Let Us Not Forget – We’re In The Relationship Business
We all want to be involved in a practice that is built on solid ground. A practice that can withstand the unavoidable ups and downs of economic cycles, one that can withstand the closing of a major business down the street with the subsequent layoffs. We’ve all seen those practices, the ones that always remained booked out several weeks in spite of uncontrollable head winds. What sets those practices apart from all the others? Could it be patient loyalty? I think it is.
Many of us underestimate the value of patient loyalty. Building patient loyalty is like putting money in the bank. Those people will always be there. They won’t be the ones who price shop. They won’t be the ones who jump ship at a less than perfect result knowing you took care of their problem to the best of your ability. Loyal patients want you to succeed. They’re on your side.
How do we create patient loyalty? Some answers are pretty obvious. Show genuine concern about your patient’s well-being (I said your patient, not the patient). Show that you are as invested in the results as they are. Show that you are genuinely concerned about them as human beings, not just dental patients. Realize that there is a real person attached to those teeth. Learn about their interests and their families. Make notes in their chart that will prompt you to talk about these things. Put a little time in at the end of the appointment for a little chit chat. It will pay great dividends.
Show that your concern goes beyond the patient leaving the office. I always called my patients who had an invasive procedure the evening of their appointment to check on how they were doing. The amount of positive feedback I got from this was surprising and frequently commented on at their next appointment. And you know what? Loyal, appreciative patients tell their friends.