Over two hundred years ago the English chemist, Joseph Priestly, said, “The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” I can’t imagine what Priestly would think today.
When research was conducted to determine how to decrease malpractice claims, an interesting trend emerged. Patients were not suing doctors they liked. And the process for winning patients over had nothing to do with diplomas on the wall; instead it literally came down to spending a few extra minutes communicating.
It should come as no surprise that there is a direct correlation between rushed exams and unscheduled treatment. Patient-education DVD’s and brochures are not substitutes for lack of personal interaction. Patients want to hear it from the dentist.
In addition, when you study dental practice success, or the success of any personalized service, you clearly see how you build a long-term customer base by taking an active interest in people.
Entering the operatory and knowing the patient’s name. Engaging in conversation that goes beyond the weather. And allowing the patient to ask questions without getting into a sprinter’s stance because you want to be somewhere else.
We certainly have elaborate ways to communicate with each other. However, if you want to build a stronger practice, if you want to win patients over, and if you want to make your team even better, move from the elaborate to the fundamental. Take an extra minute. And engage in a conversation.