Last weekend I attended the annual convention of the Professional Speakers Association of Australia.
One of the key takeaways from the meeting was this statement from legend Keith Abrahams, who said:
“The reason most people don’t use you more is because you stopped staying in touch with them.”
Isn’t that the truth.
In my dental practice many years ago, I had my team do some reactivation phoning.
Reactivation is the process of phoning patients who have not been in for a while and who are overdue for an appointment to complete diagnosed treatment, or are overdue for a dental hygiene and examination appointment.
For some reason or other, these patients have been allowed to cancel an appointment they were booked for without booking another appointment, or they may have been allowed to leave our office after treatment without securing their next appointment.
And because dental pathology does not fix itself, these patients now become a walking time-bomb of treatment uncompleted that needs to be completed.
Anyway, on this day in my office, one of my team members relayed to me the comments from a long-term patient named Molly. For some reason, Molly and her husband Ken, who were regular attendees at my practice, were overdue for their hygiene visits.
When Molly was contacted about scheduling a time to see our hygienist, she informed my receptionist:
“We’ve decide to go somewhere else. We hadn’t heard from Dr Moffet in a while, and we thought that he didn’t care about us any more….”
This comment from Molly hurt.
Because our practice had not been in touch with Molly for a while about her and Ken being overdue for their hygiene visits, she believed that our practice had been taking her and her husband for granted.
This definitely was not the reality. However it was Molly and Ken’s reality.
And now it had become our practice’s reality.
In your dental practice…
In your dental practice, are you staying in touch with all of your patients about their dental needs and requirements?
Or is your apathy towards patients with outstanding treatment not being booked sending those patients a message that you aren’t interested in helping them any more?
At your dental practice, it’s definitely safer to stay in touch with those patients who don’t have an appointment with you, until THEY TELL YOU that they don’t want to hear from you any more.
And if that’s the case, always ask those patients if they would like their records sent to another practice. As a health care professional, it is your duty to ensure that your patients do get their treatment completed, even if they decide that they are not coming back to your office.
What you will find, by regularly staying in touch with patients who do not have appointments scheduled with you, is that a lot of those patients actually will be grateful for the follow up, and will schedule a time to resume their dental care with you.
Staying in touch regularly with your unscheduled patients [and your scheduled patients as well] will always be a WIN-WIN for your dental office and for your patients.
Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business