— PERSONAL + CAREER DEVELOPMENT —
Building Bridges to Dental Success
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dentist and Contributing Author
What People Want
Today’s consumer seeks dental care with a slightly different frame of mind than a generation ago. Technology’s tidal wave has influenced our brains and certain needs have become more pronounced.
In the essential book, “Decoding the New Consumer Mind,” author Dr. Kit Yarrow points out that “Today’s consumers want to feel more in control; they want to feel seen and valued for more than their money; they’re looking for brands and retailers that facilitate a sense of connection with others
A dental team can meet that mindset brilliantly, or it can fail spectacularly. A comprehensive effort includes incorporating these principles into every aspect of the experience you present to patients. Communication begins with the tone and vocabulary of your website, the messaging in your social media, the verbiage of the first phone call, and every subsequent interaction with your practice.
“I need more control”
As soon as a patient sits in the chair, they feel vulnerable. Dental fear research has established that a loss of control is a major cause of anxiety in patients who choose to avoid treatment. Finding ways to give your patients a sense of control breaks down emotional resistance and is a critical key to building trust. Consider the following:
“I need to feel valued”
Your practice has a tremendous opportunity to help patients feel recognised and valued. Spend time as a team brainstorming ways to bring this to life, and remember that little things matter. Consider:
“I want care that’s easier and more enjoyable”
When patients walk out the door smiling, they’re far more likely to accept the treatment plan you’ve helped them develop. Removing barriers to scheduling, payment, and paperwork helps consumers with short attention spans.
Include an online payment portal and new patient forms on your site.
Have your assistant take a moment to help patients choose their favourite shows.
This might include adding an associate dentist or just adding a day or two every month with more flexible hours.
Same day crowns or digital impressions make life better for you and your patients.
The trust journey
Building trust with your patient family happens incrementally through everything your practice does. Spend time as a team considering the patient’s perspective from the first time they view your website. Make small investments in efforts to help people feel special, and consider the words you use every time you interact with them. Healthcare that’s patient-centered rather than doctor-centered continues to stand out in a world full of choices. Simply treat your patients like family, and you’ll give them something to talk about!
Dr. Greg Grillo is a 1995 University of Washington School of Dentistry graduate practicing in North Central Washington.
He balances clinical practice with a role as the Content Director for Legwork, a rapidly growing dental software company.
Dr. Grillo purchased his current practice in 2001 after four years as a U.S. Navy Dental Officer and proceeded to quadruple the practice by every productive measure. He’s now the senior partner of Grillo Robeck Dental, an innovative practice blending technology with exceptional staffing to provide relationship-based healthcare.