Above everything, patients are looking for a positive experience that brings them positive results. Thoughtful customer service has the most significant impact on growing your patient base. It all comes down to the patient’s perception of the experience.
Patients want quality dental work — but they cannot judge clinical skills in dentistry. Patients judge clinics based on the quality of the customer service which affects their overall experience. They generally accept that excellent service goes hand-in-hand with excellent dentistry. Great customer service is all about an exceptional patient experience. This experience includes what the patient sees, hears, smells, and how they feel when they enter your office.
In order to provide great customer service, it is important to look inward.
- How do I speak to my patients?
- What is my appearance? Does it exude friendliness?
- Is our office stuck with outdated technology or old reading materials?
- Is my attention focused entirely on the patient in front of me?
- Do I make sure to respect appointment times?
In fact, many patients don’t like dentists. Sadly, this aversion is a common thing, so common that you’ve probably already encountered it or heard about it. Have you ever asked yourself ‘why’?
Dental anxiety is one of the leading conflicts that prevents patients from seeking treatment for their dental diseases, sometimes even when they are in pain. A large portion of the population suffers from dental anxiety, whether it’s because of a bad experience, or just an association of pain and discomfort with exams.
It’s important to understand the issue of dental anxiety since it is such a common problem that many patients face. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the signs that somebody suffers from dental anxiety, or is feeling nervous or afraid about being in your practice. Pay attention to the way that patients behave. If they have questions or concerns about the pain or invasiveness of a procedure, answer their questions with compassion and patience.
Patients need to know that they are in a friendly space and that dental anxiety is not something that they have to try to hide – making accommodations to lessen their fears is a great way to make sure that they feel comfortable with expressing their worries. They will feel more heard, which might diminish their fear, even if just a bit!
On the topic of accommodating anxious patients, the importance of a relaxing environment cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked when it comes to attempting to lessen a patient’s fears about dental procedures.
Taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight all have roles in retaining memories. These same senses also inform people of their current surroundings. The unconscious mind interprets the information and “advises” emotions accordingly.
Be aware of the five senses — this will help your dental team achieve a relationship with patients that will gradually allow fear and anxiety to become emotions of the past. Creating an environment that provides high-quality, gentle dentistry in a RELAXING and EDUCATIONAL setting will work wonders for ensuring that your practice leaves patients happy and comfortable.