Focus on customer service to grow your practice
When you provide patients with an exceptional experience, they become loyal patients who accept treatment and refer. These types of patients are vital to practice success, allowing you to recoup the costs of attracting new patients to your office while also establishing a solid base of patients who keep you productive. Happy patients help your practice thrive, and one of the best ways to keep patients happy is by offering superior customer service.
You and your team members should focus on providing exceptional customer service at every patient touchpoint, from the time they make that initial phone call to learn about your practice until they’re checking out after their appointment. This also includes social media and other online interactions, which are becoming an important part of how patients communicate with dental practices.
Bottom line: Making customer service a priority is an easy, effective way to grow your practice. Here’s why:
It costs less to retain patients than it does to attract new ones
What’s the best way to ensure patients come back to your practice? Offer them an experience they won’t forget. Train team members to greet them with a friendly smile and to do what they can to put even the most nervous patients at ease. Offer them coffee or water as they wait in a comfortable reception area that feels more like a cozy living room than a dental office. Patients will remember these small touches and will reward you with their loyalty.
Patients will be more likely to refer your office
Of course, patients are also going to talk if they have a negative experience. Instead of singing your praises to family and friends, they’ll tell them to stay away from your practice. Making customer service a priority will help you avoid this scenario.
Patients won’t mind when you raise your fees
Many dentists are hesitant to raise their fees because they’re afraid they’ll lose patients, so they keep prices the same year after year. This, of course, costs them money and ultimately hurts their practice.
I suggest establishing a solid fee schedule for each service you provide and then adjusting twice a year. The first increase should be 2% followed by 3% for an annual yearly increase of 5%. Patients will barely notice these increases—especially if they’re happy with the practice and the customer service you provide.
Patients will be more likely to accept treatment
You’ll know what improvements need to be made
Taking patient complaints seriously offers two main benefits: patients see you value their opinion and care about the experience they have at your practice, and you get a chance to address problems you didn’t even know existed. Maybe you didn’t realize patients were waiting on hold for 15 minutes to simply schedule an appointment, or that your website is difficult to navigate. You can use this information to improve your practice and provide an even better experience for your patients.
Establishing a solid base of loyal patients is key to practice success and profitability. Making sure your team members are focused on providing exceptional customer service during every patient interaction, whether on the phone, in person or online, will make more patients want to call your office their dental home. Your practice will grow and so will your bottom line.
Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email firstname.lastname@example.org