If your team is struggling, no matter the reason, there’s a pretty good chance your patients will notice—and it could be enough to send them looking for a new dental home.
Here are three ways a weak team might cost you patients and what to do about it.
1. Customer service suffers. Patients want to feel comfortable when they walk into your dental practice. Many of them are nervous, and a friendly smile and a prompt greeting could help put them at ease. But if team members are too distracted, whether it’s because they’re trying to learn a new practice management program or they’re updating their Facebook status, they might not focus on the patient as much as they should. When that happens, patients don’t feel important and are left to wonder if they’ve chosen the right practice to handle their dental care.
Train team members to always put patients first, which includes greeting them right away with a warm smile no matter what they’re doing. Tell them to help patients fill out paperwork, to offer them water and to talk with them about the doctor and the services the practice provides. This not only helps make them comfortable, it goes a long way in establishing a connection between the patient and the practice.
2. They feel the tension. If there’s conflict among your team members, patients can feel it. The tension is there, and it effects the way team members interact with patients. Even worse, sometimes patients end up overhearing team members complaining about one another. Once that happens, there’s a pretty good chance those patients won’t be back. Squash conflict as soon as you notice it so your patients never do.
3. The appointment takes longer than it should. Your patients are busy people and often struggle to fit dental appointments into their hectic day. They certainly don’t have time to sit in the waiting area because a double booking has set you behind, or because a team member is trying to learn a new technology or technique on the job. Proper training will help you avoid these situations, getting patients in and out as quickly as possible while also providing top notch care.
Team members can make or break your practice. If your team shows signs of weakness, it could cost you patients. Make the necessary changes to build a strong team and a strong patient base.