5 Important Steps to Improve New Patient Experience

by Henry Taylor, Superior Smiles

The patient experience is the most vital aspect of maintaining a successful dentist-to-patient relationship. Following a comprehensive routine for marketing your practice to new patients makes them feel cared for and is a critical part of running a successful dental clinic.

1. Why the first phone call plays a vital role

The initial phone call to your clinic is an opportunity to give potential new clients the right impression of your clinic and the services offered, all in the span of just a few minutes.

Your front desk coordinator plays a vital role in building a relationship with new patients. They should be able to clearly communicate a list of carefully curated, yet genuine answers to standard questions and convey information naturally.

Maintain an enthusiastic and energetic, yet amiable tone throughout the initial phone call. Overly enthusiastic greetings and answers can sound fake, while a bored or irritated intonation will put the caller off in seconds.

Try to gather interesting personal facts in addition to the necessary patient information and remark on it or relate to it in some way. This will put the caller at ease and lend a more conversational tone to the call.

The personal information gathered during the first phone call can later be used to build the clinic-to-patient relationship and ensure the patient enters your clinic for their first appointment with a positive impression.

2. Scheduling a new patient appointment

Try to schedule a new patient’s first visit to your clinic as soon as possible following their initial phone call. The speed with which they are scheduled will leave a positive impression and affirm their decision to contact you, and their successful interaction with your front desk coordinator will still be fresh in their mind when they arrive.

When scheduling a new patient’s appointment, remain sympathetic to their schedule. Keep time requirements and the level of care needed in mind as you decide when to schedule the appointment.

Openly communicate to the patient what they can expect upon arrival at your clinic and any requirements they should follow before their visit. This is an excellent opportunity to build value for your clinic by mentioning desirable aspects, such as your newly renovated waiting lounge or your dental clinic’s proximity to trendy shops and restaurants in the area.

Before finishing your scheduling, always ask if the new patient has any additional concerns or questions you can help them with.

3. The importance of relationship building with patients

Too many clinics rely on naturally forming a clinic-to-patient relationship and do not take adequate measures to build a mutually beneficial relationship with their patient base.

The quality of your services alone is not enough to expand your customer base. Relationship marketing through excellent customer service and personal attention is the best way to build the patient-to-clinic relationship and enhance your new patients’ experiences.

4. Why the initial dental examination is important

The initial dental exam will complete a new patient’s impression of your clinic that develops from their very first phone call.

At the first appointment, you can cement that positive view of your clinic with a comprehensive exam. This should include thorough tooth-by-tooth, periodontal, implant, cosmetic, and occlusal examinations, followed by a complete chair-side analysis and treatment plan for their dental health.

A thorough examination will impress new patients and give you the opportunity to make them aware of the range of services available at your clinic.

Do not treat your interaction with patients as if it is a laborious aspect of your work. Think of it as a limited window of time you have to build a meaningful relationship with new patients and encourage lifelong patronage to your business.

5. Setting up a follow-up appointment

Setting up a follow-up appointment is the last step in ensuring a positive new patient experience and the most important for ensuring their continued patronage.

If the new patient is requesting treatment, schedule their appointment within one to 10 days of their initial visit. This demonstrates the efficiency of your clinic and makes the patient feel they are a priority.

For routine appointment scheduling, communicate the importance of preventative care to the patient and ask if they would like to commit to a biannual appointment. If not, consider developing a patient recall and reminder system via email to conveniently remind new patients when they are due for a check-up.

About the Author
Established in July 2018, Superior Smiles is a new private dentist in Knutsford, Cheshire, with extensive experience we offer wide range of dental treatments for all ages.