If a patient doesn’t appreciate you or value dentistry, there’s a good chance you’ll never see that patient again. Improving your education efforts will help win them over and improve patient retention, but there are many other reasons patients opt to not come back to a practice. Here are four.
1. You ignored a complaint. Many dentists and their team members find it annoying when patients complain, and tend to brush them off. Instead, you really should look at any patient complaint you receive as an opportunity to improve. After all, if one patient brings up an issue, others are likely having the same problem as well—they just didn’t take the time to tell you.
Ignoring complaints shows patients you don’t care about their experience at your practice, which could prompt them to call another office when it’s time for their next appointment. To avoid this, thank patients who bring up an issue and let them know you plan to address it. This will keep your patients happy while also serving to improve your practice.
2. You made changes without consulting your patient base. This is a good way to lose patients. Let’s say you decide to cut back on evening hours because your team members would rather end their days at 5 p.m. The problem? Evenings are the only time some of your patients can schedule an appointment, so instead of finding time during the day to see you, they find another practice that offers more flexible hours. Survey patients before making any major changes to avoid losing once loyal patients to the practice down the street.
3. Team members aren’t getting along. When there’s conflict in the practice, patients notice—and it makes them uncomfortable. Customer service suffers and often so does the quality of care patients receive. If it gets bad enough, even the most loyal patients will look for a new dental home. Address conflict right away so it doesn’t cost you patients.
4. The practice isn’t up-to-date. These days, patients expect a lot from their dental practice. They want a relaxing atmosphere and to know the dentist they’ve entrusted with their care invests in technologies that improve the patient experience. If your equipment or your office seem out of date, it could be enough to send first-time patients to another practice.
When patients don’t come back, it can be pretty frustrating, because you usually have no idea why. Patients opt to find a new dental home for many reasons, but if you recognize some of the most common, you can make the necessary changes to grow your patient base and your bottom line.
Tags: Addressing Dental Patient Concerns, Attract New Dental Patients, Dental Patient Complaints, Dental Patient Education, Dental Patient Retention, Dental Patients, Dental Practice Management, Dental Team, Dental Team Management