I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am the mother of 4 children. Yes, I am a little bit crazy! 😊 As you can imagine, a good pediatrician was very important to me throughout the years. We had a great pediatrician! He was one that stood out above the rest…and he has just retired. I am sad to see him go, but happy for him. He has worked very hard!
When I took my son in to see him for the last time, we had to wait for longer than we ever had in his office. When he came in to the exam room, I realized that was because everyone was saying good bye to him. When you have seen a doctor for that long they become somewhat of an old friend. You are familiar with them, and they with you. I started to think about all the patients I had through my years of practicing hygiene. I consider a lot of them friends. That was the hardest part about getting out of the office and out on my own, having to leave my friends. Do your patients feel the same about you?
I have gone into many offices since I started consulting and I will say there are a lot of offices that are doing just that and making their patients feel like friends or family. I love it when I see this happening. To me, that is what it’s all about. Caring for our patients.
If you do not feel like it is happening for you or your office, or feel like you have lost it along the way, consider the following to bring that atmosphere back in to your practice:
Attention—let your patients know that you are there to take care of them. That’s what they want. Give them the attention they need, and they will stay with you through it all. Even if their insurance has changed or the practice down the street is offering free whitening with a new patient visit.
Availability—be accessible to your patients. You do have to set your boundaries, but you must let them know that their needs will be met by your office. If they have a tooth ache you will be there to help them. When a question arises about their oral health, you have the answer.
Knowledge—your patients need to have the confidence in you and your team that you are up on the latest technology. Let them know that you are taking continuing education classes and the new equipment you are purchasing to bring them the best possible care.
I think a lot of us feel that showing our patients these things is not really necessary, that they should just know it. And, depending on your practice’s culture, maybe it’s not. But if you are looking to have a practice that keeps their patients coming back and sending their friends and family your way, you must make them feel at home. It truly is the way to creating the patient loyalty we all desire.
Janice can be reached at: Janice@GTSgurus.com