Get The Patients
You Want
Request A Free Assessment

Beyond Satisfaction: Loyalty

A satisfied patient is one who is very happy with your service, care, and value. A loyal patient is one who loves your service and will remain your patient for a long time to come; someone who will tell his or her family, friends, and colleagues about you and your practice. Loyal patients are vital to your office and play a central role in the growth of your practice.

Customer loyalty is the growth factor in all kinds of service-related industries. For instance, hotels are no longer looking to have merely satisfied guests. They are reaching out to develop loyal guests who believe in the company, employees, and service and will go out of their way — and even pay more — to stay there.

It is fine to have satisfied customers or patients. That is something for which we should all strive in order to build successful practices. But the strategies for successful practices and growing practices are different. If you want to grow your practice, you must cultivate loyal patients.

This begins by building your practice on strong foundations with clearly defined goals, vision, and mission. It requires a focused practice that offers treatments you are passionate about and that you perform better than anyone else. It also takes the right team behind you, as well as clear systems and protocols, to create a culture that supports and fuels your growth. Lastly, you need relationships with specialists who are aligned with your vision and collaborate closely with you to help create and sustain customer loyalty. That is where we come in.

Effective Referrals

Have you had challenges referring patients to the specialist you want?

Have your patients ever called you back reporting bad experiences with the specialist you recommended?

Have you had difficulty with patients’ treatment acceptance?

These common challenges are often often the result of poor communication, misunderstanding between you and your specialist, and referral strategies that simply do not produce the desired results. The consequences are lost patients, failure of treatment acceptance, and lost productivity.

Other obstacles to effective patient referrals may come from patient objections, including financial worries, insurance participation, anxiety, and time or distance constraints — all of which must be resolved.  The best strategy is to avoid objections through proper initial communication, but you must be prepared to also resolve them once they occur.

We have specific solutions to address these challenges, make your referral process more effective, and increase treatment acceptance.

We also provide team training in mastering the referral process.

Consistent Messages

It is important that you and your specialist are aligned in the treatment recommendations to your patients. If you refer a patient for a tooth extraction with bony defect, for example, and you have not talked about site grafting needs, the patient is going to be surprised when your oral surgeon brings up grafting during the consultation. Similarly, if you recommend a bridge for a tooth replacement and your specialist discusses implants, your patient is likely to be confused about which recommendation is the right one.

In either scenario, at a minimum, the patient’s confidence is going to be diminished. At most, he or she may not follow-up and could even decline the treatment altogether.

We work hard to ensure your patients hear consistent messages from you and us. We will meet with you to align recommendations and treatment strategies to optimize patient confidence and case acceptance.

Resolving Challenges

There can be many challenges when referring patients to a specialist. Patients may have financial concerns with regard to the recommended treatment or they may have personal difficulties such as anxiety or time constraints. Frequently, the challenge in referring a patient to a specialist is really just a breakdown in communication between doctor and patient.

Each individual has a different personality and a specific set of needs; patients need to be able to hear your reasons for referral in a way that they understand. Often, patients decline treatment recommendations because they do not feel heard or understood by the treating dentists. This is certainly not because dentists don’t try, but rather because the information is presented in a way that fails to take into account the patient’s requirements or needs. An example is presenting a treatment recommendation to a patient with a “wise” type of personality. This kind of individual is going to need lots of answers and information. If ALL questions are not answered clearly and concisely, the patient may be put off from accepting the recommended treatment or specialist.

Good communication between patient and doctors, as well as between the doctors, is critical to resolving challenges when referring patients.

'WOW' Service

Patient loyalty comes from peak experiences. They must be WOWed. This does not mean you have to turn your office into a dental spa or offer foot messages during dental treatment. Surprisingly, the WOW factors are simple and easily implemented. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Team members who smile and always offer helping hands
  • Addressing patients by name
  • Keeping appointments on time (3-minute rule)
  • Providing clear pre- and post-operative information
  • Transparency and clarity of treatment finances
  • Escorting patients around the office and on way to their car
  • Saying “thank you”
  • Doing thoughtful little things like offering a pillow to a patient who has chronic back pain
  • An office atmosphere that is calming and comfortable
  • Immediate availability and answers to questions

Treatment Acceptance

We appreciate and value your patient referrals and recognize the importance of achieving treatment acceptance in order to create loyal patients. Some of the ways we achieve this include:

  • Obtaining X-rays and models prior to patient consultation
  • Conducting an in-depth consultation with probing questions to assess your patient’s explicit needs
  • Understanding the patient’s personality and how and in what form they want information
  • Providing educational tools to support solutions to the patient’s needs
  • Endorsing the recommended treatments
  • Offering financial options to make the treatment possible
  • Scheduling promptly
  • Providing written and video consultation reports
  • Following-up properly


The Role of Your Surgeon

When we work with patients you refer to us, we place special emphasis on patient case acceptance, not just for the recommended surgery but also for your dentistry practice. We do this by engaging patients in achieving long-term oral health and educating them on a variety of dental treatments including:

  • Periodontal care
  • Restorative care
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Orthodontics
  • Endodontics

In engaging and educating patients, we work to ask the right questions, understand their needs, offer various dental solutions, and build confidence in your ability as well as the skill of other specialists who provide those treatments. We have found this cross-education strategy very effective in increasing patient acceptance of the referring dentistry practice following completion of patient’s surgical treatment with us.