Excellent customer service begins with maintaining customer focus. Poor customer service results from practices that have lost sight of who they are in business to serve. Bad customer service not only results in low reviews and a bad reputation, but patient retention is also negatively impacted. On the other hand, great customer service helps strengthen relationships with current patients and encourages new relationships with potential patients. Unlike upgrading office equipment, it costs very little to take your customer service to the next level.
The Importance of Customer Service
Patients are the focal point of every dental practice. Dental offices exist to serve the public and to treat their dental needs. The quality of customer service can determine the success and failure of a dental practice. If you have excellent clinical competence but your patients face subpar customer service, you’re doing your practice a disservice. Excellent customer service doesn’t begin and end with a positive atmosphere; it’s about producing an enjoyable experience from start to finish. Patients should be treated with the utmost respect, and their time should be valued throughout their entire visit. Here are a few ways you can improve the quality of your customer service:
- Train your staff frequently on best customer service practices.
- Focus on being friendly, consistently.
- Be an active listener.
- Remain observant and interested in the patient.
- Actively communicate with the patient throughout their entire visit.
- Be proactive and not reactive with all patient matters.
- Ask for feedback about the services provided.
- Utilize the feedback you receive to make improvements.
- Aim to be as prompt and accurate as possible with billing.
Good Customer Services Encourages Patient Retention
Patients don’t hesitate to return when you create a memorable and positive experience for them. Maintaining quality customer service promotes retention in patients. Loyal customers also provide the best form of free marketing by recommending your practice to others. Not only are existing patients more likely to return, but they also become much more profitable over time due to increasing repeat revenue. Patient retention can produce the highest return on investment for your practice’s marketing efforts. Patient loyalty is invaluable, therefore, it is imperative to keep both new and recurring patients satisfied with their care.
The saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” holds much value in the art of customer service. Whether the first impression is by phone or in person, it’s important to show that your dental practice is friendly and professional. Following these recommendations can promote a great customer experience and increase the likelihood of high patient retention.