Let’s say you have a patient come in who is in need of extensive restorative care. You discuss with them the reasons for the treatment and lay out a clear plan of action. Then comes the inevitable question from the patient: How much is this going to cost?
Overcoming the cost factor to increase treatment acceptance is a skill that we dentists have to master, for both the health of our patients and the longevity of our practices, but that doesn’t make it easy.
If you are like many dentists who struggle with turning a patient’s no into a yes, check out this blog from the experts at DentalMarketing101.com. In it, the author speaks to the importance of customer service and communication, and how when a patient feels like they are truly being taken care of, cost becomes less of an importance.
Patients are willing to pay for what they want, and what they want is quality dental care. By tweaking your current internal processes, treatment acceptance rates will increase and those uncomfortable financial conversations with patients will no longer hinder your care.
Open lines of communication with your dental practice staff are important for a number of reasons (practice growth, goal achievement, long-term stability to name a few). However, communicating with staff doesn’t always come easy, especially when they come to you to discuss compensation.
A recent article in Dental Products Report addresses the top employee compensation mistakes dentists often make. Are you possibly committing some of the following bad habits referenced in the article?
- Offering wage increases based on reasons other than merit
- Failing to define what “success” means in terms of each employee’s performance
- Giving everyone on the team the same wage and/or bonus
- Increasing wages without evidence of practice growth
- Lacking opportunities for open communication
The DPR article is definitely worth a read, especially for those who dread employee compensation conversations. Instead of avoiding these conversations, take a proactive approach and get the team on board for a fresh and successful start to the New Year.
As dentists, we need to look at our business through the eyes of our patients. And patients, particularly those who have been avoiding the dentist, don’t see dentistry the same way we do.
They see us dentists as cold and uncaring, and they see our practices as sterile. Even if this isn’t actually true, it is the way many patients perceive us, and our practices, to be.
So how can we change patients’ thought processes? Through improved communication. Take the time to get to know the patients so that you are able to build a long-term relationship. Avoid clinical language. When recommending treatment, clearly explain their options as well as your reasons as to why you recommend the course of treatment.
Speaking with patients, instead of at them, will help to foster loyalty and will help them to see you as more than just another dentist, but also as their trusted oral health consultant giving them all the more reason to keep coming back to you.