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The dental industry is competitive, and in order for you to retain your current patients and continue to build your brand, you need quality customer service. This includes more than a friendly smile when you greet your patients, but a genuine caring about their oral health and their lives. It can be difficult to communicate effectively to your patients-of-record, especially when attempting to convey the lifetime value in your services. However, with a thorough dental marketing program in place and an enthusiastic staff on hand, you'll be well on your way to bigger profit margins and happier patients. Here are four steps to improving customer service in house:

1.) Understand what your patients want - You need to be able to predict and know what your patients-of-record expect out of the relationship. Whether it's renewed confidence in their smiles or quality oral health procedures to correct unfavorable ailments, you need to promote your ability to resolve their concerns and educate them on the ways in which you can improve their daily lives. This requires regular engagement through informative content, often times in the form of dental brochures.

2.) Customer testimonials - In your effort to promote your practice, you may have failed to realize how effective customer testimonials can be in dental advertising. Your patients-of-record enjoy your services, and they'll be the first to admit your practices have influenced their lives. Therefore, encourage them to craft a written testimonial that conveys their genuine appreciation for you and your trained staff. These write-ups can be included in your patient newsletters or various other materials you send to past visitors.

3.) Human interaction - There will come a time where some of your patients-of-record choose not to make new appointments at your practice. Reactivating these patients can be challenging, especially with other dentists trying to capitalize on your loss. In order to prevent this from damaging your practice, you need to develop content that resonates with these readers. Your patient newsletters can be the solution, as these mailings provide recipients with information geared toward their needs, so ignoring the obvious value in continuing to receive these articles becomes difficult, and retention rates may improve.

4.) Show you care - Your staff is one of your most valuable resources. The employees who work at your practice, from the front desk to your assistants, need to be genuinely enthusiastic to work for you and in the field. When your staff members show indifference, the patient experience is not ideal, and your customers may choose to leave and never return. Therefore, while your marketing efforts and services may be superior, your staff IS your practice and you need to make sure everyone is on board.