Too many dentists treat patient after patient, forgetting that they are much more than a set of teeth. Always begin a patient's appointment talking about something "nondental" -- you'll be doing plenty of "dental speak" soon enough. Instead, touch on a topic of personal interest to the patient. Don't just jump right into the business at hand. Most patients enjoy a few minutes to unwind and relax.
Gather personal facts to build stronger relationships. Every time patients come in, team members should try to learn more about them, such as hobbies, interests, etc. Shared with other staff members, this information can be used during future visits to move the relationship from strictly professional to more personal.
Don't forget to be empathetic. After seeing many patients day after day, you may sometimes have difficulty showing true concern for any problems they may have. Whether it's a dental issue or something personal that patients mention, try to imagine how you would feel under the same circumstances. Express this empathy in a supportive and comforting way. Patients really appreciate such treatment -- almost as much as they appreciate excellent clinical care.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.