6 Ways to Build Deeper Connections With Patients
Patients don’t know how amazing you are at dentistry. When they come to your practice, what they’ll remember the most and what they’ll come back for is a WOW experience.
There are many ways to offer a WOW experience and create a WOW environment for your patients from the moment they walk in. But interacting with them is a super important part of it. That’s why you need to know how to make your patients feel special through how you interact with them.
1. Compliment them.
Kindness goes a long way. If your patient is having a bad day, and even if they’re not, you can get them to smile when they come in by just giving a simple compliment. Don’t be ingenuine about it, but if you like the color of their dress or the design on their t-shirt, let them know.
2. Ask them about their life.
Needless to say, your patients have a life too. They have families, hobbies, passions, and things that matter to them. Don’t only have small talk with them about the local sports team (unless they’re a coach, their son plays on it, or they brought it up). That doesn't mean you should pry too much and ask for details that make them uncomfortable. But they’ll feel special when they know you care about them. They'll feel complimented if you're interested in them beyond just getting them in your chair.
If you find out they just became a grandfather, ask them about their newborn grandchild the next time they come in. If they just got married, ask them about where they’re going for their honeymoon. Patients want to feel like more than a number—they want to feel like you value them as a person. They want to know that you remember them. They don't want to feel like you're just churning through appointments impersonally, trying to make money and nothing more.
3. Give them gifts.
You aren’t Santa Claus, but you can give your patients small gifts. These gifts will make them feel special and, meanwhile, market your brand. There are a million websites where you can buy things like stress balls, toothbrushes, reusable water bottles, and so on. Pick whatever items you want to put in a goodie bag. Then put your logo on them and give them to patients as gifts.
4. Offer custom scheduling.
Ask your patients how long they’d like their appointment to be. Not every dental appointment needs to take an hour. Oftentimes, a patient will come in for a cleaning and their treatment will be finished twenty minutes early. If you can schedule them for specific time increments—half an hour, 45 minutes, etc.—ask them what they prefer. Maybe they need to get somewhere and those few minutes will make a big difference in freeing up their schedule.
5. Accommodate them.
At Delivering WOW, we believe in giving patients a WOW experience by making them feel like they’re VIPs. We offer warm towels, iPads, gourmet coffee, and more.
If you do too, your front desk members shouldn’t just point out these accommodations and let the patients do what they want to do. They need to interact with them more than that. Tell them to go above and beyond when serving them. They should be grabbing waiting patients the cream they want with their coffee or whatever else they’d like.
6. Keep them comfortable during conversations.
When your patients are sitting in your chair and you’re treating them, lying down is the most comfortable way for them to sit. But if you’re talking to them, then you need to sit them up. Take your mask and glasses off and read their body language with eye contact.
A patient isn’t going to like lying down, unable to make eye contact or see your face, with your hands and metal hooks sticking in their mouth. That’s uncomfortable for them and they won’t feel like you care about what they have to say.
Are you making your patients feel special?
Even if you offer the best dentistry in the world, patients won’t become raving fans of your practice and refer you to their friends and family if they just feel like a customer rather than a VIP. That’s why you need to offer a WOW experience and interact with them the right way so they feel super special.
If you want more help with building a WOW practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.