Who is the ideal dental auxiliary? Of course, we want them to be able to perform the duties they were hired to do. We also know their professional appearance, team attitude, and passion for being an outstanding caregiver are important qualities. But what stands out most to me is the team member’s ability to communicate energetically. Dentist employers can’t put a dollar value on outstanding communication skills.
For example, with that first greeting on the phone, patients and potential patients can tell whether the scheduling coordinator is happy, tired, bored, or enthused about the practice. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, how does your office rate? This does not mean that every person answering the phone must sound like a fresh Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of water. Quite the contrary. What it does mean is that the tone of their voice must be sincere, energetic, friendly, and knowledgeable.
In short, it’s all about energy!
When patients walk into your reception area, can they tell you’re in the dental business? Energize your reception area by displaying beautiful artwork of the smiles you’ve helped create. There should be no question that you’re not just another dentist, but the dentist. This energy walks out of your office and back to work or home with every visitor.
More by Linda Miles
When the dental assistant or hygienist seats their patients, do they lumber into the reception area, or do they have a spring in their step? Is this just another day in the life of a burned out professional, or is this the golden opportunity to make a sincere difference in the lives of patients? Are the clinical team members excited about modern dentistry and how it can change people’s lives? Have they been trained to become involved in the chairside communication? Patients accept treatment when the person proposing it is just as excited about the results as they are.
During procedures when team members are alone with patients, are they encouraged to “talk dentistry” or do they spend 75% of the time chatting socially? Offices that excel in communication spend 75% of their time talking dentistry and only 25% talking socially. When you adhere to this ratio, case acceptance increases tremendously.
Dentists can’t expect their team to be more excited about dentistry than they are. The most successful dentists in your community all have one thing in common: a passion for what they do and how they do it. They exude confidence to their patients and team. They see their work as an art form that brings joy and value to those they serve. The team gains energy just by being in the same office with them each day. They continuously upgrade their skills and knowledge by going to seminars, online courses, and training, and they understand that school is never out for the professional. They realize that giving back is what dentistry and life is all about.
Do your patients and practice a favor and make now the time that you put energy into your life!
Editor's note:This article originally appeared in DE Weekend, the newsletter that will elevate your Sunday mornings with practical and innovative practice management and clinical content from experts across the field.. Subscribe here.