Brushing Up on Customer Experience - How Dentists Can Improve The Patient Experience
The Dentist’s Dilemma
Today more than ever customers are influenced by the experience they have with your brand and your products. Give customers a great experience and they’ll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends. The same is true for patients.
So, why are loyal, referring patients so hard to come by? Call it an experience disconnect.
What truly makes for a good experience? Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness. Perks. And one big connector: human touch - or, creating genuine connections by using technology in a manner that feels more human and helpful. By providing customers with a memorable, caring experience you can directly improve your customer experience and concurrently, your reputation as a dental practice and brand.
The most important component in a customer experience is trust. Customers simply won’t work with businesses they cannot trust. It used to be the case that Chinese merchants who trusted one another would informally band together to create insurance such that if one ship went down from a fleet no single merchant would be bankrupt. But this process could only function when merchants knew they could trust one another. That insurance model of old remains to be true in the healthcare industry today. People need to trust their dentist. If they pay for regular dental care and dental insurance they need to know that if things go wrong later on, their dentist will be there when they need them.
Industries built on trust have to focus heavily on customer experience now more than ever. Recent surveys have found that customer experience is the most important component in maintaining loyalty, and it ranks higher than content marketing or other forms of marketing.
Every time a customer has to repeat themselves when they walk up to reception, every time they're put on hold for 20 minutes or more trying to make their next checkup appointment, and anytime they have to fill out mountains of frustrating Insurance paperwork, they lose a little bit of their trust in the company. And without that trust there isn't much substance to the relationship. Even though there are certain operational measures that are outside of your company control, after all you can't control how many people phone at once or the day that your reception is understaffed or the amount of insurance paperwork new customers have to fill out, there are still measures that can be taken to improve the overall customer experience.
Depending on how busy things are patient might be waiting in a dental office anywhere from five minutes to over an hour for their appointment. The longer people wait without being tended to, without a comfortable experience, the more it breaks down that trust.
Trust is the cornerstone for all of the experiences your patience half and it is something you have to cultivate long-term but something that can be destroyed in a single visit. Focusing on every customer individually rather than brushing through the day will help sustain long-term trust and part of that focus means giving them options. Having a single pot of coffee doesn't appeal to all of your customers and certainly doesn't make them feel like they have individual option. After all they might not drink coffee, they might not want coffee on a hot afternoon, they might be allergic to caffeine. Having just plain water by comparison might be refreshing on a hot afternoon but again doesn't have a great deal of variety nor does it give certain clients that natural pick me up they need in the middle of a sluggish afternoon.
How to Improve
Communication is imperative, especially in the healthcare industry where patients are examined by person after person. 89% of customers say that having to repeat the issue they are having to more than one employee leaves them frustrated. And 87% of customers think that brands have to put in a much larger effort in terms of providing consistency in the customer experience. So while you are improving the appeal and comfort of the waiting room and offices so that customer experience comes first, also try adding a feature where the very first person with whom you're customer comes into contact takes legitimate notes as to the concern and passes those notes on to each subsequent employee before that employ you talk to the customer. Someone coming in because of a very specific dental pain is going to feel much better about the situation if each dental hygienist and dentist who comes into the office already knows the problem rather than forcing the patient to repeat it each time.
Customers will spend more on the same services if they have a good experience. When it comes to annual Healthcare and dental care customers have been found willing to spend a 14% premium for the regular services they receive just because of a good experience which means investing in a few things now to improve the waiting area and make things comfortable will legitimately give you a higher return on your profit and allow you the ability to charge more for everyday services.
As a dental office health and oral hygiene are imperative to your success! You cannot cultivate trust with your patients if you tell them to brush and floss regularly, avoid sugary sodas, and then you provide them with just that in the waiting room.
With Lavit, you can allow your employees and each patient in your waiting room the option of over 25 beverages - all of which have fewer than 10 calories, zero to little sugar, and no preservatives.
The drink options span popular tea brands, natural energy beverages and even juice presses, thereby doing away with artificial, sugary juices, canned sodas, or energy drinks all of which will slowly rot out the teeth these patients want to protect.
Want to learn more about how Lavit can help your dental waiting room?