The Compassionate Blog

Keep Them Coming Back - 5 Steps to Help You Grow and Maintain a Healthy Patient Relationship

Healthcare is easier to provide when you know the client.

That’s a fact. When you fix a crown or do a root canal, you become familiar with the your patients mouth, dental problems, issues you see developing, previous treatments that you like to keep an eye on. The question is: How do you keep your patients coming back? Here are five steps designed to keep seeing those familiar smiles walking through the door.


1) Say His or Her Name

Make sure that you and your staff know the first names of every client due in the office and use that name. Saying a person’s name is an easy way to build up a relationship. And ask your clients to refer to you by your first name. Dr. Josh or Dr. Raj or Dr. Sue are more likely to be considered friends than Dr. Krawkowitz.

2) Get Personal

To further deepen your relationship, keep up with personal developments in your patients lives. This doesn’t mean stalking him or her on social media. Rather, this means listening to what your patients say and making notes. For example, Jane Wu just had her grandmother move in because she needs help getting around. She mentions this before you start the procedure. You or your assistant should make a note in Jane’s file and the next time you talk with her, ask about her grandmother. If Louie’s daughter just got into college, make a note and ask about her next time you see Louie. After all, who will Louie take his dental needs to—some stranger or the dentist who knows his family and cares enough to ask?

3) Follow-Ups

Following procedures with a call does double-duty for a dentist. First, you check up on your work, helping you perfect your techniques. Next, it is a good reminder to your patients that dental health is an ongoing process. Most dentists offer post-op follow-up for free, which further encourages patients to come back to your office. This gives you a chance to review dental issues that are either ongoing or developing. If everything is fine even six months after a treatment, you can still offer a five or ten minute in-chair examination to insure that the results are still looking good. Not only does this reassure your clients that you are thorough and caring, it gives you a chance to start planning for the next situation that needs to be addressed.

4) Free Stuff!

Everyone loves free stuff. There are several times each year that you can offer free stuff to your patients, thus keeping you top of mind and your patients aware of the need for dental health services. Birthdays, anniversaries (for example, the anniversary of major dental treatment) and Christmas give you opportunities to offer a dental-themed gift. This can be a little “dental care package” with a toothbrush, floss, paste and maybe a free ten-minute quick exam to keep an eye on any developing issues. The more your patients see you and your team,  the more likely they are to return to you for their dental healthcare services.

5) Offer Compassionate Finance

Yes, many of your patients will have insurance. Those that do not may forgo treatment due to the cost. This is where you can come to the rescue. By offering Compassionate Finance, you are making treatment possible for more patients. Remember, if they can’t afford the treatment, it doesn’t matter how much your clients like you.

Life is busy and full of complications. By reminding patients that you are there for them and making your professional services financially feasible, everyone wins.


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