Dental Front Desk Patience & Customer Service
Dental front desk patience is the first step to better customer service. And is a skill we can all improve on. This month of June, 2021, my blog posts focus on customer service. And that includes our dental office phone management. So, let’s take a look together at just how we can improve upon our personal interactions this month. And this includes our dental office team relationships. Because we must begin within. And customer service management trickles down from the very top!
Leadership is a responsibility of the entire team. Please consider yourself a leader within your dental practice. Because you truly are! All eyes and ears are upon each member of the dental office team each day. And it’s not just the patients who are attentive to the dental team. Other team members watch too! And we all encourage and mold each other in ways we are not consciously aware of. So, let’s really shine!
Practice Makes Perfect
At least that’s what I’ve heard. And here’s the good news! We have lots of opportunity to practice patience in dentistry! Right? And we may feel pressure from several areas at the same time. The phones ring as a patient arrives at check-out. And here comes another patient through the door. Does he know he’s 10 minutes late for his very first appointment? And the dentist has already asked where he is?
Recognize the opportunity to practice. Step 1 is simply recognition and acceptance. That second we feel the tug of impatience beckon, we can pause. An internal pause to acknowledge this is merely opportunity to practice. And that step alone may bring some pressure relief! Take a little breath, and smile. Everything is going to be just fine. Although it may feel like something terrible is about to happen. I assure you that all is well. And that it’s okay to accept this practice assignment!
Dental Front Desk Patience & Our Why
So now we recognize the practice opportunity. What next? Well, identify why you are uncomfortable. Quickly assess what’s happening within yourself. Why am I feeling so tense? Why am I so nervous? What is happening now? It might be that you are not sure what to attend to first. The phone is ringing and there is a patient at checkout. Not to mention a late new patient has just walked through the door. Clarity as to why I’m stressed and impatient is necessary. And I identify I don’t know what to do first.
There are tools here on the website that will help you sort this out. Take a look at The Art of Dental Reception e-book. And work through the Dental Customer Service Systems Course. But let me also help you here, right now! First, breathe. And them smile. Enjoy the people around you. And let me remind you that everything is fine! Smile at that patient walking through the front door. Wave a welcoming wave and hold up a finger as you pick up the phone receiver. Greet your caller and ask if you could please place them on a brief hold. Then, ask your patient who is checking out if they would please take a seat for just a moment.
Everyone is now in a holding pattern. So, how do I know who to help first? We have a late new patient that our doc is waiting for. So, that’s my priority. Warmly greet this new patient and let the doc know they are here. If this new patient needs to fill out any forms, get those started. But you can also do much of this before the patient ever shows up for their first appointment! In fact, I highly recommend you do. And here’s a resource to consider:
Acknowledge your waiting patient that is waiting on the phone. Let this patient know it will be just a few minutes more. Would they prefer a call back or to wait for you? And then bring your patient waiting to checkout up to your desk. Thank them for being so thoughtful and for waiting so patiently. And these moments do happen in dentistry. There are moments in time when we wonder what just happened. But it’s not an all day event.
Consider Team Training
We need all team members to help with administrative tasks. Another set of hands can be very helpful. Everyone should be able to collect and process a payment due. We also want all team members to have phone training. How do we check a patient in? And where do we keep any forms needed? All hands on deck make for a much better dental day. And with your Dental Front Office Membership, you have all the tools you need for a great start. Want additional coaching or training? I’m just an email away! And would happily personalize something just for you and your team.