We have all experienced situations where we expected a healthcare provider or a vendor to follow-up on our questions; however they never called. What kind of impression did that make? In many cases, we likely chose to take our business elsewhere.
How prompt is the follow-up with your dental patients? Let’s assume a confused patient calls and wants to know why his insurance paid less than expected toward treatment, and your front team needs to research the issue. How does your team prioritize the patient’s questions along with other tasks for the day?
If you put yourself in the patient’s shoes, you would want to hear back the same day. Effective teams know how to respond promptly, and it starts with readjusting their to-do list. Dentistry is a service, and the service is judged not only by what happens chair-side with the dentist and clinical team but also by how promptly and professionally questions are addressed.
Another situation that warrants prompt follow-up is when the patient receives treatment that is not “quite right.” For example, after anesthetic wears off the patient realizes his new filling or crown is a little high and his bite feels “off.” Too many times patients assume this situation will fix itself, but it doesn’t, and with each passing day the patients in question think less of your practice.
Many teams avoid this situation by proactively calling patients one or two days following treatment to make sure everything feels okay. When you learn that a filling feels high, for example, then you can easily guide the patient back in for an adjustment.
The extra effort involved with prompt and proactive follow-up pays for itself many times over. And each time you follow-up with patients you are presented with an opportunity to exceed their expectations.