WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
I was sat in a waiting room recently and as I usually do, started to chat to a person who was sat across from me, clutching their handbag! We exchanged pleasantries and I asked who they were due to see for their appointment. This person began to share a little bit of what treatment they were expecting to have done that day and that they were unsure of what it involved and that they just hoped it would be over as quickly as possible! All of this, I’m sure, looks and sounds pretty familiar to you?
I then asked “What is it that you like most about coming to this practice?” The response I got made me feel so sad – she said “I only come here because it is close to where I work. If I could see the dentist near to where I live I would go there in a heartbeat.” I of course had to then ask why?! She then said “Because I’m just a number in here – no one seems to remember me even though I have been coming here for a few years now and I feel like everyone is too busy rushing around all the time – I don’t matter to them”. Wow – what a statement!?
How many of us are guilty of being too busy, not taking the time to build relationships with our patients and rushing from one appointment to the next? In today’s world where the customer is king – do you truly make time to talk and make people feel welcome? Taking one minute extra with each person to look them in the eye and have a meaningful conversation is so important regardless of where you work or what your position is. I usually hear people say “I don’t have time” - the reality is you can’t afford to not have time for people. If the only reason people come to see you is because of convenience, then you are on thin ice that is rapidly melting beneath your feet. Someone will open their doors, somewhere that is more convenient and bang - off they go like a bullet from a gun. If you want to build a loyal, rewarding patient list, start by looking hard at the way you make people feel when they are with you. Great service is created – it doesn’t happen without well-crafted processes and training. Remember – when the patient is there, it is not about you – it is always about them… always!
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