Dental Hygienist Approved Strategies for Providing Great Customer Service
How savvy dental hygienists provide great customer service
Dental hygienists are highly educated medical professionals performing an essential job. However, as the people at the practice that patients often spend the most time with, it’s important the dental hygienists provide great customer service as well. While some people just have the knack, providing great customer service is a skill most hygienists have to learn. Just keep the acrostic H.A.P.P.Y. in mind, and your patients will leave your chair with a squeaky-clean smile.
Hurrying hurts patients
We get it. There are days when you’re running behind, and you have a waiting room full of irate people watching the clock. However, a person’s experience sitting in your chair is much more likely to influence their decision to return to the practice than waiting a few extra minutes for their appointment. The time you have with them is your chance to create a good impression of the practice. Even if you are pressed for time, make sure each patient gets the attention that they feel they need before they leave.
A lot of people are anxious about dental procedures, and it’s understandable that people are apprehensive about something that is often costly and uncomfortable. A good hygienist is empathetic, informative and knowledgeable about the benefits of specific procedures. People are often more willing to do things if they anticipate clear benefits. They are visiting your practice, so likely they have already decided that their oral health is worth the investment. Once they are there, you’re calming presence and clear answers will let them walk out the door feeling satisfied.
A key part of customer service is building relationships. When your patient sits down, ask them if they have any anxieties or questions that you can address before you begin. Allow them a moment to talk about their concerns. Make eye contact and listen actively, repeating and clarifying important information. During the first visit you can also note down any specific information that could help you build a relationship with that patient, like the names of children or a partner, or unique hobbies.
Patience is a virtue
Some patients are going to be hard to deal with. People visiting the dentist might be confused or frustrated or in pain. None of these things leave us at our best. Part of any hygienist’s job is dealing with people that you can’t make happy, who come in having a bad day and seem intent on ruining yours. Can dental hygienists provide great customer service to these people? Yes, at least in the sense that you can keep your cool and remain patient and professional. Your coworkers and other patients will notice and appreciate it.
Yes will help you avoid Yelp
Even if at your practice the dental hygienists provide great customer service already, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch for potential issues. Receive customer feedback willingly and if possible stay positive. Use phrases like, “Yes, I want to help fix this” and “Yes, I understand why that’s a problem. The word “Yes” can show you’re willing to help and you’re validating the patient’s frustration. When patients feel heard, they are less likely to make their complaints public in online feedback forums. (Stay away from the words “Yes, but…” though!)
Dental hygienists provide great customer service when they’re happy, too
It’s easier to follow H.A.P.P.Y. when you’re happy. Being in a customer service job can be stressful and wearing. If you feel yourself burning out, step back and consider ways that you can engage in some self-care. Do you need to work fewer shifts, establish an exercise routine, or spend more time with friends? If you prefer some retail therapy, check out The Uniform Outlet’s great selection of scrubs at our everyday low prices. Prioritize your mental health, and you’ll come into work ready to provide quality customer service every day.