Dos and don'ts for customer service: See your practice as patients do

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The more focused you are on dentistry, the more difficult it is for you to see yourself, your team, and your practice from the patients' point of view. Yet their impressions are critically important to your success. Customer service counts for more than clinical excellence in the eyes of most patients, so you need to look objectively at what they experience when they come in for an appointment. It's the first step toward turning patient satisfaction into a major competitive advantage.


Evaluate your practice in writing. Create a checklist of areas to critique, such as décor, amenities for patients, staff cheerfulness, staying on schedule, and -- probably most difficult for you to see objectively -- your manner with patients. Writing notes about your observations will make it easier for you to identify areas for improvement and decide how to proceed.


Don't leave team members out of this process. Your staff will have a different perspective on how patients see your practice. Take advantage of this resource. Doing so will give you a better idea of what changes are needed -- especially as it relates to how patients perceive you.

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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