One of the best places in your dental office for building Customer Loyalty is with your Front Office team following completion of the actual dental treatment.
This is an area of the Dental Office where Dentists and Owners tend to brush over the importance of the relationships that are built and built upon here.
The process of checking out the patient, which we have rebranded as The Ultimate Post-Appointment as one of the Five Building Blocks within The Ultimate Patient Experience, is often overlooked in front office protocols and trainings.
In truth, the time taken to dismiss the patient following treatment should be allowed to be as long as is needed to create a bond between the patient and the Dental Practice that is so strong that it can never be broken.
However, in reality, most dental offices out there are so under staffed in this capacity that the ability to create a seamless post-treatment scenario seems just like a pipe dream.
The only way to develop the dental check out into a WOW experience for the patient is to have sufficient manpower available so that when that patient is going through the many steps of The Ultimate Post-Appointment, there are zero distractions and interruptions.
Only then can the processes of the post-treatment become so personal, and so pleasant, that the patient considers it an absolute pleasure and delight doing business with your dental office. Consequently, the painful parts of the check out process, like making payment and scheduling next appointments disappear into the ether as mere blimps on the horizon during the pleasantries being discussed by two friends.
In previous blog posts, I have discussed that ideally the front office needs to have at least three employees for a one man dental office.
- Someone answering the phone
- A concierge. Someone acting as a client lounge schmoozer.
- A post-treatment coordinator. Someone to schedule ongoing appointments and to also handle the financial arrangements after the patient has seen the dentist.
Only then, can the processes of the Ultimate Post-Appointment be carried out seamlessly.
Picture the reality. Most Dental Offices have one team member trying to perform all three of these roles. They’re trying to make the patient an ongoing appointment, they’re trying to answer incoming phone enquiries, they’re trying to greet the next patient and fill in any paperwork or enter data into the computer….they truly need to be an octopus! And guess what? Because of this lack of staff on the ground, the processes that need to be conducted never get completed in the best possible manner.
The patient being checked out gets rushed out. After all, their appointment is over now.
The incoming phone call goes through unanswered to a message bank. After all, it’s probably just a shopper wanting a price.
The new patient arrives for their appointment, they get a clipboard thrust into their face and a quick “Take a seat” or worse still “Won’t be too long”.
Is it any wonder that the public is treating dentistry like a commodity, when most dental offices are giving their clients mixed messages like these as a result of being poorly staffed?
What are the dividends to the Dental Office for this investment in extra manpower?
I believe the adoption of The Ultimate Post-Appointment protocols into your Dental Office will create relationships with patients who:
- Accept more treatment more often
- Make longer appointments
- Reschedule less
- Happily pay more for better service and greater attention
A Dental Practice full of patients exhibiting these behaviors makes Dentistry even more of a pleasure to perform.
It creates happier dentists, and in turn, happier Dental Offices.
And isn’t that a Win-Win-Win for everyone then?
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