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Mary’s background includes over 39 years spent in the dental industry. Over the last 14 years, she has worked with Patterson Dental in positions such as Regional Training Advisor, Regional Technology Manager, and presently as a Regional Technology Advisor for the Eastern regions. Mary has been very active as a CTC and Practice Masters’ Seminar presenter for over 12 years.
Many dentists and office staff I work with spend hours each week trying to build case acceptance. More often than not, it can seem like a fruitless endeavor. However, I have found that thinking of your practice and patients in a slightly different way can be key to helping increase your patient’s case acceptance rate.
Think of the customer as a consumer. It is necessary to provide the medical facts to the patient, but don’t forget the emotional benefits as well. Most customers will make purchases based on an emotional decision or the way they feel about the recommended procedure. For example, the patient needs to know that a procedure will reduce pain, but they should also know it will give them confidence and transform their smile. By positioning your recommendation this way, you engage the patient on a more personal level and help frame the procedure in a new way.
Create value during every visit. As much as patients enjoy watching TV while sitting in the operatory chair, it is important to make sure they feel they are getting value out of their visit through a personal connection. When you make an effort to personally connect with them during their visit, they will feel more valued by your staff and be more likely to return.
Follow up with the patient. Sometimes the reason for a missed appointment is due to simple miscommunication between the scheduling team and the patient. Make sure your office staff communicates effectively and on a regular basis with your patients. Set up email or text reminders for convenience and remember to send out personalized notes around patients’ birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events. Remind them of your interest in them as people outside of the dental chair.
Have a positive conversation with the patient. Nothing dissuades a patient from coming into the office more than an unorganized front desk scheduler or a grouchy voice on the other end of the phone. Keeping the conversation short and sweet will ensure patients remember your practice as a positive place to be.
Treat patients like people. Though growing your practice is essential, it is important to remember patient service should always come first. When you show a genuine interest in the patient as a person and not just a customer, they are more likely not only to return, but also to recommend your services to others.
Make a lasting impression. Whether it is the first impression or the 15th, always make sure to present yourself and your office in a positive, professional, and friendly way. Keep your office space clean, and ensure a courteous staff and welcoming environment, all of which encourage the patient to return in the future.
Try out a few of the suggestions above to see how your patients respond and continue with what works best for you. Every office is different, so it is time well spent doing a little in-house research to find out the things your patients like and what encourages case acceptance in your office.
Note: This article is sponsored by Patterson Dental as part of the Dental Practice Management Partner Voice Program, which provides a way for leading dental manufacturers to share quality content with our audience. Patterson Dental offers a wide range of dental products including Eaglesoft Practice Management Software, CAESY Patient Education Systems and the RevenueWell marketing communications suite, which are backed by the renowned support and customer service team at the Patterson Technology Center. With multiple support options and more than 125 years experience in the dental industry, Patterson has the resources and expertise to help customers and practices reach their greatest potential.