The principles of customer services in your dental practice

 

Customer service isn’t a role within the dental practice, it should be engrained as part of the culture and ethos of the entire team – everyone working together towards supporting patients.

 Do the unexpected

A key concept you hear when discussing customer service is the ‘wow factor’ – it’s those little unexpected touches that leave a lasting positive impression.  For example:

  • Calling and checking on patients post-treatment
  • Providing the utensils for patients to brush their teeth prior to their appointment
  • Aesthetic touches such as fresh flowers or the use of aromatherapy throughout the practice

Correct anything that goes wrong

It is so important to listen to patients and allow them to express their grievance uninterrupted. Good customer service isn’t about you and what you think, it is about what the patient/customer thinks. Try your hardest not to come across as defensive! Commiserate, empathise and work to solve the problem.

Utilise technology

Make sure that as a practice you are utilising technology, not only to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the practice operation but also to improve the patient experience.  For instance, enabling patients to book their appointments online, sending reminders via text/email, providing treatment information in a digital format and so forth.

A little personal attention goes a long way

When dealing with such a large volume of patients on a daily basis it is very easy to forget that each and every one is an individual.

  • Use the patient’s name to make them feel acknowledged and cared for
  • Make personal notes on their file – such as where they are going on holiday so that next time you see them, you can ask them something personal which will make them feel special

How well you treat your patients will determine how successful your practice is.

Know your stuff

Knowledge and experience encourages patients to feel secure.  Ensure that your front-line team members are adequately trained to be able to deal with any patient queries or questions.

Time

Have systems and procedures in place at the practice to ensure greater efficiency of time - the most valuable commodity of all!  Running an efficient practice will enable more time to be spent dealing with patients – that little bit of extra time taken with each patient shows that you care, in turn leading to greater retention, more referrals and more profit.

Measure patient satisfaction

Don’t just ask patients for feedback to ‘tick a box’, see it as a vital component of customer service.  Asking for feedback enables you to feedforward – to progress, to develop, to improve and to grow.

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