Yes, education is important for treating and caring for your patients, but there is one more thing that can make all the difference: customer service. And, this doesn’t just mean the front office staff—it means the dentist, too! Being a dentist requires extensive training, but the attributes valued most by patients when rating and reviewing their doctors is customer service, which is not taught in dental school. When your patients are leaving reviews, you want them to remember each member’s name. Adding that personal touch helps your patients feel comfortable and wanting to return to your practice.
Interpersonal Skills and Bedside Manners
Imagine yourself in the dental chair. How would you like your dentist to treat you? What about if your family member was visiting the dentist? Treat your patients how you would like to be treated if the roles were reversed. The dental office is not like working in retail, but customer service should still be at the top of your list.
The front office staff should be pleasant and smiling when they greet the patient—after all, they are the first people you see when entering the office. Make sure your front office staff is educated on services, protocol and even miscellaneous topics so they can properly address a patient’s concerns or questions. The more your staff knows and understands the better service they can offer your patients.
Next, your dental hygienist or dental assistant should also be knowledgeable in all areas of your practice and the services offered—their skills and knowledge are a reflection on you. Make sure they are educated in dental sleep medicine and other areas of importance so they can answer any questions the patient might have. After the front office staff, the hygienist or dental assistant are seen next and make an impression before they even meet you, the dentist. Greet the patient with a smile, ask how their day is—get to know your patient and they will feel more comfortable.
As for the dentist, you are the face of your practice. Get to know your patients and their individual needs and conditions. By getting to know your patients and understanding them, you can create patients for life. Help your patients get to know you and how knowledgeable you are in dental sleep medicine and other dental areas. Once they know you and the services you offer, they will be more prone to share their experiences on the Internet.
Patients continue to rely more and more on online ratings and reviews. From Google to Yelp, review sites are aplenty. And when a person is searching for a new dental office they will often resort to reviews and ratings to see what others are saying. If your patients are leaving reviews, and good ones, the chance of getting new patients increases significantly. The appearance of positive words outnumbers negative words three to one—that’s a lot! When negative reviews were found, the common complaints seemed to be about rudeness or feeling rushed. But more people noted their dentists were compassionate, friendly, and knowledgeable—keep that up!
Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about each team member’s role in the dental office and how you can continue to provide your patients with quality service they will want to come back to.