Icon of a person with a large red pencil check-marking boxes.

It is important for a dental practice to demonstrate some sort of two-way engagement with their patients. Such types of engagement will demonstrate to the patient that they are not merely regarded as customers, but valuable components of your practice. To this end, patient satisfaction surveys have emerged as one of the most important tools for effective dental practice marketing and the overall operation of a dental practice. Requesting that your patients fill out comment cards, write online reviews or simply complete short surveys can provide you and your practice with a wealth of information, unique insights and important perspectives on how your dental practice is being marketed and run. Here are some of the benefits of patient satisfaction surveys.

Open a dialogue
The chance to open up a two-way dialogue between your practice and your patient is the first and most important benefit to issuing regular patient satisfaction surveys. For starters, it lets the patient know that they are being regarded as much more than just a customer willing to pay for your services. Instead, they are being treated as a respected and valued member of the overall team. Showing that you care about what a patient thinks can do a great deal in terms of endearing him or her to your practice, thereby rendering the patient satisfaction survey an essential part of any practice's patient retention strategy. If you are issuing a survey or questionnaire that requires rating your practice on several quantifiable measures, be sure to include a comments section for more in-depth conversations.

Recognize new opportunities to be more effective and efficient at your practice
At their core, patient satisfaction surveys are all about self improvement - after all, you can't work on your flaws if you don't know what they are. It can be difficult to spot any flaws or inefficiencies in the operation of your dental practice from within. Sometimes, it's better to take a few steps back for a fresh, unbiased perspective, and this is where the objective patient comes in. You can be guaranteed near total objectivity in these scenarios, as a patient largely has nothing to gain from either giving you an unabashedly rave review or an unfairly critical one. Read each comment and patient survey calmly and without taking anything personally. This is a self-improvement opportunity, and sometimes that means having to hear unpleasant or uncomfortable opinions about yourself. However, building on these opinions and criticisms can only strengthen your practice in the future.

Promote informed decision-making by gaining statistically reliable data
Data has become one of the most powerful marketing and operational tools in today's world, with more companies able to gain access to large amounts of quantitative information. Studying this tangible data to spot trends and patterns can really empower your decision making down the line. Tough decisions are made that much more easily when supported by the appropriate information. Asking questions in patient satisfaction surveys about your dental marketing efforts could help you streamline the process in the long run to ensure a maximum return on investment, along with the most optimal conversion rates. Figuring out the wait times at your practice could lead to a more efficient setup, ensuring better patient satisfaction in the future.