What is the Correlation Between Customer Service & Dental Patient Retention in Practices?
Attracting new patients is vital for the growth of any dental practice. However, retaining current patients is just as crucial for long-term success. It is important to keep in mind that dentistry is a service-based industry, and for this reason, providing excellent customer service is vital for dental patient retention. While there are numerous tactics that practices can deploy, being present, being the expert and being organized are among the most expected offerings when a patient selects to remain with a dental provider.
Dental Patient Retention Tips
A recent study from The Beryl Institute showed the highest priority for a patient when deciding on a health provider is the feeling that they are listened to, clearly communicated with and are genuinely respected. These characteristics are at the heart of customer service, and what compels patients to return for another visit. Practices can meet this desire inside the office and out by focusing more on how they approach dental patient retention.
The dental staff can display active listening by being mindful of questions and comments during the visit, as well as taking the time to document feedback that can be resurfaced during the next appointment. Patients want to feel heard and be a part of their treatment decisions. Taking the time to get to know patients is of equal importance, remembering that behind every smile is a person with a story. Building a relationship with patients contributes to comfortability and more importantly, trust.
Before stepping foot into the office, patients can feel served and respected by a staff that provides quick and accurate responses to questions, such as treatment options, billing and booking. When physically arriving at the office, patients feel safe and ready for their appointment knowing they are already familiar with the dentist and staff.
Be the Expert
Giving customers confidence in the abilities of practice also ranked as one of the highest customer priorities from the same study and proves time and again to be highly influential in dental patient retention. This services the customer by ensuring them that they have access to high-quality care and the latest treatment options, such as dental lasers.
There are multiple ways a practice can showcase expertise starting with spotlighting the understanding and availability of new technology to address age-old concerns, through thought leadership tactics. This means displaying awards, reviews and any contributed articles from the team on the company website and social media pages. Putting this content front and center for patients reminds them of the type of care they’re under and have access to when selecting to remain with a practice.
Dental patient retention often comes down to improving communication with your patients, facilitating appointments and executing procedures – and that requires organization.
Not only does exercising organizational skills help your practice run smoothly behind the scenes, but it has a strong impact on a patient’s experience. Focusing on dental patient retention means ensuring appointments are documented correctly, patients are followed up with appropriately and feedback is easy to receive and provide. While there will always be extra steps involved in providing patients with a first-class experience, the additional effort is beneficial to both the patients and staff.
Winning a loyal patient base not only creates life-long attendance but a group of individuals who would be happy to provide reviews, testimonials and more. This content can then be leveraged to attract new faces, who are eager to receive the same top-of-the-line treatment and customer service that your practice continues to provide.
Dental patient retention is important to the success of your practice – prioritize it and enjoy the rewards for years to come.
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