Leveraging communication to grow your dental practice

Whether it’s between you and your employees or you and your patients, communication is one of the key tools you can use to grow your practice and provide a better patient experience. Here are five simple examples of how communication can save the day in dentistry.

Listen to patients’ stories

Every patient that sits in your chair has a dental story to tell. Before you explain your treatment plan, ask your patient what their primary oral health concerns are and then listen. The more you hear what they have to say, the better you’ll be able to serve their needs and connect with a patient’s issues on an emotional level.

Emphasize the big questions

Prepare every member of your team to give the best possible answers to the questions patients ask the most.

  • Ask each department in the office to write down the most commonly asked questions
  • Work together as a team to come up with the best possible answers
  • Role play and practice answering these questions in team meetings until responses become second nature

Clarifying patient questions isn’t just about having the right answer. It’s also about having confidence in the subject matter.

Personalize your greetings

For a patient, hearing “Hi, how are you today?” at every hand off can sound a bit robotic. Have team members mix it up a bit to make greetings sound more genuine and sincere. For example, “It’s great to see you again” or “how are you feeling today” or “welcome back. I’ll be helping you…”

Front office communication

Improve communication between the front and back by defining front desk duties for each team member and then cross-training across all administrative staff so that vital information doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Focus on conversational patient education

It’s very important to engage in friendly social communication with your patients to build rapport.  Aim for a ratio of 75% patient education and 25% pleasantries. Be friendly and build relationships with your patients. Just make sure they get the information they need to make sound decisions about their oral health and dental care options.