Are You Allowing Your Dental Team Members To Repel Away Your Valued Patients?

One of the things that always amazes me when I visit Dental Offices to consult is the apparent willingness of dental team members to leave patients unattended for no good reason at all.

What the heck is involved in this sort of thinking?

Who would think that this is appropriate behaviour?

And who would allow this behaviour to become a Standard Operating Procedure in a Dental Practice that they manage?

I’ve seen patients left alone in dental treatment rooms for absolutely no good reason whatsoever.

The dentist is called away from the patient they are treating to do a hygiene examination in another operatory.

And so the dental assistant disappears and leaves the patient on their lonesome and goes off and does I have no idea what.

What could be more important than to spend time with a valued patient while the doctor is absent, and to “visit” with them and let them feel that our practice values them and is interested in them as a person, rather than them simply being a tooth and a credit card.

Because when we leave them on their own what are they left to be thinking about?

They think:

“I’m just about to go and hand over four grand large for this dental work and this dental assistant has just run off and left me here looking at a blank old wall….”

Or would it be better if the patient thought:

“I can’t believe how nice it was that the dental assistant sat and talked to me about my grandchildren while the dentist was off doing a check-up in another room…”

Is the second example a win or is it a win?

How can the first case scenario even be allowed to continue?

It’s simply a case of “arrogant neglect”.

Every time we ever leave a valued patient unattended during their visit to our Dental Office we allow their mind to wander away from the important and the positive and become occupied with the unimportant and the negative.

And when we allow that to happen we have to work extra hard to restore that wandering mind back into the mindset that it needs to be in to move forwards.

We have to work harder than we ever needed to because we have ourselves permitted the patient’s mind to wander.

It is much more important to always keep the patient “occupied” with a team member so that their mind is not allowed to drift into the negative.

By negative I mean:

“I can’t believe they’ve left me here on my own when I am about to give them so much money….”

“What exactly am I spending my money on and do I really need it?”

“I wonder if I can get this done elsewhere for a lower price, and quicker?”

There are other times in the dental visit where the patient is left unattended.

Patients may sometimes be left unattended after treatment but before checkout because the dental receptionist is “busy” and unable to process the departure immediately.

The receptionist may be with another departing patient.

Or she may be answering an enquiry on the office telephone.

Or she may be doing some administrative duties.

A World Class Dental Receptionist will know when a departing patient is coming out to see her and makes sure that she is ready and waiting for that patient.

Nothing should ever get in the way of a patient about to hand over some money.

And that patient must be made to feel as if our receptionist has been waiting for and looking forward all day just to be seeing them.

Have you ever gone to a retail store or outlet and been turned off by the length of the line and the delay in being served, especially when you know exactly what you want, and you know exactly how quickly your transaction should be processed?

Well our valued dental patients will feel very much like that themselves if they are “parked” out the front to be processed by an overworked dental receptionist.

We need to ensure that our customer departure processes are completed as quickly and easily as possible.

Maybe your valued patients are simply “parked” in a “waiting room” when they arrive until it is time for them to be brought down to the treatment room?

Could that process be improved upon by having more staff-patient interaction?

The more we interact with our patients at their visits the more they appreciate the attention.

And the more attention that we lavish upon them the more devoted and loyal they become.

And we know that loyal devoted patients accept more recommended treatment, and are happy to pay our fees that we charge.

And they are more than happy to refer their friends and families.

So ask yourself this?

Could I be making a difference by having my staff give more attention to my patients?


My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Melbourne Australia on Saturday 1 April 2017 with Jayne Bandy and Wolfgang Hofbauer.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.


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