Picture this: A patient walks into a dental office. She has taken off two hours of unpaid work time, and she’s just driven through 30 minutes of heavy, stressful traffic to arrive on time. She enters the reception area and approaches the front desk. The receptionist, who is sitting behind a closed glass window, is engrossed in paperwork and does not look up. There's a clipboard on the counter with a notice above it that states, "Sign in and be seated." The patient complies. She takes a seat, still feeling stressed and a bit like she's waiting for service at the DMV.
What could this office do to make this patient feel valued?
Dental teams need to first understand that patients are the only reason a dental office stays in business. They are the most valued commodity in any practice. Having empathy for their situations, fears, and stresses can make dental teams better caregivers and business people.
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The one thing you can do today is welcome patients into your office as you would welcome them into your home. When they enter the practice, acknowledge them with a sincere smile and positive comment.
Having worked in many fast-paced practices, I understand that dental teams can be extremely busy and have little time for even a quick conversation. Making a comment as opposed to asking questions can still effectively show care and concern. These comments can be as simple as, “It's good to see you today,” “What a nice hairstyle,” or “Thank you for being on time.” The goal is to make your patients feel appreciated and help alleviate their stress when they enter the office. When this happens, patients notice, and if they sense that you truly value them, why would they go anywhere else?
Don't wait! Start this today!