Why Are You Not Talking?

I heard a phone call from a dental practice this week where a woman phoned the practice to ask the following:

“My husband had his wisdom tooth out yesterday. We were just wondering when it was OK for him to start eating?”

As laughable as this situation is, this scenario is indicative of a chronic condition occurring in dental practices.

And that condition is this:

PATIENTS ARE LEAVING THE PRACTICE WITHOUT FULL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THEIR CLEAR NEXT STEP IS.

Is this happening in your practice?

So many times I hear of and see patients leaving dental practices not knowing the following:

  • Why they have to come back
  • What they are coming back for
  • How much their next visit will cost
  • What are the immediate issues of delaying or postponing their treatment
  • What their overall prognosis is
  • What their immediate treatment plan will involve and will cost

These issues are all due to a lack of clear and concise communication between dentist and patient, between dental office staff and patient, and between dentist and dental office staff.

Let’s look at the case above:

How did a patient having a wisdom tooth removed not leave the practice without being given written post-operative instructions?

These instructions should have been given to the patient in written form by either the dentist or the assisting dental assistant, and they should have been read through and discussed with the patient to ensure that the patient had a full and thorough comprehension of the treatment that they had received and the subsequent things the patient needed to do and not do over the next 24-72 hours.

Post treatment clarity is a non-negotiable dental office protocol.

It needs to be created and performed for each and every patient and for each and every visit.

Every patient needs to know their CLEAR. NEXT. STEP.TM

Ensuring that patients know this information at the time of their visit dramatically reduces the frustration the patient goes through trying to work out exactly what their next few steps need to be.

And it dramatically reduces the number of “information seeking” calls we receive in our dental office from these confused patients.

When a patient is made to feel confused they also feel belittled.

The act of confusing somebody either on purpose or by accident serves to diminish that person’s respect for the confuser and for the situation.

It is therefore important to strive for clarity and understanding all of the time.

Patients who are repeatedly made to feel confused or inferior because of their lack of understanding will soon leave your office and take their business elsewhere to someone who takes the time and creates that atmosphere of “mutual respect”.

Confused patients are more likely to give up and take their business elsewhere.

They will leave your practice and go and find a dentist who treats them like a human being.

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The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com