As Dental Professionals, we all know that visiting the dentist is an important part of taking care of ourselves. Being greeted with a smile or a friendly tone over the phone can go a long way when it comes to retaining patients. The Dental Team from the Dentist to the Receptionist, from the Dental Assistant to the Dental Hygienist plays a major role in keeping patients happy and coming back. Let’s look at a few simple ways Dental Staff can help boost patient retention.
Making a good first impression
Whether it’s a new patient or a returning patient, they should always receive a warm welcome when they enter the office. And, the warmth doesn’t stop at the front door. Whether we’re talking about RDH jobs, the Dental Office Manager position, or the Dental Assistant title, each staff member should do their part to make patients feel welcome and comfortable. And maybe the patient is seeing the Dentist and the Dental Assistant today. What’s preventing the RDH from stopping into the operatory to greet the patient? Nothing says: “we appreciate you” more than someone going out of their way to say “hi!”
Being properly trained
If an employee isn’t properly trained to greet patients, there’s a high probability the patient is going to question whether they’ll return. It is so important to hire qualified candidates from the start. Utilizing dental job boards can help dental offices fill RDH jobs, EFDA jobs, and positions for Office Managers. However, without the right “people” training, a poorly trained dental professional can erode the patient base the Dentist has worked so hard to attain. In-office “people” training is a huge part of ensuring patients receive the most positive experience.
Showing respect for patients
Most patients would agree that going to the dentist isn’t always a pleasant experience. Often patients present admitting fear or nervousness; dental staff members should always be overtly respectful of the patient’s feelings. Put another way: dental staff should never do anything to make patients feel nervous or uncomfortable. Respectful dental staff members who strive to give patients a positive experience will help retain patients and keep them coming back.
Dental offices are hiring more staff than ever before. In fact, between 2016 and 2026 the employment of Dental Hygienists is expected to grow by 20%. In most cases, a license or certificate is required to perform the duties they’ve been entrusted to do by our perspective dental governing branches. The training of the Dental Team member to care for the patient experience is even more important. I recall a dentist early in my career saying: “I can train a monkey to assist me, I need a people person”
“If you build a great experience, customers will tell each other about it.
Word of mouth is very powerful.”
~Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Dr. Deborah Marynak is the owner of DentalStaffing.org, a dentist with over 30 years experience, and is committed to helping Dental Professionals find the right fit for both employees and employers. She also works with Dental Offices to help them streamline their clinical systems and teach Dental Teams how to effectively document to avoid risk.