10 Customer Service Tips for the Dental Office

With such stiff competition from the dental practice down the street, how do you differentiate yourself from the rest?  Customer service is important in helping your practice thrive in a difficult economy.  We compiled a list of 10 Customer Service Tips for your dental staff.

1)      Standardize your Greeting:  Answer the phone with a standard greeting.  The best greeting usually starts with “Thank you for calling…”  Here’s a tip on appearing more polite: even though the person on the other end cannot see you, Smile!  It will show through in your voice.

2)      Excellent phone etiquette.  A big part of your job is to call patients to confirm appointments and to schedule recall appointments.  Be polite and friendly over the phone, and practice speaking slowly and clearly.  Using the patient’s name in the conversation is also a great way to show you are attentive.

3)      Leaving Messages:  When leaving patient messages, speak clearly and leave important details!  Mention the day of the appointment, time and be absolutely sure to leave a call back number.

4)      Smile!  Greet your patient as soon as they walk into your office with a pleasant greeting and a smile.  Never leave the front desk vacant, and always assist the patients as if they are your number one priority.  Be a little more personal by standing up to talk to the patient to have an eye to eye contact.

5)      Build Rapport:  Get to know your patients.  Ask them about their day, their children, and their jobs.  Build a trusting relationship with them and they will be likely to return to your practice.

6)      Bedside Manner.  If your patients are in pain or if they are hurting, treat them kindly and assure them that they will be taken care of by your dentist.  Be cautious what you say to your patients and think about how they might perceive your comments!  Unfortunately, patients are more likely to share stories about negative behavior than kind behavior.


7)      Recall Appointments:  Schedule your patient’s next appointment at the time you make the payment.  It could for be their 6-month check-up, perio-cleaning, or their root canal.  Whatever it may be, schedule it while they are in your office!  You’re both helping your patients achieve great oral health care and pleasing your boss, the dentist!

8)      Balance: Find your balance between nice and stern.  Don’t shrug it off if a patient refuses to pay, make sure they are aware of the policies!  If a patient is constantly late to appointments, be sure they know how it effects your practice, but do it in a way that doesn’t necessarily offend.

9)      Educate Clearly:  Explain procedures fully and completely, and if you need assistance, use our PatientEDU video sources to discuss why these procedures are necessary.  The more your patient understands, the less anxious your patient will be about their treatment.

10)  Look Presentable, always.  Too much makeup or low cut blouses will only distract your patients.  Keep your look simple.  However, avoid coming to work in sloppy clothing.  You are the first impression of the office, make it count!

We’d like our clients to weigh in with their advice.  Is there anything we missed?  Anything that drives you crazy when you see others do it? Give us your feedback!