How do you make sure that you’re providing the best experience to your patients? You want them to be comfortable during their appointment, and to feel taken care of so that they will be more likely to come back in the future. Would your patients recommend your practice to a friend or family member? If you were to ask them, what would they say could be improved?
There are steps you can take as a practice to improve the service you provide and excel at the patient experience. Dr. Glen Marsack and staff at Crescent Lake Dental in Waterford, MI know that it requires coordination among all members of the team to create an environment that welcomes patients and keeps them coming back.
It’s important to create a good atmosphere from the moment a patient walks in the door. A warm and positive greeting is essential, whether it’s their first time or they’re a returning patient. Small changes in the office waiting room can have a big impact, such as adding magazines or a dedicated charging station for phones. Often times, patients can be nervous when visiting the dentist, so you want to create an atmosphere that is relaxing.
Another aspect to consider is that as comfortable as you make the waiting area, there aren’t many people who enjoy the act of waiting. How long are you making your patients wait? Even if it is a short while, you will find that their patience is tested if they are sitting around waiting too long, especially if they are waiting past their scheduled time. You want to establish a method that ensures that patients are seen with little or no wait time. It’s important to value the patient’s time and to respect it.
Even if the patient came in for a simple procedure, it’s helpful to be open with your patients about treatment recommendations, so they have all of the information. If a patient is on time for their appointment and in a relaxed state, they are more likely to be open to discussion about treatment options. Some patients may communicate differently, so you want to be attentive to that and tailor your approach accordingly.
The Follow Up
After treatment, the follow up is very important. Small changes can reap big rewards such as encouraging patients to come back and setting up follow up appointment as soon as treatment is completed. Reminder alerts the day before an appointment can also keep everyone on schedule.
These simple steps may be ones that you’ve already put in place, while others you’ve thought about but haven’t acted on. Remember that the patient is always first. You want your patients to think of your office as a friendly environment where they can be comfortable not only coming back, but also somewhere that they’ll recommend to their friends and family.