are working out of only one treatment room then this is indeed what you are doing to your valued patients.
After all, their treatment is now over.
The chair is needed for the next patient.
And we’ve got to tear down the room and set it up again in warp speed time.
Not to mention get the next patient in too.
This changeover really does look like a formula one pit change.
But without the professionalism and the timing.
How can being rushed into, or out of, for that matter, a dental treatment room, be anything but uninspiring for the patient?
After all, time is money, so there’s no time for chitchat, is there?
Rushing your patients around at the start and the end of the appointment is hardly World Class.
Nobody likes being rushed out of a restaurant after an early dinner sitting, do they?
Nobody likes to feel as if there is someone hovering over their seat, be it the next diner, or just some auspicious maître de holding a stopwatch.
Remember, patients spell “care”: T.I.M.E.
Are you rushing your patients’ examinations in the hygiene room?
A friend of mine in Florida told me that when he goes to his dentist for his six monthly clean, he feels that the dentist just breezes in and breezes out of the examination in record time without any effort to try to connect with my friend [the patient].
So much so, that my friend said that if he saw the dentist at the mall, he reckons that the dentist would not even recognise my friend even if my friend walked up and slapped the dentist’s face.
Now that’s a very sad case of affairs.
But that apathy of the dentist cost him dearly.
When it was time for my friend’s wife to have some serious dental work done, they chose to go to a dentist twenty miles away to get some veneers and cosmetic work worth over $21,000.00
Now that’s an expensive dose of apathy right there….
Are you rushing your patients at their checkout?
Nobody likes to feel tossed out onto the street straight after a dental appointment.
After all, how would that feel?
You’ve got a numb face, and you’re a few hundred dollars lighter….
But apart from that, you’d be thinking:
“What just happened?”
At my practice we had our front office area set up for comfortable, across the table, seated transactions and arrangements to be made.
In a private glass walled room.
None of this peering over an antiquated upstand, with a gaggle of leering patients waiting behind you…
Because of this private relaxed environment, we found that patients took their time checking out, and in so doing, they bonded with our dental front office team.
And that bond resulted in more appointments being made, and less being cancelled and rescheduled.
The removal of the upstand from the front desk, and the separation of the outgoing transaction and arrangements away from the meddling ears and eyes of a bunch of waiting patients, both made for a far more conducive environment for discussing treatment and finances and payments.
Again because the check out took place in a private room there was ample opportunity to build trust with the patient.
So, how are things at your Dental Office?
Are you inadvertently rushing your valued patients?
How many of your actions are rubbing patients the wrong way, in a sad sad way?
I hope not too many.
I hope not even one….
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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