3 Things You Can Do to Make a Great First Impression in Your Dental Office

So you have a new dental patient coming to your dental practice and you want to make a "Great First Impression" on them. I think this is critical for the practice to grow and be healthy. All too often I think many practices don't put enough thought into this process, which surprises me. When you take an impression of a prepped tooth, you take great care to make sure it is perfect. As you are well aware if things aren't perfect, the impression won't be great and the end result won't be great as well. So you are very particular with this process clinically. Why don't you take the same care with the impression you make on a new patient, or every patient for that matter? You probably just didn't realize you should.

So what can you do to make an amazing impression?

1. What feel, or energy, does a person get when they walk into your practice? I have personally been into thousands of practices and let me assure you, the feel can vary wildly. There are some that I can't wait to go back to, and there are some that I hope to never have to go back to. So what does your practice say? Does it say "Welcome"?? I would first examine this, as abstract as it will be to understand.

2. What can we say on the phone to make a person feel very welcome? I would take a little extra time to understand the person on the other end of the phone, rather than simply schedule and get off. Here is why: how impactful would it be when the new patient is in the chair and the Doctor walks in and asks "When does your spouse return from deployment?" If you ask a few extra questions and learn personal information like this while on the phone, how much more empowered is the team to touch that person and build a strong trusting relationship with them? It doesn't take that much time or energy to do this. It only takes a bit of caring and curiosity. Similarly, if you hear a screaming child in the background and bother to ask about the child to then find out he is teething, how powerful would it be when that person is in the chair and the hygienist offers a solution for teething? The patient certainly won't be expecting anyone to remember this, and it will blow them away!!!

3. When a new patient arrives, do you simply hand them a clipboard and send them into the waiting room? Do you greet them warmly? I would walk around the counter and shake their hand, offer them something to drink, show them around the office, and then ask them to fill out paper work. Perhaps while you were on the phone scheduling you could offer to send them the paperwork so it is filled out ahead of time. Is your waiting room comfortable? Does it contain magazines promoting competitive purchases like Travel and Leisure? If you're running behind, I would hate for them to be reading that magazine and thinking about taking a vacation rather than accepting dentistry!!

4. At the conclusion of the appointment, do you ask them for a referral as well, and inform them of your referral program? I certainly hope so. Ask them how happy they were with their appointment and how you were vs their past dentist. I understand this is a risky question, but what better way to find out how you are doing than to ask?! This feedback will give you the ability to greatly improve your practice and business.

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Watch the video below on the topic and please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Darren Kaberna


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