Dental Customer Service Ideas To Implement
Dental customer service ideas are a dime a dozen! I mean, there are lots of gimmicks out there promising to help us win new patients. And there are also extraordinary measures invented to keep patients. (At least that’s the idea). I’ve seen things like big office raffles and crazy promotions. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. And maybe I’m just old school. But, in reality, I do not understand it! Not at all.
When I go to the dentist, I don’t want a new barbecue grill. Nor do I look for what I can win! I really just want a nice dental appointment. And I want to feel like I matter. I want to find the dental office in order and clean. Time matters to me. Even if I have no other place I have to be at a certain time. I am happiest when my schedule goes the way I planned. Especially if that includes more “me” time!
What Do You Want?
Think about this for just a minute. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes. You are now the dental patient. And you walk into the office that you work in or that you own. Take a look around the office as if you were a brand new patient. Try to see it all differently. Try to see the office as if you haven’t looked at it every day for the last 5, 10, or even 15 years. What do you see? What do you want to see?
Imagine now you call the office as a new patient. Is your call answered warmly within the first 3 rings? And is your call answered by a person or by a machine? Are you placed on hold immediately? Does someone nicely take the time to listen and identify who you are. Does someone truly want to help you at that moment in time? Is everything just the way you want it to be? Or would you like a different experience entirely?
Dental Customer Service Ideas Bring The Team Together
Dental customer service ideas open the door for great team building! Because every member of the team has a different role, each team member has a unique perspective. And this is a good thing! Plan a team meeting to talk about the patient experience in your individual practice. Then, create a plan to implement any change. And keep in mind, a small simple change can produce huge results. Think about the little things.
Designate one team member as the record keeper. The recorder can post final minutes and decisions or distribute copies to each team member later on. This is a position the team may consider rotating. Decide at the meeting if this a shared position. And how often you might want to rotate the lead and record keeping tasks. As one person will also need to lead the meeting. Wait! Will there be ongoing meetings about customer service ideas? I hope so!
Getting Ideas To Stick!
We take great strides forward when we get ideas to stick! And we get ideas to stick when we write them down. Then we create a follow-through plan. Finally, we talk about how it’s working. Because our ideas and our plans might need additional tweaking. Nothing is set in stone. And change is oh so energizing! Please don’t let it scare you!
Everyone of the dental front office systems involve customer service. Because dentistry is all about the people we serve. Every interaction is a customer service opportunity. And what we personally do with each patient conversation and interaction is totally up to us. But it is a reflection of the team and the practice as a whole. It is true that no man or team member is an island here. We represent each other.
Dental Customer Service Ideas As A Patient
Dental customer service ideas are inspired with new perspective. At the front office, we can become complacent. But, I also think that is true of any position and role we fill. And is not unique to the dental front office. We need a little inspiration and refreshment in our lives. Try some role playing as part of your meeting. The dental front office team member is now a patient. A dental hygienist sits at the front desk to greet you. Walk in the front door of the office. What do you see? How are you greeted?
Where do other team members jump in? The dentist can substitute for a dental assistant that walks a patient to the front desk. Maybe the dental assistant is that patient. And another dental assistant can be a patient in the reception area. Perhaps this patient waits for an appointment. And is listening and watching everything that happens now.
Walk Through The Entire Patient Experience
Take advantage of the opportunity you have right now. Truly step into your role as the patient. (Whoever has taken that patient seat!) Look around as if you have never seen this building before. What do you hear when you sit in the patient chair. How do clinicians talk to you? Do clipboards look new and clean? Is there clutter anywhere? Take it all in! And look at the “little” things.
Imagine you could have everything just the way you want it! How would you want your dental experience to go? What would you want your environment to be? Write it all down! Now what do you need to do to make it so? Do you need more time to talk with patients about needed dental treatment? Is more help necessary with answering the phones? Maybe some scripts? More automation and technology? Is there a disconnect in the patient hand-off? Write it all down and take each improvement one step at a time.
Dental Customer Service Ideas You Cannot See
Dental customer service ideas exist that we do not see like this. One example of this is our confirmation system. But this is a great system for the team to talk about. Especially if you see open appointment times in the schedules. Or maybe there are patients rescheduling short notice! Work through this step by step. What exactly is happening? What can change? How can the experience be improved for your patients? Certainly someone in the practice can take that open appointment?
Patient billing and collections is another consideration. Yet something you will not see as you walk into the office for the first time. But this is definitely an area that will drive patients away fast! Or will have your dental patients feeling they can trust you with absolutely anything? And what’s in that credit balance report? Everything must be clean and transparent. If there is chaos, confusion, and something seems funny guess what? Something is funny here!