The number of patients that a dental practice attracts is undeniably important. But attracting patients is more than making a good first impression. Once a patient is in the door, you need to continue to build the relationship with them to turn them from new patients into lifelong champions of your practice and care. Here are 10 open-ended questions that dental professionals should ask new patients to help keep them coming back.
- Who can we thank for referring you?
Questioning referrals is an important way to examine how patients are finding out about your practice. It is also a good opportunity to encourage the idea of leaving positive reviews if the patient located your services online.
- How can I help you?
Find out in their own words what brought them in. While you could ask if they are having any problems, asking how you can help doesn’t create conflict with issues that may arise during the examination.
- Tell me more.
This could help take the conversation to a deeper level. By making a patient more comfortable talking with you, they may become more at ease during procedure.
- How does this make you feel?
This is a question that dental professionals may not typically ask. If a patient dislikes something about their smile, finding out if it is due to tooth color, shape, or size can be an important step in creating a more comfortable environment. Has anyone ever made them feel insecure about their smile? You won’t know unless you ask.
- What did your last dentist tell you?
In some cases, previous dentists may have shared judgements or ideas with the patient that are different from your own. Caution towards accuracy should be a top priority when it comes to this question.
- Why now? What is your time frame?
You never know what is going on in your patient’s personal life or with their financial situation. By asking this, you can adjust to their needs with more ease. The patient may be losing insurance in a week, moving out of town, or have a wedding.
- What are your long-term goals for your health, teeth, and smile?
By pinpointing the specific expectations that a patient has, your practice can do a better job of meeting their goals and hopes.
- Who else has input here?
This is more relevant with younger patients who still rely on the input of a guardian. It is important to establish who the decision-maker is so that no time is wasted while proposing a treatment plan.
- Do you have a budget in mind?
This is a crucial step while advising patients and examining proper treatments. You can offer various solutions to help them save money and have budget plans catering to different situations. Finding out how to fit solutions into their budget is a key aspect of any dental practice.
- When would you like to be finished?Simple sewing jobs where the type of thread doesn’t matter are perfect for floss. It’s strong so won’t break, and white floss will blend in with most clothing.
Asking these 10 simple questions will enhance the relationship between staff and patients in any dental practice. Amazing things will happen if sufficient time and energy is put towards fostering early patient relationships, and the foundation of these relationships depends getting to know patients and their needs on a deeper level. This will help you deliver dental care with a passion and enthusiasm that all patients deserve. By assuring that patients feel heard and comfortable, dental offices will prosper.