We’re always amazed at how teachers are able to confidently juggle the names, likes, and achievements of twenty or more students each year. Likewise, we’re amazed when clinic staff greet us by name, let alone ask us how things are going! Building rapport with patients is more than earning their trust; it’s putting a face to your clinic. It’s helping them better relate, understand what they need to do, and increasing your patient satisfaction levels without compromising patient safety. Here are 4 ways to build that trust with your patients – and their parents!
1. Be available for questions
Kids (and parents) appreciate it when they get honest answers to their questions. Unfortunately, they don’t always remember those questions when they’re at the clinic!
Thankfully, there’s some amazing technology available to keep those lines of communication open! We’ve seen clinics have amazing success when they:
- Keep a list of FAQs on their website
- Give staff work phones – so that patients can text in questions and get knowledgeable responses.
- Respond to questions posted on social media.
2. Listen to your community
Every community has different needs and goals. By being involved, you’ll not only know what your community needs, but be seen for your caring commitment to your neighbors. There may be different community park, health improvement, historical, or other projects being sponsored by city hall or a local charity organization. It may even be worth getting involved in a couple of projects with different councils.
3. Take and keep notes
Sometimes, special events or moments will just pop up. If you’re aware of them, these can be great moments to build rapport with patients and their parents. For example, there have been various children in the news who, for their birthdays, have donated toys to various organizations. Wouldn’t it be awesome to involve your clinic, patients, and parents in supporting that child’s generous dream?
4. Use customer appreciation to build rapport with patients and parents
We’re not saying that you need to rent out a movie theater for a special movie screening, although we have seen some practices do that on occasion. We do suggest that you show your clients your appreciation, though, in some way. Maybe it’s a BBQ or a treat after an in-office visit. Maybe your orthodontist will agree to be in the dunk tank at a local fair. There are lots of ways to let your customers know you appreciate them, and we’ll be sure to share our favorites with you.