In today’s world, clinical skills are not the only criteria patients use when making decisions about where to receive their oral health care. For this reason, it is in the practice’s best interest to explore ways to increase the doctor’s and team’s likeability. When dentists want to improve the patient experience and increase production, they should give full consideration to the likeability factor.
The likeability factor plays a key role in how practices deliver customer service. In the new dental economy, customer service matters more than ever before. It plays a vital role not only in keeping patients active and generating referrals, but also in per-patient production. The explosion of elective services, treatment options, and new technologies calls for better case presentations, better trained teams, and better communication with patients. All of these involve the likeability factor of the doctor and the team.
When considering likeability, keep in mind three things:
If they like the doctor and staff members, patients often experience greater satisfaction with the appointment and the procedure. Dentists may feel that their clinical skills should be what matters most, but patients simply cannot accurately judge the quality of their clinical experience. They base their view more on customer service, including the likeability factor of the doctor and team, than any other factors.
The likeability factor creates a high level of trust that bonds the patient to the practice, increasing compliance, case acceptance, and referrals. For dentists, it is essential that patients trust and like them. Remember that it is not just giving patients a great smile. People admire confident people. The higher the likeability factor, the more patients will want to discuss their excellent experience at the practice with others.
According to the ADA, adults are visiting dentists less than in the past. One way to retain patients and attract new patients is by providing a higher level of customer service. Likeability helps patients see the value in coming to the dental office. It also helps them feel more comfortable with the dentist’s treatment recommendations.
When patients leave the dentist’s office, they probably will not be thinking that they just received extraordinary treatment at the hands of a clinical expert who studied thousands of hours to deliver such results. Instead, they will be thinking about whether they liked the dentist and the experience. This is why dentists with a high likeability factor will have highly satisfied patients, more referrals and increased case acceptance.
Note: Learn more about providing excellent customer service and many other proven strategies for increasing production by attending Dr. Roger P. Levin’s new two-day seminar, Peak or Valley: Where Is Your Production Headed?, June 20â21 in Baltimore. Other seminar dates are available at www.levingroup.com/gp/index.php/seminars.