Dentistry is a great career. But it is also a business. And when you boil it down to its essence we’re all in the customer service business.
As a general dentist what separates you from the competitor up the street is customer service. Do it right and your patients become your own personal marketing team – referring you new business whenever someone asks for a recommendation.
Do it wrong and you’ll quickly learn how easy it is for individuals and their families to move their business elsewhere.
Your dental customer strategy starts with understanding the differences between managing and leading. When you manage you are looking for immediate results and efficiencies in the now. Unfortunately those short term gains may be followed by long term decline as customers themselves start to feel that your profit margin is taking priority over their experience.
Leaders look to create sustainable businesses that grow steadily over the long term. Yes, this means investing in your technology. But it also means investing in your people.
So every dentist/owner has to be ready to become a leader in his or her own practice. And the best way to do that is by fostering a patient-focused culture that recognizes one weak link in the customer service chain will have a negative impact on long term profitability.
So how do you avoid managing yourself out of business? Start by putting in place processes and procedures for each customer touch point. From the very first email inquiry or phone call through to your billing and collections you need to make sure everyone in you practice is trained to make your patients feel special.
Every customer is different, However, you can broadly divide them into three buckets – positive, negative, and neutral groups. Your strategy needs to include all of these groups in order to grow over the long term.
As the leader in your practice it’s vitally important that you learn to coach your staff effectively so they are all on the same page and committed to your patient-focused vision. Once you learn to do this you will protect, expand and grow your roster of patients by delivering winning customer service.
If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.
And he knows that once you “get it right,” it’s not a great leap to replicate that success over and over again.
Today, in addition to his work as an actual dentist, Dr. Coughlin coaches, consults and speaks to dentists across the country on how to build the practice of their dreams – based on proven processes and procedures.
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