The better your relationships with patients, the more likely they are to stay with your practice, come in for appointments regularly, and trust your advice. The problem, of course, is time. Patients who enjoy good oral health may only spend a couple of hours in your office a year. To establish and strengthen practice-patient relationships, you and your staff should use a technique known as the Golden 10 -- learning at least 10 personal facts about each patient.
Show interest in patients' lives (while sharing some information about your own). People become friends by learning about each other. Take a few moments for friendly conversation with patients, asking about their interests, work, family, etc. Your goal is to discover at least 10 facts. In the course of doing this, share information about yourself, which will also strengthen the relationship.
Don't keep the information to yourself. After being with patients, document what you've learned about them. By scanning these notes just before seeing the patients again, you'll be able to pick up where you left off. And, by making these notes available to team members likely to interact with the patients, all of you will be able to help strengthen the personal connections that have been made.
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.
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