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‘Wow’ customer service for dentists: a competitive advantage

Jan. 19, 2018
Customer service will set you apart from the other dental practices in your area. But how to do that to make an impact on patients and keep them coming back? Here are some great ideas from Dr. Roger Levin.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

This article originally appeared in the Principles of Practice Management e-newsletter. Subscribe to this informative twice monthly practice management ENL here.

IN TODAY'S MODERN DENTAL ERA, ALL DENTAL PRACTICES NEED AND WANT TO STAND OUT FROM THEIR COMPETITON. Nothing makes you stand out more than great—no, actually, knock-your-socks-off—customer service. The success of retailers such as Nordstrom and is anchored in a culture of their excellent customer service provided with ease. It’s what their customers have come to expect. Patients who seek out and receive this type of top-notch customer service will expect the same from your practice. It’s up to you to make sure your team is properly trained and fully committed to customer service excellence.

“Wow” customer service

A friend of mine recently told me about his experience as a brand-new customer of Zappos. He went to a nearby store for runners to buy two pairs of shoes and other athletic apparel that totalled approximately $600. While at the store, there was a delay in service so significant that he pulled out his phone to check and compare pricing. Although he was surprised to find that his purchase would be significantly cheaper with Zappos, he was content to make the purchase in the store, until he arrived at the cash register. There he was informed that their VIP program did not include any of the discounts he was told were part of the program. Disappointed, he walked away without making the purchase.

Looking to take advantage of their low pricing, he immediately called Zappos. They welcomed him as a new customer and made him feel great about his purchase. Unfortunately, during payment, their system was unable to process his credit card information. After three unsuccessful tries, the Zappos representative apologized for the inconvenience and told him that his entire $360 order would be complimentary!

He was positively shocked. He told me, “Talk about being wowed! Nothing like this has ever happened to me, and Zappos now has a new customer for life.”

Three steps to “wow” customer service

Most dental patients evaluate their satisfaction with a practice based on their overall experience versus solely on the clinical care. If you provide great customer service, they will stay with you and refer others as well. How do you create “wow” customer service at your dental practice? Follow these three steps:

1. Create a culture of excellent customer service among the staff—Talk about it every morning in your daily business meeting, refer to it throughout the day, and celebrate wins. Wins are anything good that take place with a patient. Anytime a patient receives a compliment or experiences great treatment results, it should be considered a win and shared with the entire team.

2. Shock your patients—Call and check on patients, thank them for referrals, give small token gift cards when the doctor runs late, and always tell patients that you’ll do whatever you can to keep them comfortable and create a great dental experience.

3. Correct anything that goes wrong—When you have an unhappy patient, you must make things right. Listen, commiserate, empathize, and work to solve the problem. Most patients just want the correct result and an outstanding experience.

You don’t have to give away $360 in running shoes to make a positive impact on a patient. Most patients will be thrilled with just a little extra personal attention, thoughtfully delivered by a friendly member of your team.

It’s a proven fact. Customer service sets companies and dental practices apart. Use these steps to give your practice the competitive advantage that will bring happy, lifelong patients.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental consulting firm. A nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Levin presents practice management seminars throughout the country.
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About the Author

Roger P. Levin, DDS | CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 dental practices. Dr. Levin is a sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing.

Dr. Levin sits on the editorial board of five dental publications and has been named as one of the Leaders in Dentistry by Dentistry Today magazine for the last 15 years. He was recently named one of the 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry by Incisal Edge magazine and voted Best Dental Consultant by the readers of He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time magazine, and is the creator of the Levin Group Tip of the Day,which has over 30,000 subscribers.

To contact Dr. Levin, visit or email [email protected].

Updated March 7, 2019