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Monday, April 16, 2012

Creating an unforgettable New Patient Experience

By: David Milligan
Salt Dental Consultant
Part 1 of 2

This article is designed to give you the tools to facilitate consistency and trust.

When we talk about the new patient experience we have to start long before the phone rings and patients flow through the door.

To receive the new patient call, the marketing plan must be working. Whether the plan contains radio, news print, word of mouth or web presence, one thing is clear, the patient already knows more about you, then you know about them. What do they know about you? Do they know who you are? Does your practice match what your advertising says? Does your practice match your expectations? Do you have the right people in the right places and are they trained in the way you want them to behave. Too many times there is a rift between what you want and what is actually happening.

Can you really expect your team to do as you ask every time? Do you even have any control over their behavior? If you think about what you can do to influence, then the answer would be yes, you do have some control. For example, in 1966 Detroit manufactured cars with safety belts as standard equipment. Since then the government has been working on changing our behavior.

Because something is the right thing to do, doesn’t always translate into doing it. That's why you have heard about the "click it or ticket" and "safety belts saves lives" programs among a few. What has proven to be the most successful? An engineering system. What’s that noise? When the buzzer won’t shut off, you fasten your safety belt.

The influences we have are the systems we put in place. Systems support behavior. In the case of the safety belt, the buzzer is the system. In many cases the system happens by default, meaning, you do what you do because there were no established systems in place. Are you getting the results you want with your current systems?

When a new patient finds you, they are making the choice based on who you are; systems support that behavior, that’s who you are and what makes you different from any other office.

The New Patient Experience

Answering the phone

“Thank you for calling _________, this is _________ and I can help you.”

What a positive start to a conversation!

To determine if the caller is a new patient simply ask, “When was the last time you were in to see Dr. __________.” If the caller is new, please do not ask about their insurance information first! We should always show that their needs are our first priority. Develop a new patient phone slip to ensure the appropriate information is collected.

If you would like more information, please contact us at info.saltdpm.com

Join us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaltDentalPracticeManagement.

This article was originally published by Tri-County Dental Society Bulletin

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