Your car requires more than just gas. Periodically you, your auto mechanic, or your car dealer must perform certain maintenance such as changing the oil, flushing the radiator, or installing a new air filter to preserve the life of your car and keep it running at an optimal level.
Likewise, you want to keep your dental staff operating like a finely tuned machine that provides outstanding customer service, helps close cases, and contributes to increasing referrals. To ensure this, you must encourage your staff to do certain things each day that will actually make a difference in the short-term and long-term success of the practice.
Dental offices that follow a repeatable process every day will give their practices the greatest chance for success. Consider making the following four tasks part of your daily routine:
- Greet all patients as if they were the person you would most like to have dinner with in the world: Thinking in this way forces you to consider how you greet every patient. Dental staff should be excited to see everyone who walks through the door and take the time to learn what’s going on in their lives. This can have a tremendous impact in a very short period of time. You often hear about people who leave a restaurant or a business saying how nice the people were and that they look forward to going back. The original greeting is probably the primary reason.
- Keep patients fully informed during their visit: We teach clients the five-minute rule. It requires dental assistants to ask a patient how they’re doing or if they need anything every five minutes during treatment. This helps make patients feel comfortable and positions the assistant as the consummate professional. The assistant should be prepared for anything including providing pillows and blankets, giving answers about treatment, and reinforcing the excellence of the doctor and care.
- Follow up with patients after treatment: After new patients leave your office, they should receive a text within 10 minutes that lets them know how much you appreciate them, that you look forward to working with them, and that they should call the office with any questions they may have. With current patients, contact them following treatment to see how they are doing. This usually requires less than 20 minutes a day, and I cannot stress enough how valuable it is.
- Let patients know that you are available to answer questions and handle emergencies: While patients may never need to contact you outside of normal office hours, knowing you are reachable and open to helping them goes a long way toward building powerful and loyal relationships.
Keeping your dental practice running smoothly doesn’t happen without discipline and focus. Creating a repeatable process where these four tasks happen during every patient’s visit will help keep you on track. Every patient should receive a VIP greeting, outstanding attention from the dental assistant, a follow-up call the next day, and a reminder that your office is always available for questions or emergencies.
Dr. Levin is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with more than 30,000 dental practices. Dr. Levin is one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored 65 books and more than 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. To contact Dr. Levin, email firstname.lastname@example.org.