Creating a Positive Front Desk Encounter

Ken Mathys, CPA

Ken Mathys, CPA
Founder and Principal
Dental Practice Advisors

Once patients walk into your office, how do you make them stay… and come back? By providing superior service and top quality dental care, starting at the front desk.

A positive front desk encounter begins with the look and feel of the front office when a patient arrives. Patients notice the sounds, smells and overall appearance when they walk in. Put extra effort into giving your front office a fresh, clean scent versus the anxiety-inducing smell of dental materials. Keep the front desk and waiting areas neat and organized, as clutter devalues the professionalism of a practice.

You also need to place just as much importance on how you greet your patient when they enter. A successful front desk receptionist is aware of and anticipates each and every patient arrival. Their number one priority is the patient check-in, with emphasis on making the patient feel welcome. Upon walking in the door, every patient should receive your receptionist’s full attention; they should not be distracted by phone calls or other tasks.

Here are a few additional tips for a winning check-in process:

  1. Welcome a patient by standing to greet them by name and introducing yourself while smiling and looking them in the eye.
  2. Show them where to hang their coat, if necessary.
  3. Efficiently verify their information and offer to walk them through the paperwork.
  4. Offer a beverage while they wait.
  5. Note their arrival time and compare it to the schedule of the person they are seeing.
  6. In the event of a delay in their appointment, inform the patient right away.
  7. Ensure that small talk around the front desk is kept professional and minimal.
  8. Always remain professional yet friendly and accommodating to the patient

To create the optimal front desk encounter, build a front desk team that is well-trained and prepared for any situation; has strong interpersonal skills – both verbal and non-verbal communication; and consistently demonstrates patience.

About Dental Practice Advisors Dental Practice Advisors is a dental consulting firm dedicated to offering dental practices management solutions that will help improve patient care, work-life balance, and financial success.