The biggest mistakes dentists make: Not crafting a new patient experience

October 29, 2015

If you haven’t created a compelling New Patient Experience, you’re making a mistake that could prevent you from building lasting relationships with patients you’ve worked so hard to attract to the practice.

Based on his extensive experience with dentists over the past 30 years, Dr. Roger P. Levin has authored a new book entitled The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make. His premise is simple. As he says in the introduction, “We can learn from our mistakes. But isn’t it better to learn from other people’s mistakes?”

Following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book.

More from Dr. Levin: The biggest mistakes dentists make: Relying on your accountant for your vision and goals

Mistake #8: Not Crafting a New Patient Experience

If you haven’t created a compelling New Patient Experience, you’re making a mistake that could prevent you from building lasting relationships with patients you’ve worked so hard to attract to the practice.

The New Patient Experience should begin with the first phone call. This is the team’s chance to make a lasting, positive first impression. The practice should come across as a place where a caring, competent team provides quality dental care.

The next stage in the experience is the welcome and orientation that occur when the new patient visits the office for the first time. While taking care of practical matters-acquiring additional patient information, explaining policies, reviewing services-front desk staff can also continue the process of building value and trust by:

• Praising the doctor’s credentials and chairside manner

• Showing interest in the patient, asking about family, interests, etc.

• Highlighting the range and quality of services available

• Pointing out and inviting the patient to take advantage of office amenities

More from Dr. Levin: The biggest mistakes dentists make: Ignoring dentistry's best models

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The final component of the New Patient Experience is the exam, during which the doctor builds on the relationship initiated by the team. For example, the Five Phase Exam is an effective method for GPs to engage new patients in positive conversations about their oral health and the wide range of treatment options offered by the practice.

More from Dr. Levin: The biggest mistakes dentists make: Waiting too long to achieve success

New patients should be so impressed by the service they receive at every level-the team’s courtesy and appearance, the doctor’s caring demeanor, the staff’s overall attentiveness and the attractiveness of the office-that they couldn’t imagine going elsewhere for their dental needs. A comprehensive, step-by-step New Patient Experience will persuade people to think of your practice as their dental home.

Watch for The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make to be published later this fall.

Save up to $100 by registering 30 days in advance for a seminar by Dr. Levin. Seats are still available for “Set Your Practice on Fire!” in Las Vegas, Dec. 11–12, and for 2016 seminars. For details, click here.