Superior customer service

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Dr. Roger Levin presents the 10 top ways to help create a perfect dental team

With the changes brought on by the economy, top companies are bringing in the best resources they can find to evaluate where their organizations stand. They want to know what and/or how they can improve. These executives want their organizations to perform better both now and in the future. Everyone in the dental field must do the same.

It is more critical than ever to have a high-performance team to provide patients with a superior customer service experience. Here are 10 tips to help you and your team meet these demands and help maintain, or increase case acceptance.

Create a vision statement 

As the CEO of your practice, you are the leader. As a leader, you have to take people somewhere, which is why your vision statement is so important. It focuses on where you want to take your practice in the next 3 to 5 years. Your vision statement will provide focus and direction for the practice. It should contain clearly written information describing where the practice is going. The length of a vision statement can vary, but it is rarely longer than several paragraphs.  

Share your vision

To make the vision a reality, you need to share it with your team members — and not just once; they should be exposed to it on a regular basis. Make sure every staff member understands your vision, so reinforce it during monthly staff meetings. 

Individuals can’t support your vision if they don’t understand it. When your team has a clear understanding of where the practice is going, they have a better idea of their roles in the practice’s success. To do their jobs effectively, all team members must understand and also buy into the vision.  

Communicate your goals

You will only reach your vision by establishing and accomplishing specific and measurable goals along the way. However, these goals will never be fulfilled if they stay in your head. Communicate them daily to team members during meetings. Each goal brings you one step closer to making your vision a reality. 

Hire the right people

Only individuals with the right skills, talents, and attitude will move the practice forward. Hiring the right people will make your life easier. Communicate your vision during the interview, so potential employees know the type of practice you have.  

Achieve great customer service

Customer service affects every practice system. The level of your customer service determines how comfortable you make patients feel, which in turn determines how successful you are in presenting cases. Remember that patients won’t accept treatment in an environment that doesn’t meet their expectations. Your goal is to exceed their expectations. 

Your system for customer service must be one that can be repeated for every patient, every day. You should be able to outline this process so that all employees know what you want to have happen for every patient, every single time. 

Train your team to provide superior customer service during every patient interaction, and watch the positive impact it will have on your practice. 

Educate your team

Remember that many patients will seek a second opinion about your recommended treatment — before they even leave the practice. That means you want everyone up-to-date and knowledgeable about the services your practice provides. Team meetings provide an excellent opportunity to educate staff about new services. All team members must be able to educate and motivate patients during case presentation appointments.  

Train with scripting

Scripting provides the practice with a consistent method to train every team member. As in sports, working from the same “playbook” builds team unity. Scripts help your team communicate clear and consistent messages to patients. Create scripts for every aspect of patient inter-
action and maximize the capabilities of your team members.  

Encourage success

Team members want your appreciation, which can be shown in any number of ways. You could treat the team to lunch or breakfast after a stressful or trying week. Or you could take the entire team to an amusement park for a day. Whatever option you choose, socializing outside of the practice is an excellent way to motivate people and build team cohesiveness.  

Give positive feedback

Most people want to be recognized. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” or “well done” after a team member has completed a task or somehow gone above and beyond in his/her responsibilities. Compliment team members when you see them handle a difficult situation, praise them when their verbal skills persuade a patient to accept treatment, and thank them for helping the practice succeed.  

Recognize that team building will be continuous

Practices will always face challenges. Prepare your team for those challenges. Complacency will only create more challenges. Set time aside for specific training, out-of-office activities and performance discussions. A truly excellent team won’t shy away from challenges; they’ll want to tackle them head on! 

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