True patient satisfaction is always based on a very special sort of connection or bond between dentist and patient. If you manage to build this rapport with them, you can make sure they will always turn up to their treatments filled with trust and openness. However, building this nexus may be difficult as very few dentists are born with communication superpowers.
Luckily, there are tools you can use to guarantee you some quick wins. I call them low hanging fruits as they are just as easy to achieve as picking apples from a tree.
Keep your eyes and ears open!
Dentist appointments are very often filled with stress and anxiety for many patients. You as a dentist can do a lot for relieving this stress by listening to what they are saying. Try to notice the human being behind the teeth, focus on their specific needs and try to find a solution that fits their criteria, not only your professional opinion. This is the base of a good dentist-patient relationship.
But if you would like to try what it is like to provide a „wow” experience, keep your eyes and ears open, notice the low hanging fruits and grab them!
What does it mean?
During a conversation, you will definitely hear some bits of information that contains something personal. Something that refers to your patients life, personality, habits, or circumstances. For example:
- ’One of my teeth chipped while I was walking my dog.’
- ’Oh, I can’t come next Monday, I’ll have a university exam the next day.’
- ’I may be a few minutes late, I am struggling to find a place to park my car.’
Most dentists would translate these sentences to:
- ’composite bonding’
- ’cancelled appointment’
- ’another delay’
Try to be different and place your focus somewhere else and imagine the following situation. Your patient returns to your practice next time and you refer back to the information they unknowingly shared with you last time.
- ’What breed of dog do you have? I used to have a basset when I was a kid.’
- ’Was everything ok with your exam?’
- ’Did you easily find a parking spot? Next time try the street behind the church, I always park my car there.’
If you find something to remember a couple of days / weeks later and use it to connect with your patient through it, you are on the right path to become an excellent communicator. This is a communication tool that’s so powerful it’s a miracle it is still legal. It is a simple but really effective way to show your patient that you care for them as human beings and they are not just another item on a conveyer’s belt. All you have to do is listen and maybe make a quick note for your future self like ’ask about exam’.
This fruit is hanging so low, it is a sin not to pick it.