Belle DuCharme

CDPMA, Dental Training Consultant

Spring is the time for New Beginnings with your Patients

March heralds a new Spring so let’s get rid of the cobwebs of a boring, lackluster dental practice.

When winter is over, thoughts go to opening the doors, letting in fresh air and spring cleaning.   Let’s open our hearts and minds to ways to bring new meaning to our patients of how much we care and appreciate them.  The following is a list of actions that come from many different dental practices. Depending on the demographics of the patients and practice location will determine which you choose to use.

  1. Spring days bring spring rain so have extra umbrellas handy to loan or gift to patients.  Have the practice logo and address printed on them for extra marketing exposure.
  2. Bad weather days have small drying towels at the reception area to wipe down coats and shoes.  Scrapers for snow on the windshield helps too.
  3. Lack of parking at your building?  Offer to park for the patient and even escort them to the office if time allows.  Pay any parking fees for patients when necessary.
  4. Patients forget their “readers” or eyewear, so have samples of readers ranging from 2-3 in strength.
  5. The patient didn’t fill out forms.  Sit down with them and help them complete the necessary information. 
  6. A must today is free wi-fi and charging stations for cell phones, tablets, and laptops.
  7. Provide an assortment of spa-type amenities like a massage chair, neck pillows, blankets, sleep masks and scented face wipes or even a teddy bear.
  8. Have a lighted make up mirror in the reception area for the ladies to spruce up before they leave.  Keeps the restroom open to those who need it.
  9. Offer the standard pod style coffee or tea dispenser but add hot chocolate and apple cider the menu.  Go green with a pitcher of filtered water (lemon slices) and small paper cups.
  10. Provide small gifts to patients who consistently show up on time and are a pleasure to see such as their favorite chocolate or gift card to the local bakery or coffee shop.
  11. If you open at 8:00 make sure your office is open at 7:45 for early birds and always welcome them with a smile.
  12. Have a mission to see patients on time and to avoid running behind.  Let the next patient know immediately if there is going to be a delay.
  13. If you do run behind and seat the patient late, always have a 10.00 gift card available from a local bakery or coffee shop. Apologize sincerely.
  14. Referring patients to specialists?  Call for them while they are in the office to set up the appointment.
  15. Have your patient contact system set up to send birthday cards by email or send paper cards signed by each team member.
  16. Have a team member assigned as a personal concierge to patients undergoing phased treatments involving multiple appointments, labs, and specialists.  Patients need to have someone they can talk to without “disturbing” the dentist.
  17. Check-in on the patient after a long or difficult procedure that evening.  Be prepared to answer questions and help in any way.
  18. Always have a healthy snack like soft cereal/protein bars or fruit cups for patients who are hungry and are staying late to have additional work done.  Offer to have lunch delivered.
  19. Have a corner just for kids or have some games, puzzles or books to keep them occupied.  Older children have a small desk for doing homework.
  20.  Place a new “Welcome” mat at the front door.  Clean the windows and replace old and stained furniture or decorations.  Get rid of dead or struggling plants with healthy ones. 

 You and the team must use your imagination to come up with actions and improvements you can make to ensure that your patients have the best experience possible in your practice.

Dental Billing Tips and News for Pros; Edition #146


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