Improving Dental Customer Service For Your Patients!
Improving dental customer service is a “must”. Every dental office that wants to keep their patients “must” strive to be the best at what they do. Any dental practice that wants to be sure they are recession proof has to work at it. Even if all you really want is to have the best possible day at your dental office, providing superior customer service is king!
I’m not really a fan of the term “customer service”. But, we are rated very openly these days on our customer service. Even within dental practices. To me, the way we care for our patients builds relationships and improves lives. This is so much bigger than customer service.
In dentistry, we are in the business of caring for people, and we are repeatedly invited to improve our abilities. It’s kind of like “exercise”. Another word I truly don’t care for. I do love hiking, yoga, and enjoying the great outdoors. It’s just that word… to me it sounds like work. As does the word “customer service”. And nobody likes “work”!
When I was a young girl, I was a figure skater and a gymnast. I bet you are wondering what that has to do with anything. I would be too! Here’s the point! I didn’t learn to do back flips on the balance beam on my first day in my leotard. Nor did I learn to pirouette the first day I laced up my beautiful white skates! It came little by little, day by day. I learned new skills and I practiced them. A lot!
Learning to build strong patient relationships takes skill. Every phone call, every patient interaction provides an opportunity for growth.
Improving Dental Customer Service With Telephone Training!
Improving dental customer service in your practice might begin with telephone training. Most of your patients will communicate with your office by telephone many times. New patients call and judge your dental office by their first point of contact. Existing patients call to question a statement. Other patients will call to discuss treatment or reschedule an appointment.
How do patients want to be treated when they call? Everyone wants to be treated well. We all want similar things. A live person answering the phone is fabulous these days! And when we hear a warm and welcoming greeting, we are even more excited! We don’t want to be put on hold. We want to matter.
Help is Here!
Someone you really want to hear from is calling. When we answer the office phone, it is so important to be in the right frame of mind. Every single call is someone we really want to talk to! If we answer the telephone feeling stressed or can’t tackle one more thing, our patients will feel it to. That’s definitely not the message we want to convey.
Have you ever called a place of business and left more than one message and still didn’t get a call back? Or when you did get a call back, the person calling just told you how buy they have been. They may even have apologized repeatedly. It doesn’t help.
Improving Dental Customer Service With Great Schedules!
Improving dental customer service will mean accommodating patients’ schedules. And schedules today are tight! People have so many places to be in a day and so many things to do. Unexpectedly, appointments need to be rescheduled. The dental front office team will be pressured and pulled along with it.
However, perspective and preparation can change it all! Prepare with great schedule blocks and templates for both your hygiene and restorative schedules. Take the time to analyze what your dental practice needs. Running specific reports to show you what procedure codes you are doing most in a 6 month window will tell you what you are doing most. What are your days like? What do you want your days to be like?
Then, creating a super solid call list will lighten your load! It will also make your patients happier! Asking each and every patient if they would like to be contacted for schedule changes is easy! Finding out when they are available and what works for their schedules opens the door for deeper communication. It’s a win-win for both sides!
Improving Dental Customer Service With Great Billing Systems!
Improving dental customer service includes billing and collection protocol. Patients will appreciate timely billing and systems they can understand. No one wants to receive a statement months after treatment has been completed.
Have you ever printed an ageing report and noticed an account that isn’t getting billed? There’s no good reason for it either. Hopefully, you are looking at ageing reports frequently so this kind of thing never becomes a problem! But just one missed month of checking reports could turn into an unhappy patient and an unpleasant conversation.
Nobody wants an unpleasant conversation! So, what’s the best work around for that? Daily patient billing & weekly reviewing both insurance ageing and patient ageing reports are key! There is an old saying that “you can’t make everyone happy”. I think you can. I believe with all my mind, that you can make both the patients and the dental practice happy with great management systems.
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