10 opportunities to impress your patient before treatment is even accepted

Nov. 18, 2010
Hollie Bryant, DA II, tells dental assistants they have an awesome opportunity to make an impact on patients, gain trust, and build excitement about achieving optimal dental health. Read her list of 10 ways to impress patients before treatment is even accepted.

By Hollie Bryant, DA II

Did you know there are at least 10 opportunities for your office to impress a client before treatment happens? What an awesome opportunity to make an impact on a patient, gain trust, and build excitement about achieving optimal dental health.

1. The phone call — Place your best team members on the phone. When the phone rings, you want to have your best players ready for action. You only get one chance to make a good impression.

2. The new-patient packet — Send out a personalized new-patient packet with information pertaining to the patient’s specific desires and needs.

3. Verify the appointment — Take the opportunity to ensure that patients received their personalized packets of information and viewed the Web site. Check to see if they have any questions, and verify the time of the appointment.

4. The greeting — When patients enter the practice, they should receive a personalized greeting, patient identification, and acknowledgement of any guest who accompanies them.

5. The consultation — This is the time spent with the doctor and team to identify any concerns for the patient’s dental goals.

6. The follow-up call — This is an opportunity to follow up with a personalized call after a patient’s visit to the practice.

7. The examination — This is the time spent exploring options that will help patients achieve their dental health goals. Communicate at this appointment rather than spending appointment time on gathering the data. Speak the patients’ language. Talking over their head and using technical words loses their trust. Yes, there are comprehensive X-rays, digital photos, study models, periodontal charting, and CT scans, but if you focus only on completing the task and fail to communicate with the patient, then you miss out on some important details that the patient is trying to communicate to you.

8. The follow-up call — This is a personalized call about the examination and an opportunity to answer questions and address any concerns.

9. The treatment plan — Team members can personalize this time, so use only the team members who are the most comfortable presenting fees. If you have someone in the office who is uncomfortable speaking about fees with patients, then that person may not be the right one to discuss treatment and finalize fees.

10. Appointing treatment — Do not lose patient trust here. If you tell patients that you can do something, then you must follow through with it. This is a critical piece to the overall success of treatment, and following through is important. You may have their money, but you do not have success yet.

These are 10 opportunities to impress patients and build trust. Take a step back and use this time to make the greatest impact. This process can be done on a patient-of-record or a new client. Build trust and don’t break it.

Author bio
Hollie Bryant is a graduate of Bowman Gray Dental Assisting Program and is the former chairside assistant for Dr. Ross Nash and clinical instructor and treatment coordinator at the Nash Institute. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Dental Office Managers, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, North Carolina Dental Association, Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics, and the American Dental Assistants Association. She is the former editor-in-chief of Contemporary Dental Assistant magazine and currently serves on the Advisory Board for DentalCompare. She is on the editorial board of Dental Assisting Digest™ and Contemporary Product Solutions, and is a consultant for various dental manufacturers. She has authored numerous manuscripts on clinical assisting and practice-management topics. Hollie lectures for the NICHE Practice Seminars nationally on clinical and management topics, while she travels for her independent consulting firm from practice to practice working with teams to increase customer service, profit, and implement effective systems. You may reach Hollie at [email protected].