This week’s post is from Dr. Leslie Pasco. She has been practicing for nearly two decades. In the mid-2000s she became an MGE client, and took to the management and executive training quickly! By the time she completed the MGE program she had more than quadrupled her patient base and production at her New York practice. Later on, she relocated to Pittsburgh, and within just three years had created a wildly successful practice from scratch. Now she splits her time between her practice and operating as one of MGE’s Senior Seminar Instructors, helping other dentists achieve similar success.
In my office, we give every new patient a full tour of the office. You might think this would be unnecessary or too time consuming, but it’s actually quite important.
Upon entering new surroundings most people feel a little disoriented. Think about it: When you have a new guest in your home, don’t you at least give them a brief tour and show them where things are? If nothing else, it’s good manners.
This is EXTRA important in a dental office, because we’ve all seen that many people can feel anxious or fearful when they go to the dentist. And most patients aren’t very knowledgeable about dentistry and dental technology, so they end up having lots of medical terminology and mysterious machines and devices swirling around them—all while their nervous about possibly getting shots or being in pain. Pretty disorienting!
So put them at ease before seating them in the dental chair. Give them a full tour of the office. It can be done by an assistant before seating them or by a front desk staff.
These tours actually serve three purposes in my office:
1. It’s good manners and makes them feel comfortable in your office. It also allows them to open up and have better communication from the start of the visit.
2. Patients who are fearful of dentistry may have had negative experiences at other offices in the past, and they’ll often subconsciously associate these experiences with your office. Sometimes they may even be dwelling on this when they enter the office. Showing them around and having them look at the office helps them get a fresh start and brings them out of dwelling on old experiences.
3. It gives you the opportunity to show them all the cool technology you have in your office! If you’re going to invest in fancy machinery, CEREC, lasers, etc., you should take advantage of this chance to wow them with it and explain what all of it does.
Now, if you’ve been reading between the lines, you may have noticed that all of this is helpful toward case acceptance. Making the patient comfortable, establishing good and open communication and putting their fears at ease are a big help in making them receptive to their proposed treatment plan. It’s the first step toward getting that “Yes” from the patient. And again, if nothing else, it’s the polite thing to do! So don’t neglect to do it next time a new patient comes into your office—no matter how busy you are at the time.