Guest Post By Dr. David Moffet, The Ultimate Patient Experience
In the delivery of World Class Dental Customer Service the most important outcome, or measure, is really quite simple.
A successful dental practice must have one hundred percent of its scheduled appointments kept and attended by the patients who make those appointments.
Any time that we have appointments missed or rescheduled by our patients means that we have failed our patients and ourselves.
“But that’s impossible to achieve”
I can hear you screaming this now.
And I say:
“No. It is not.”
In a perfect world we could achieve this.
So why not create a perfect world?
Why not have a dental practice where patients are beating a path to your door to be treated?
Could that be possible?
I’m saying, “Yes.”
Patients must love you.
This is simple.
Your dentists, your dental hygienists, and your dental team members must be such wonderful people that your patients just want to be their friend, regardless of what they do or perform as a living.
“People only do business with people that they like.”
You’ve heard it before and now I’m going to tell it to you again. But with a twist.
“People will always do business with people that they love.”
If your patients LOVE you and love your team, then these patients will have no hesitations or reservations about making appointments to see you and your team for all of the dentistry that they need to have done.
But if your patients fall short of loving you, then they will cancel appointments and delay and defer treatment, sometimes forever.
And always to their own detriment.
Cavities will become larger.
Cavities will become deeper.
Bone loss will become worse.
Bleeding and infection will remain.
“Sick and tired of dealing with patients who love your work but don’t want to pay what you deserve for it?”
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And this leads into the second reason why your patients will always return for treatment…
They will return and keep returning while ever they have and understand what needs to be done next for them.
CLEAR. NEXT. STEP.
Patients must know exactly what is being done for them at their next visit.
And they must know exactly what will happen to them if they do not have the treatment completed and over in the recommended time.
The reason that patients do not make ongoing appointments, or they make appointments for treatment but have no intention of attending those appointments is because they have not been told clearly what is being done at the next visit.
And they have not been told clearly what will happen to them if they do not get the treatment completed at the recommended time. Or sooner.
Most dental practices are too vague when it comes to discussing with patients the outcomes of treatment and the consequences of delaying and deferring treatment.
This may be because the dentist or the team members do not want to come across as “pushy”.
But I contend that failing to convince patients to have the treatment they need that is best for their health is in fact professional negligence.
I hear dentists say that they gave the patients all the options and the patient chose not to go ahead with treatment.
I contend that the dentist has failed their patient if they did not give them sufficient compelling reasons to book and schedule their necessary and recommended treatment.
And request to be contacted if an earlier appointment time.
And have that treatment done.
If as dental professionals we fail to have our treatment plans accepted then we have failed our patients and their ongoing well-being.
So how do we achieve this?
We must have a vision of clarity for our business and our staff.
CLEAR. NEXT. STEP.
Nobody in our business, be they an employee or an owner or a customer, should ever be in any doubt as to exactly what they need to do next, and they must also know exactly what will happen if they do not get done what is needed to be done within the recommended time frame.
With crystal clear clarity.
Once we have established this culture within our business that becomes recognised and appreciated by our loving and loyal customers, then we will automatically build a clientele of raving loyal fans who love us implicitly.
And so if for some reason a difficulty arises that causes one of our patients to have to delay and reschedule their treatment then we have a choice of patients just willing to step up and have their necessary appointment brought forwards.
If we are unclear we are doing nobody any favours.
It’s not that we need to have scripts to try to prevent our patients calling in and cancelling.
It’s not that we need to have scripts to close patients into appointments for treatment.
It is simply that we need to have the relationships with our patients that they love us and respect us and trust us implicitly so that when we diagnose and plan treatment they are one hundred percent in agreement with all that we need to do for them.”
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that Dr. David Moffet developed that allowed him to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, download a free chapter of his #1 Amazon best-selling book “How To Build The Dental Practice Of Your Dreams (Without Killing Yourself!) In Less Than 60 Days” right here now.