You may sometimes find yourself a bit short on empathy and tenderness while enveloped in the crush and rush of your daily dental practice. It almost seems like others are just born with more compassion than you can muster. To overcome this lack of empathy and tenderness, you may have to devote some time to practicing living in the other person’s shoes. But, over time, anyone can learn to genuinely show their patients that they care. This entry will help you get started.
Steps to Show You Care
With respect to providing a compassionate, caring environment for clients, staff, and patients, here are some helpful examples and tips that many dental practices have used to turn new clients into long term patients:
· With gourmet coffee, relaxing pictures on the walls, current magazines, comfortable chairs, and nice music, create a pleasant environment.
· Be open to clients’ complaints. Think of it as dental marketing research that you do not have to pay for.
· Walk patients to the front area, shake their hand, help them into their coat, and let them know it has been a pleasure to serve them once you are finished treating them. A lot of the time, the client will tell you that it was their pleasure.
· You practice is about delivering dedicated service. It is not about making money. You will do very well financially as a side effect of working hard on a daily basis to serve your patients.
· Make the experience in your practice a pleasurable and positive one by having fun and laughing. Rather than discussing bad news with the patients, focus on keeping things strictly positive.
· You should not have a “waiting” room in your practice. Instead, refer to it as the “greeting room.” Clients are not there to wait. They are there to be taken care of.
· Make follow-up calls 24 hours after a procedure is performed to see how the patient is doing and to find out if they have any questions.
You Also Need to Take Care of Staff
In the above bullet points, staff must also be included. Quality care is rarely delivered by unhappy, stressed staff. You will attract both patients as well as good staff members by nurturing a work environment that is cheerful and free of stress. And, the staff is likely to stay on board for many years to come.
Also, you may consider creating a mission statement that sets out the ideals of how staff should interact with, and act towards, patients. Team members can then examine how their behavior compares to what is expected of them. When the ball is dropped or something is mishandled, staff members should think about whether their actions provided the patient with the best quality care. If not, how to do it better next time should be worked out immediately. When they know what is expected of them, good staff members are pretty good at self-correcting.