A Front Office Coordinator asked me what I meant when I asked her, “what gets in your patient’s way of making their appointments?”
She believed it was always about money or the appointment time.
This made me think.
Do we really find out what is getting in the way of our patients going ahead with important and vital dental treatment and care?
Or do we just guess what it is most of time?
Other patients have mentioned that they just can’t afford the treatment so we start to believe that this must be why the patient in front of us or on the phone is also not going ahead with treatment.
We are now getting in our patients way starting treatment, because we are not finding out.
Once you start asking patients why they are not going ahead with treatment they start telling you the reason.
I talk to many front office coordinators and when I ask them why they don’t ask patients why they have decided not to go ahead with treatment, their answer is always the same……they tell me they don’t feel comfortable asking patients this question and so they don’t.
This is like not asking a patient why they need to cancel their appointment.
Unless you know what is stopping your patient from going ahead you can’t offer a solution to help them.
Our duty of care is to help our patients but if we don’t know what the solution is how do we really help them.
Yes I know it can be a little uncomfortable at first asking patients, “Is there a reason you have decided not to go ahead with treatment?”, when you are not use to asking this question.
But after a while it just becomes a normal question that you ask so you can help your patient.
Moving out of what seems to be comfortable to a slightly uncomfortable situation is how we make changes.
If you are a polite and friendly person, being assertive and helpful with your patients will always be appreciated and you will feel very comfortable having this type of conversation with your patients.
Having an excellent rapport with your patients also helps when you go to ask your patients these sort of confronting questions.
Confronting your patients should be about helping them rather than putting your patients on the spot and making your them feel uncomfortable.
These sorts of conversations with our patients take practice but keep in mind you do want to be very clear about what you are going to say and ask and ensure you approach the conversation with the patient’s best interest at heart.
My next public speaking event is my live full day Master Class
The Melbourne Master Class is on Friday 31st August 2018. Details will be coming soon.
Dental Phone Excellence is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary dental practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.
If you’d like to know more, download my sixteen page FREE special report “How I Quickly and Easily Went From 35% to 77% New Patient Telephone Conversions, and Doubled The Size of my Dental Practice Along the Way” and discover some of the many costly mistakes being made on your phone…..
At present I have availability for TWO new private clients. For more information on how I can improve your Dental Office’s Phone Numbers contact me, Jayne Bandy at jayne@theDPE.com