The Secret to Getting Patients to Say Yes
Effective Patient Communication
As a dentist, you would know how difficult it can be to persuade patients to say yes to receiving a necessary dental procedure. You would also know that cases of low dental acceptance are harmful to both your business, and more importantly, to your patients. When you know that a specific dental procedure would benefit a patient’s oral health, it is imperative that you find a way to help that patient agree to receive the treatment.
An effective communication technique between you and the patient is often the missing link in getting patients to agree to undergo a specified procedure. Moreover, patients need to be able to trust that you are there to assist them in making a well-informed decision.
Gaining a Patients Trust
Gaining a patients trust isn’t just about presenting facts, but rather presenting emotions to the patient. Increasing a patient’s acceptance rates is built upon emotionally connecting with patients through the use of empathy. Being empathetic to a patient’s needs, understanding what they may be concerned about, whether it’s for financial or personal reasons, is imperative in gaining a patients trust. In addition to this, it is recommended that you maintain eye contact with patients, paraphrase their concerns, and be receptive to any emotions that they may express in order to ensure all of their needs are catered for.
Each and every patient will differ in terms of the amount of information they wish to receive regarding any given procedure. However, it must be noted that a majority of patients will want to be well-informed before saying yes to a particular dental procedure. The best way to inform patients about a particular procedure is to explain the procedure in a way that’s not overly technical, but gives the patient enough of an understanding to know the purpose of the procedure. Patients are generally reluctant to receive technical information, although they do want to be reassured that they are making an educated decision on their treatment path.
Explain the Procedure
Patients are often highly susceptible to say yes to a procedure that is discussed in a narrative context, where a step by step plan of the procedure is outlined by the dentist. Patients are often nervous when they do not know what to expect from a certain procedure; therefore explaining the procedure in a narrative context makes it much easier for patients to visualise the procedure, and ultimately overcome any negative perceptions of the procedure itself.
Assess the Risks and the Benefits
Without guidance, patients often become anxious about the risks associated with certain treatments, which often results in patients delaying treatment because they don’t quite understand the risks of not undergoing a specific procedure.
As a dental professional, it is imperative that you assist your patients in understanding the risks and benefits associated with each and every dental procedure. Guiding patients in assessing risks and benefits will assist them in making an educated decision, while also helping these patients trust that you wouldn’t recommend a treatment if the benefits didn’t outweigh any potential risks.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.
Dentists will often find that they have to repeat themselves several times before a patient says yes to a certain treatment. It is known that people are more apt to believe a message after they’ve heard it multiple times. Therefore, it is imperative that dentists continue to reiterate the importance of a specific procedure to the patient. Effective ways to increase a patient’s exposure to treatment recommendations include post appointment follow-ups and having other staff members reiterate the recommended treatment plans.