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  • Denise Ciardello

Making a Great First Impression: Enhancing Customer Service for New Dental Patients

Every business relies on returning customers – including dental offices. All businesses also rely on new customers because that means that your business is growing. When was the last time you reviewed how you welcome a new patient into your office?

Although it is not the responsibility of the office to know everything about their insurance, patients feel that we should. It is the main topic in patient’s minds. Do you take the time to walk them through the details of their benefits? Or do you give them a vague answer and hope that they will be satisfied with that? Insurance is explained to patients 100 times a day; and now you get started on 101. It’s the job. It’s what is expected out of an office that prides itself on the utmost in customer service. It’s giving more when you don’t want to but you do because that is who you are.

When you speak with your patients, consider these things individually:

  • What are the words you use – are they friendly, welcoming and sincere?

    • No problem vs You're Welcome

  • You can say a lot with your body language – how do you greet or speak with a patient?

    • Do you make and maintain eye contact?

    • Do you square your shoulders, so you are facing directly at the person with whom you are speaking?

  • Are you attentive and engaged in the conversation?

  • You are the expert in dentistry, even if it’s your 1st day, you still know more than the patient. Take time to help them understand their treatment, their policy, how things work in your office.

I was in the airport recently and the young lady sitting across from me had a hat on that stated: Get Away From Me.

I know we often feel that way and found it interesting that she had that written right on the front of her hat.

Is this the impression you give when speaking with patients or is it more like… come on over here and let’s talk? You want them coming back, so take the time to welcome them in the first place.


Denise Ciardello, Consultant

Denise is co-founder of Global Team Solutions. A professional speaker and published author, her enthusiasm and knowledge about the dental profession has helped many dental teams. She brings experience, insight, and creativity into her management style, along with a sense of humor. In a profession that can cause anxiety in some dental employees.

Denise’s consulting approach is to partner with doctors and team members to help them realize the dream of creating a thriving, successful practice.

Denise can be reached at:

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