Smile! Your Patients Are Watching You

In the day-to-day rush and routine of running a dental practice it can be difficult to pause and appreciate the value your staff bring not only to your office, but your patients’ experiences.

We recently surveyed 1,000 dental patients from across Canada and they agree: your staff are important. Nearly one third of patients said your administrative staff are a key factor in keeping them at your dental practice. It makes sense: Who do they make appointments with? Who greets them when they walk in? Who do they call for scheduling help? Who connects them with you?

Your front desk staff are the first point of contact with your practice, the first face patients see. Consider the numbers below: 49% of patients prefer to be contacted by phone. How are your front desk staff’s phone manners? The most important factor in a first impression of your practice for over one third of patients is the friendliness of staff. Are they providing excellent customer service every day?

Of course, it’s not enough to just hire a smiling, pleasant administrative team. Patients want confident, knowledgeable and capable help at the front desk. Nearly one third of patients don’t receive a follow-up call after a major treatment or procedure. If you don’t have time to make these calls, ensure your staff does it. These are the things that matter to your patients and ultimately decide if they come back to your practice. Patients care, and so should you.

This month we’re focusing on your front desk and administrative staff, but let this open your eyes to other areas of your practice that patients feel strongly about: your hygienist staff, your office design, your dental technology, etc. Don’t let the crucial work you do every day cloud your judgement about other parts of your practice that make a difference in your patients’ experiences.

The point of Data Driven Dentistry in 2019 is to shine a light on what you may already know: what patients want and think about your practice. It’s easy to get caught up in following regulations, performing procedures, hiring the right staff, but in the end every choice needs to be made with your patients in mind.

Take 2019 as a year to consider. Let us present information about your patients that you might not have been aware of, might not have wanted to admit, or might have known but didn’t know what to do with. Data Driven Dentistry is about helping you run a successful practice, and that includes providing for your patients.

*Between February and March 2018, RKI, a third party independent research house, conducted a 10-minute online survey of active, practicing non-hospital affiliated dentists and dental specialists on behalf of Oral Health. Using Oral Health’s subscription list, a total of 398 dentists participated in the study (with 219 completing the survey to the end). Assuming a total of 20,000 dentists in Canada (and 398 total completes) the margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.86, 95% CI.

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