The answer is…absolutely! Production is the key factor in any business because without it there is no profit or income. At the same time, dental practices are service businesses. And excellent customer service—or as we at Levin Group like to call it “Five-Star” customer service—can be the factor that sets your practice apart and catapults production to another level.
According to the Levin Group Data Center, most practices score themselves much higher on customer service than patients do. Why? They feel that they are always very nice to their patients. And while they are, the kind of customer service that makes a lasting impression—Five-Star customer service—involves much more than being nice.
Five-Star customer service requires a specific program that is followed and continually reinforced. Take the Ritz Carlton for example. They have 21 principles that every employee is taught to follow. They review these principles regularly, almost daily actually, with different employee groups. They are so dedicated to customer service that they empower employees to spend up to $2,000 when necessary to solve a guest problem.
“Of course, dental practices are not hotels. But they are a service business that should have principles of customer service that lay the foundation for the patient experience. When patients have an ultra-positive experience they equate that with excellent clinical care and their trust level goes up. Trust is the key factor in case acceptance and practices with outstanding customer service typically have higher case acceptance and, therefore, production. This is why production and customer service go hand-in-hand.”
Five-Star customer service also leads to increased production through high patient retention and referrals. Patients become so enamored with the service they receive in the practice that they never want to leave and are always motivated to tell other people about their great experiences.
I was recently on an airplane headed out to a seminar when my seatmate realized I was a dentist. She spent the next 20 minutes raving about her dentist and how incredible he is. She had been with him for 35 years and said that she never wants to go to any other dentist for the rest of her life.
So if you’re wondering about how production and customer service fit together it doesn’t get any clearer. Outstanding customer service always leads to outstanding production.