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The overall reputation of a dentist begins within our community. This is evident very commonly these days, as many of the patients have got a lot of information sources, which not only includes Google reviews, rankings, Facebook and WhatsApp chats, and now even Instagram, where your practice can be a subject of discussion among people. Thus, people can shape their opinion about your practice even before they have their own experience!

This reputation and experience flow right from- how patients perceived the dental website with ease, how they got attended by the front desk to how they found the comfort or discomfort through overall treatment.

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Addressing patient’s covid phobia

With time and situation patients have changed. Before Covid, 19 patients’ expectations focused often on treatment, amenities, and availability. However, it’s no longer the case as every patient expects to receive treatment in sanitized, safe, and short-scheduled appointments. So prep your dental clinic well for covid.

Overall patient satisfaction and visits will seem to increase when patients feel confident that they are being protected and taken care of their expectations. So help your patients get rid of not only their dental phobia but also their covid phobia by taking all the necessary precautions and following the sanitization protocols. Address their covid concerns and explain to them all the necessary steps you are taking and assure them they are in safe hands.

So how to optimize the patient’s experience?

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Answering calls at the front desk

Start building value during first-ever inquiry calls. Any team member answering the phone call must always be a good communicator guided by a well-scripted, warm & enthusiastic one. The front desk coordinator can build trust with a team reinforcing confidence that they have chosen the right dental clinic. Most such conversations often result in new patients conversions for treatments.

A very important thing is answering new patient phone calls. Do not ignore phone calls, have people waiting or leave them on voice messages, or let new bees answer the patient calls. Be available in case of emergencies. We all know some assistants can be arrogant but that can cost you big time. So train your assistant to answer calls with a smile and a feeling of comfort. You might be implementing these, but there’s always a scope of improvement which will make a difference.

Guiding patient to your clinic

A patient’s experience starts from the minute patient walks into your clinic. Consider this a very first step to elevating the patient’s experience. One can do this by providing a digital guide tool, clear signboards to make it easier to locate your clinic. Make sure not only the interiors of the clinics are clean, but the surrounding areas and corridors that lead to your clinic are also clean.

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Respect your patient’s time

It’s been found that the leading cause of negative or bad experiences is due to patients getting frustrated by long waiting periods for their dental treatments. Though it’s not always in the clinician’s hand, by putting digital signage, entertainment options, education videos displayed on screens, one can make the patient feel calm and engaged during his waiting time.

Displaying a list of appointments would help patients to know the probable time for the call and this would improve their dental experience.

Personalized communication is the key

An expected attitude comes along to be the backbone of an appointment once the patient goes beyond the reception room. But what requires next is- Practice & Patience, since it brings back the patient for follow-up appointments.

Though digital radiographs, scanners, lasers impart excellent treatment outcomes, they don’t stand a chance against one strong factor i.e. Personalized, human-to-human connection, efforts put into building long-lasting relationships through a welcoming smile and focused communication with the patient.

Uninterrupted listening

A genuinely inquisitive conversation to catch up with patient’s whereabouts and health with eye contact, patient listening and responding, shows a heartfelt interest in patients’ life which humanizes the patient as well as the clinician to create a foundation and an ice-breaking situation for every new patient. It’s an indisputable win for both, as the patient feels like they matter to the dentist that just being a token to be cashed in. 

There may be a dozen of patients you will be seeing. But at the end of the day when a patient is in your chair, he will want to feel like the only patient you have had in a day. All it takes is a small change in your mindset & behavior. Imply it and watch your practice growth explode. 

Invest in tools for painless and faster treatment experience 

You will not believe but modernization and digitalization of the clinic do make a difference in creating an impact. Apart from a kind gesture what patients will notice and remember is how much effort did dentist put to carry out the examination how much pain & discomfort they had during some treatment, also how long the appointment lasted due to inconvenient tools and assistance.

Patients invest a lot of money and time, so they expect to get treatment of that kind. With the combination of advanced technology, one can deliver better, faster, and transparent diagnosis and treatment to the patients fulfilling their satisfaction. This decides their willingness for coming to the next dental visit. 

Taking care of existing patients

Not just new patients, but paying attention to your existing and regular patients is also equally important. Do not take your regular patients for granted. People who are regular with their appointments, expect you to treat them even better each time they visit you.

Also, word of mouth plays a very important role to increase your footfall so keeping them happy is more challenging. These are also the people who will not hesitate to visit another clinic in case you don’t value their experience and you don’t want that to happen. So pay attention to minor details and train your staff to keep your patients happy.

Post visit feedbacks

When you give your patients a chance to share their valuable thoughts regarding their treatment, they feel like their opinions are being considered. This enhances their belief in your practice and overall patient satisfaction. 
The bottom line is, what’s good for your patient’s experience is good for you.

Highlights

  • Walk a mile in the patient’s shoes and understand your patient’s sufferings.
  • Treating people right doesn’t cost a dime. 
  • Treat your patient and team with empathy and respect and watch them build your empire for you.
  • For being a reputed dentist clinical skills & efficacy are not enough as patient can find it in any licensed dentist nearby. People don’t care how much you know until they ‘Experience’ how much you know them and care!
  • That’s why when kept in mind what’s good for the patient is good for you, you will automatically create a satisfying patient experience which will definitely help you to build up more and more referrals. 
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