Build rapport

No one buys anything from anyone without trust. Trust may be gained by popularity/marketing but it can also be achieved with personal connection. Unless you are a very well known dentist in your local area you have to gain personal trust and empathy.

To build rapport you have to do three things:

A – Ask questions – to show genuine interest in their problems and concerns:

Questions like:

  • What was the reason for your visit?
  • What is it that you don’t like about your smile?
  • Do you have any time frame to get your smile improved? Like getting married or going to a ceremony?

That can start with the receptionist or treatment coordinator but it has to continue smoothly with the doctor.

B – Listen carefully – to show that you are recording what they say.

C – Control the patient’s experience:

  • BE POSITIVE – ALWAYS BE POSITIVE. IT’s good both ways.
  • Is everything looking good in the office? You don’t need to have a luxurious place, just make sure that everything looks clean, fresh and organized.
  • Is there privacy for chatting with the patient? Can the receptionist/treatment coordinator talk to the patient privately? Some offices have a private room for this which is perfect. If you don’t have one don’t worry. Just make sure there is a section in your reception or waiting room where patients can be talked to with some privacy. A lower tone of voice should be used to actively show that you are about their privacy. I’ll say that again: actively show that you care about their privacy.
  • If you run late let them know as soon as possible. I’ll tell you what I do: in the beginning of each appointment my assistant always takes a few notes about the treatment to be done, payments and next appointment scheduling. This will be sent to the reception to expedite things even before the patient finishes the treatment. One of those notes is about time. If I see I’ll be running later for the next patient we will have time to let them know even before we start with the previous patient. So the reception is always controlling this and sending text or calling the patient if we are late as soon as we are aware of it.
  • Body language, tone of voice and techniques for customer service should be learned by all the team. Have everyone have a course on this at least once every couple of years. Then make sure everyone is really doing it.

So as a rule of thumb…. Ask yourself each time a first patient leaves – did she or he left with a feeling of trust? This is really important because everything we are going to be talking about next, is quite dependent on this factor – so PLEASE make sure your team, your facilities and YOU are all trustworthy.

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