Why Customer Service Still Counts

Written by: Roger P. Levin, DDS
customer service


The retail world is gradually shifting to online purchasing. No one believes that 100% of all shopping will go in that direction, but every year we set new records for online retail sales. Online does not demand as much customer service, although sites that have it typically flourish. However, dentistry, at least for the most part, still cannot be done online, and that is why customer service still matters.

customer service

Although I’ve never seen any business school research on this theory, I believe that bricks and mortar businesses like dental practices, where a personal relationship with patients is the model, need a higher level of customer service if they want to achieve higher levels of success. Insurance patients may go to a practice because their plan is accepted, but they still want to be treated well.

The less affluent patient who seeks out a lower fee office still wants to be treated well. The patient who responds to advertising on television to select their dental practice still wants to feel appreciated and well taken care of. And any of these patients are more than willing to leave a practice and move in another direction if they don’t receive good customer service.

It isn’t very difficult to identify the items that patients perceive as good customer service. The challenge is in implementing those things with every single patient, every time they come in. Here are five quick examples of the techniques used by top-producing practices to deliver excellent customer service:

  1. Give a big, hearty, enthusiastic greeting to every patient that walks into the office.
  2. Learn one new thing about every patient at every visit and add it to your notes in their chart.
  3. For new patients, try to learn at least ten personal things about them, and be sure to ask them about a few at their next appointment.
  4. Call all patients who receive injections within 48 hours to see how they are doing with whatever treatment they received.
  5. Have an excellent script to say goodbye to each patient, such as, “Mrs. Jones, it was a pleasure to see you today. We are delighted to have you as a patient and look forward to your next visit.”

Imagine if every patient in your practice received these five simple customer service treatments, in addition to the excellent clinical care you provide, every time they came in. How much happier would they be with their choice to visit you and your team for their oral health care? Dental practices should strive for outstanding customer service as a competitive strategy to achieve and maintain success.


Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 clients to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written more than 60 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.

To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email rlevin@levingroup.com.