Dos and don'ts for customer service: Patients are people, too

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No one wants to be treated like a number -- especially when it comes to healthcare. You can make your practice stand out from competitors by getting to know your patients as individuals and honoring their personal preferences on everything from appointment times to tooth polish flavor.


Treat patients like individuals. Emphasize to new patients that the level of care and service at your practice will be a unique, positive experience that they won't find anywhere else. And make sure that the treatment they receive when they visit the practice lives up to that promise. Engage each patient by asking questions about their interests, family, vacations, etc.


Don't make all appointments the same length. One size does not fit all when it comes to appointment times. New patients may need more time with the hygienist or dentist to discuss specific concerns, ask questions about the practice or recommended treatment, and generally get to know the team members better. Patients with periodontal disease or other special conditions may need longer hygiene appointments as well.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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