Recent research has found that the majority of dental patients would not recommend doing business with their current dental health provider.
Is customer service an important part of dentistry? Of course it is. After all, patients have a choice of which surgery they visit, and if they don’t feel happy with the level of service they receive in one place, they’ll quickly move on to another practice.
In fact, according to recent research, many dental surgeries may want to reflect on the current state of their customer service and find ways to make improvements.
The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 dental patients, found that, on average, dental patients are not very satisfied with their experiences, and would not recommend doing business with their current dental provider.
Researchers used net promoter scores (NPS) to assess the dental sector – this meant asking customers how they would rate their provider on a scale of zero to ten; the results were then calculated and transferred to a composite score between -100 and 100.
Overall, the typical dental provider earned an NPS score of just one. In comparison, the insurance industry has an average score of 36, financial services scores 39 and retail comes in at 46. The researchers say the message is clear: the dental sector is falling behind other industries in terms of customer service.
While it’s true that there are other things to consider when judging the success of a dental surgery – such as the team’s knowledge and skills – it’s also important to recognise that the sector is changing.
These days, dentistry is increasingly defined by a customer-driven model. Patients tend to shop around more to find a provider, and they base their opinions on review sites, as well as elements such as what amenities are provided, how flexible the practice is and the communication methods used.
So, how can dental surgeries improve customer perceptions? Here are three tips to help you get started:
- Step back and reevaluate your objectives – Make sure you’re factoring customer needs into your growth plan. For example, communicating via text message or even creating a mobile app might lead to a more streamlined experience that meets the expectations of today’s busy patients. A separate survey from West Monroe found than 90 per cent of healthcare consumers said they would regularly use an app for communication with providers.
- Listen – Take steps to engage with your customers. This could be as simple as making more eye contact, listening carefully and providing a survey at the end of the visit.
- Train your team – Here at Designer Dental, we provide a comprehensive range of training courses for the entire dental team. Topics include communication, selling, decision-making, overcoming objectives and marketing, and are designed to help you build the practice and team that you desire.
To find out more about the training options available from Designer Dental, please get in touch today.