By Susan Kulakowski, Director of Practice Enhancement
Is the conversation in your dental practice setting the stage for case acceptance?
Observations of dental practices indicate that most conversations between team members and patients are 75% social and 25% educational. Reverse that, and “magical” things begin to happen.
It is important to make patients feel comfortable, provide excellent patient service and establish relationship by inquiring about their families, activities and interests. It is, however, also important to realize there is a very small window of time in which to educate patients regarding their treatment needs and the services that your practice offers. Many times, patients will call with questions or ask a question on their way out of the door to clarify understanding.
Do your staff members know what to say when this happens? Patients will only take the dentistry as seriously as the doctor and team do. It is the entire team’s responsibility to set the stage for case acceptance through explanations of clinical and office procedures. This is an important part of patient education.
Many team members find it difficult to “talk dentistry.” Often, it is because they lack verbal skills and don’t feel comfortable explaining dental procedures. Here’s a tip to help your team become comfortable talking about dentistry.
Develop verbal cue cards. Select the most common procedures and services your practice provides. On five by eight note cards, write a brief narrative that outlines the major benefits of each procedure. Have team members practice delivering the narratives to each other until they have memorized them and are comfortable. This is a great tool to get everyone on par with talking dentistry, answering patient questions, and promoting your services with confidence.