Patient Experience needs to be everyone’s primary focus. One of the first things we tell our clients at Lucent Spot is that you can spend thousands of dollars on marketing tactics, but if your customers aren’t happy with your customer service or atmosphere, then the money will be wasted. We know what it takes to attract new patients, get them to the office, and retain them for life. According to Small Business Trends, 82 percent of consumers in the United States said they stopped doing business with a company due to a poor customer experience. Therefore, if you brought in 100 new patients in 1 month, your office has the potential to lose 82 of those new patients to poor patient experience. If the cost of a new patient is $1,800 you could potentially be losing $147,600 worth of business! You can’t afford to do that! So, here are 4 things you can do to ensure that your new patients will stay.
1. Answer the Phones!
I know this sounds like a simple thing, but you would be surprised how many missed calls your office receives in a month. Therefore, your goal should be to reduce your calls to less than 5% of missed calls in a given month. When you don’t answer the phone, the patient will move on to the next dental office. What people are afraid of doing is putting someone on hold. The only person you should never put on hold is a new patient. Putting an existing patient on hold to answer a potential new patient call is okay to do and encouraged.
2. Customer Service Goes a Long Way!
How you answer the phone and how you speak to patients will determine if the patient stays with your dental practice or shows up for their appointments. We get it! You will not be able to please every patient that calls or comes through your door. But, how you talk to them, handle the situation, and follow up with them can determine whether or not you lose a patient. Having everyone follow a phone script can prevent a mix up in scheduling or a misunderstanding of a protocol. Remember, always smile while talking on the phone. A smile will go a long way.
3. Enhance Your Lobby!
What is the first thing your patient sees when they walk into your dental office? Your lobby, of course. Our best advice is to spend time and money on making sure your lobby speaks to your brand! One of our clients created a beautiful, back-lit sign with their logo on it that sits right behind their check-in desk. We encourage our clients to create a great patient experience. At Acre Wood Dental, they offer their patients freshly baked cookies, juice, and water in their lobby. You could add a charging station or TVs to your lobby. Be creative and think about things you would like in a waiting room beside torn magazines and bad music.
4. New Patient Tours and Gift Bags!
You might not understand how giving a new patient tour or a new patient bag can go. It could mean a returning patient or even receiving a great review. Before you take a new patient into the room, take them on a tour of your office. Show them what you have to offer, show them pictures of your staff, or show them what sets you apart from other dentists in the area. Showing a patient that you are proud of the office you work in will make them proud to be patients. Even if you don’t have a ton of money to spend on new patient bags, give your patients something to remember you by. Even if it is a pen or a card asking for referrals or reviews.
Patient experience could make the difference for a new or existing patient returning. Follow these simple ideas, and you will be sure to have higher retention. Leave your patients with a good taste in their mouths and a smile on their face!
What do you do at your office to ensure a great new patient experience? Leave a comment in the section below.
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