Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 Dental Customer Service 1

6 steps toward superior dental 'customer' service

Sept. 23, 2016
Do you make your dental patients your priority? Of course you do! But does this attitude truly show in your "customer" service? Here's how to guarantee great customer service.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Do you make your dental patients your priority? Of course you do! But does this attitude truly show in your "customer" service? Here's how to guarantee great customer service.

We’ve all had plenty of experience with customer service, both good and bad. We see that, all else being equal, businesses that work to maintain a high level of service for their customers tend to be more successful. This is especially true when success depends on building and strengthening relationships, as it does for dental practices.

If you haven’t upgraded how you treat patients—not in the clinical sense but in terms of how they experience you, your team, and your office in personal terms—take a look at changes you can make to improve the patient experience. You might be surprised at what you come up with, and at how easily and inexpensively you can move up to the next level of customer service.

RELATED READING:Dental patients are like 5-month-olds: Lessons in great customer service
What dentists can learn from Apple Stores about customer service

Here are some techniques Levin Group consultants have used for our clients with great success:

1. Make customer service improvement a team effort.
In clinical matters, you’re the unchallenged expert at your office, and team members have their own areas of expertise. But everyone can contribute good ideas about customer service. Give all team members a chance to do so. With brainstorming sessions, specific requests at staff meetings, and an “open door” policy to encourage innovations, you’ll surprise yourselves with what you come up with.

2. Kick off your improvement program with a special staff meeting.
To make it clear how important you think customer service is, get things started by holding a meeting dedicated to the subject. Make it fun. Get everyone involved by asking for amazing customer service stories. Spell out your plan of action.

3. Conduct a detailed team inspection of your practice.
As part of that meeting or soon thereafter, do a group “walkthrough” at your office, literally and figuratively looking for ways to improve service. Write down all ideas for later review.

4. Initiate informal and formal patient surveys.
Ask your “customers” how you’re doing and where they think you can do better. This can be informal in the form of a simple question at check-out, or you can ask patients to complete brief surveys on paper or online. Their comments will prove to be invaluable.

5. Learn from your personal experiences as a customer.
Start looking at service you experience analytically. What’s good and why? How can those little extras you notice at a retail store be translated for your practice?

6. Put a customer service “spin” on things you already do.
Many of your practice’s current actions and policies can probably be interpreted as excellent customer service. All you need to do is identify them as such.

At a time when there are fewer new dental patients to go around, lower insurance reimbursements, and more reluctance to spend money on elective services, customer service matters more than ever. These techniques will help give your practice a competitive edge.

For the most current dental headlines, click here.

Learn how Levin Group consulting works… and why it works so well. If you’re in any way dissatisfied with your practice, Dr. Levin’s systems-based approach to improving performance may be exactly what you need. To find out, email Levin Group at [email protected]or call (888) 973-0000.