There is so much opportunity for providing World Class Customer Service to our valued patients who we refer out for specialised Dental Treatment.
And that’s simply because in most cases, the model for referring is so poor, so insincere, so flaccid, that it does NOT take much at all to be better, *HEAD and SHOULDERS better*, than what’s being offered up at other Dentists in town.
Traditionally here’s what happens.
The patient, your patient, needs to have her wisdom teeth removed.
And you don’t do it.
So you refer her for an OPG, and you may or may not review the OPG.
Then, you write her a referral to an Oral Surgeon, and your Front Office Person gives the referral to the patient and tells them to give the specialist a call.
She may say something along the lines like:
“We’ll get a letter to let us know what happened”.
And that’s as good as it often gets.
Same for endo.
“You need a root canal. Here’s your referral. Give them a call and make an appointment. They’ll send us a letter when you’re finished there”.
Not very Customer Service focused, is it?
Not really *World Class Care*?
Imagine if *YOUR* Dental Office staff did this….
Here’s what happens at an Ultimate Patient Experience Dental Office:
At the Ultimate Handover, the Dental Assistant informs your Front Office Person, Jenny, that Mrs. Smith has had a dressing put in her tooth because of infection and decay entering the nerve cavity and pulp chamber. Jenny hears, as does Mrs. Smith, that the dentist wants Mrs. Smith to see Dr Johnson, the Endodontist, to have the tooth treated as soon as possible, “in case the infection spreads”.
Once Jenny has thanked the Dental Assistant and received Mrs. Smith, she then turns to Mrs. Smith and says:
“We’d better go ahead and see how soon we can get you in at Dr Johnson’s.”
Mrs. Smith agrees.
And Jenny goes ahead and calls Dr Johnson’s right then and there, in front of Mrs. Smith, while she waits eagerly.
Now Tina, at Dr Johnson’s loves getting calls like this.
Because the alternative, which is quite shameful, is that there are patients who ring Tina and say:
“I’m not sure what I’ve got to have done, but my Dentist told me to give you a call.”
Now that’s not a very inspiring call for Dr Johnson’s office to take, and it certainly isn’t an inspiring call for the likes of your Mrs. Smith to have to make.
With the Ultimate Referral, Mrs. Smith, gets to see that Tina and jenny have great repartee and that it looks like, to Mrs. Smith, that she’s going to be receiving the same exceptional care at Dr. Johnson’s Office, as she receives at her own Dentist’s Office.
Mrs. Smith sees a continuation of that care.
The other thing about having Jenny call Dr Johnson’s for the appointment is that it maintains the *URGENCY* of treatment, and treatment continuity, that your Office has nurtured with Mrs. Smith.
Traditionally, referring out to a specialist can act as a hand brake on treatment pace, at best, sometimes.
This way, not only is Mrs. Smith “on her way” to Dr Johnson’s, but Dr Johnson will also maintain the Urgency and make sure that Mrs. Smith is back in *your* appointment book as soon as possible for the completed restoration.
I’ll hear some Dentists say that this sort of process, of calling the specialist *WITH* the patient, while the patient is still in the Office, is too time consuming.
But having to follow up patients who are handed referrals and told to “Do It Themselves” and then who fall through the cracks can be even more time consuming.
And losing those patients can be costly.
Imagine your patient, Mrs. Smith, at a dinner party saying to her friends:
“Oh no. My Dentist doesn’t do *that*. My Dentist calls the specialist right then and there, and makes the appointment right there, for you!”
And Mrs. Smith’s dinner friends all say:
“WOW!! My Dentist doesn’t do that…”
Finally, when there comes a time that your Office REALLY needs a favour from the specialist, like urgency, because your Jenny has a relationship going with each Specialist’s Front Office because of this process, then she’s more likely to be able to receive the odd special favour when needed.
Another WIN-WIN-WIN situation.
My One-Day Workshop in May covers in greater depth how to address simple changes that create BIG RESULTS. For more details on the Philadelphia workshop CLICK HERE.
For more details on my Australian workshops CLICK HERE.
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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