Change has become part of the next normal for us. In the dental world there is always change in technology, sometimes technique, team members and patient interaction. The change I want to address today is the change in verbiage that every team will need to put in place with their patients now. Phone conversations with patients will be longer now because in office interaction will have to change. The administrators need to be able to take their time with patient calls.
For those of you who know me, you know that I always want to hear proper verbiage without scripting because words that don’t feel like your own won’t convey the message you want. At this point in the next normal I would strongly suggest that your team be provided a list of what to say and what NOT to say now that we are speaking with patients.
Many of the team are nervous about returning to work, if they convey this over the phone or in person to a patient the patient will begin to feel the same way.
NO: Are you comfortable coming in? Would you like to come in? Do you feel safe coming in? We are finally back in the office; would you like to come see us?
YES: “Good morning, it’s ________ calling from Dr. __________ office. We are happy to be back in the office and seeing patients again. Was everyone in your family well over the past few months? We are busy scheduling everyone’s treatment back in with Dr. ______________ . When you were in the office in (February), Dr. _________ diagnosed that your tooth on the (upper left, upper right, lower right, lower left) needed to be taken care of with a (filling, crown, restoration, extraction, root canal, etc) . Dr. ____________ would like you to come in and have that treatment taken care of. Do you prefer mornings or afternoons?”
If the patient asks about PPE or dental offices being safe:
“As always, Dr. ________ takes care of the team and the patients to exceed any of the guidelines provided to him by the Ministry of Health. Dental offices have always been ahead others when looking at infection protection and COVID is no different. We are confident working here and our patients can feel confident coming to see us.”
When letting patients know about some of the differences in the offices:
“You will notice that there are some changes in the office just as there are almost any where you go now. We will have you fill out a questionnaire prior to coming to the office to prescreen your Covid risks, when you come to the office we will have you text us from outside and we will let you know when you can come in and we will have you sanitize your hands upon entering and take your temperature. You will find this process to be the same as anywhere you will go now including the hairdresser. We have added some doors to our treatment rooms and our check out process will be slightly different as well. We encourage your questions and will be happy to tell you about all our changes in detail if you wish.”
This verbiage will help patients transition easily into the practice for dentist services. We have worked very hard to build great relationships with our patients over the years, we want to ensure that they continue feeling comfortable in the office even as we get used to the next normal.
If you would like more examples of verbiage then please let me know and I can create them specifically for your practice. Feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org