How To Start Increase Customer Service For Your Patients Right Away
Customer service is a tricky topic for many dental practices. We live in a culture where everyone is connected, and customers have less patience than ever before for poor customer service and unresponsive providers. Nowadays, patients are armed with everything they need to know about a business before they ever set foot in it. This means going the extra mile to keep your patients happy and coming back for more isn’t always worth it. To tackle this challenge, it’s important to understand the root of the problem and work to build a culture that makes it easy for your staff to provide great customer service. Read on for five ways to build a customer service culture inside your dental practice.
Why The Details Are Important
It’s important to remember why you opened your practice in the first place — to help people. No matter why you decided to become a dentist, it’s in your best interest to put the needs of your patients ahead of your own. The best way to do this is to establish a culture where staff members feel empowered to ask questions and ensure their job functions align with what your patients need. When staff members are able to focus on providing great care, they’re able to spare more time to provide excellent customer service.
Customer service can often be found in the details of your dental practice. Be sure to pay attention to everything a patient may see from your parking lot to checkout. Small details, quality amenities, and touches of personal care can go a long way. Tune into this episode of Dental Confidential to learn even more on applying these small details to your practice.
01. Develop a Clear Leadership Structure
One of the first, and most important, steps to building a better customer service culture is to put in place a clear leadership structure. You’ll need a leader, a manager, and a team. Why is this important? The leader sets the example for the rest of the team on what customer service looks like. Without a clear leader, it’s possible that no one is really leading. If the leader isn’t stepping up to the plate and setting the right example, the rest of the staff may still be operating in a passive manner that makes a customer service culture nearly impossible to build.
02. Define Your Brand
When it comes to building a customer service culture, you need to think about your brand identity. What are the things that make your practice unique? What are the things that make you stand out from the competition? Why should patients choose your practice over all of your competitors? These are all important questions to think about as part of your brand identity. Once you have your brand identity, things become a lot easier. If your brand identity is that you’re a relaxed and fun practice, then you’ll have a much easier time building a culture that embraces this. If your brand identity is that you’re a highly professional practice, then you’ll have a harder time building a culture that embraces this. Make sure to think about these brand identity issues as you build your customer service culture.
03. Train Your Team
Another way to build a great customer service culture is to make sure your team is trained. There are two basic ways to do this. The first is to have mandatory training. You may have to be the only dental practice in your area with mandatory training policies, but it’s a good idea to have some type of training policy in place. Mandatory training policies create a clear expectation for your team to be trained and make it clear that there are consequences for not knowing certain things. It’s also a good policy to have a clear script for how your team members are to communicate with patients.
When your team is trained and understands the policy, you’ll have a much easier time building a great customer service culture inside your practice. The second way is to make sure your team members have access to great resources. Let’s say you have a standard script that you use when you make house calls. However, on a couple of your visits, you discover something new about the patient or their family. Let’s say this new thing is that the patient’s mother is about to have a heart attack and needs to be seen as soon as possible. The standard script your team members have seen doesn’t include a new and urgent condition. The best way to handle this is to make sure they have access to a lot of resources.
04. Always Communicate
The best way to build a customer service culture inside your dental practice is to always communicate. This means making the right type of communication and creating the right type of culture. The type of communication you choose will largely depend on the type of culture you want to build. If you want to build a relaxed and fun culture, you might choose to communicate through patient handouts and social media posts. If you want to build a highly professional and structured culture, you might choose to communicate through bulletin boards and newsletters. Whatever type of culture you want to build, communication is key. Make sure to communicate a clear brand identity, training and resources for your team members, and a script for how you want to respond to certain types of calls.
05. Celebrate Good Service
Finally, it’s important to celebrate good service. This might sound cheesy, but it’s an important way to keep your team excited about delivering great customer service. Set up a customer service recognition program inside your practice. Have a customer service award ceremony every couple of months. You can have an employee of the month program, where your most stellar employee is rewarded for delivering stellar service. Whatever you do, make sure to celebrate good service. Keep in mind that celebrating good service might take the form of a pat on the back or a simple gift certificate. It might also mean having a mock call with a patient. Whatever you choose, make sure to celebrate good service. It’s a great way to keep your staff excited and engaged with their work each day.
Building a customer service culture inside your dental practice is essential if you want to create a positive experience for your patients. If you want to be recognized by your patients as a great practice to go to, then you need to make an effort to build a great culture inside your practice. For starters, make sure you have a clear leadership structure, a clear brand identity, and a standard script for responding to certain types of calls. Make sure your staff is trained and has access to great resources and that they always communicate clearly and clearly communicate your brand identity and standard script. Finally, make sure you celebrate good service by setting up a customer service recognition program, having an employee of the month program, and celebrating good service with your staff. These three steps will help you build a great customer service culture inside your dental practice.
If you are ready to take a deeper dive into all things customer service and marketing for your dental practice, explore our programs. There you will find courses, memberships and more that will train you and your team to increase that patient experience all the way from their first impression of you online, to chckout.
You can also dive into the Dental Confidential podcast. There you can absorb everything you need to know to make your dental practice stand out both online and inside. Your ideal patients are out there for you to discover. And through customer service details and a powerful online presence, they will find you and get excited to take the next steps.