Kindergarten for Dentists – Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Those of you in Boy or Girl Scouts will fondly remember this song – http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/makenew.htm I love how it relates to patients. While a good business practice is to continuously strive to bring in new patients, we cannot forget the “old” ones who have been with us for a long time.

1.      If you haven’t seen a patient in a while, especially one who was diligent about coming in for regular cleanings, give a personal call. If you feel “funny” about this, you can simply say that you have been thinking about him/her and hoping that everything is well. Because you care about your patients as people, this is a call just to let them know that you are thinking about them and value their relationship with you.

2.      Send notes of appreciation to regular patients every time they come in for a visit/treatment. This type of acknowledgement helps you build a more solid doctor/patient relationship. Something as simple as “Thanks for coming in. I speak for the whole team when I say that we are looking forward to seeing you again in 6 months.” Include a personal note here as well about something they mentioned – a wedding, an anniversary, a new grandchild, etc.

3.      Remind your staff that long-term patients are to be highly valued in your practice. If you treat your most longstanding patients as VIPs when they come in and really roll out the proverbial red carpet for them, they will think of you immediately when someone asks for a referral to a new dentist.

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