Quarantined. On lockdown. Practicing social distancing. The language of our times not only defines life as we know it…it also substantially impacts how you build and renew dental patient relationships during COVID-19.
Timely perspective from Dental Products Report clarifies this needed shift in our approach to patient relationships during and post-pandemic.
”Patients are becoming more sophisticated and they will continue to challenge you on multiple levels. As nearly 1/4th of the world’s 7.8 billion people are, for the most part, stuck in their homes, daily life remains uncertain. When patients return to their habits, like regular dental checkups, keep in mind that they will need reassurance that dental providers are delivering safe, high-quality care.”
Business-as-usual won’t cut it when you re-open and begin treating patients again. It’s different now!
Understanding your patient’s mindset is vital to how you build and renew dental patient relationships now and in the future
THINKING ABOUT SAFETY
Personal safety is an obvious point of concern for everyone – your patients included. There’s heightened awareness about certain guidelines what is routine for you as a dental professional.
- Aerosol creation and distribution
- Infection control
- Team PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
You can expect new awareness about these front-of-mind topics and and more.
CONCERNED ABOUT FINANCES
Like you, your patients have weathered much. Some have lost their jobs, been forced to balance work-from-home life with family responsibilities, and have taken on the new role of home schooling their children.
Add to that the financial burden created by being laid-off or furloughed for an unforeseen period of time. With job loss can also come the loss of benefits such as dental insurance.
COMPELLED TO STAY HEALTHY
Health awareness is at an all-time high. Your patients are more symptom aware than ever before.
It’s feared that a cough or fever is signaling the onset of something more serious. Combine that with the reality that any such symptom could prevent them from work, a daily routine, or the opportunity to improve their oral or physical health.
That’s merely the tip-of-the-iceberg regarding what’s on the collective mindset of your dental patients. Your awareness alongside an authentically sensitive narrative will combine to set your practice apart in this COVID-19 era of dentistry.
At the intersection of patient mindset and practice culture are the keys to how you build and renew dental patient relationships during and beyond COVID-19
REALIZE THAT EVERYTHING RISES AND FALLS ON ENGAGING AND EMPATHETIC COMMUNICATION
Now’s the time to engage your patients by understanding their concerns.
You and your team are somewhat excited to return to patient care. And it’s likely your patients are equally excited (cautiously so) to emerge from their quarantine “cocoon” and return to their routine – including an available or overdue dental appointment.
But be prepared to engage their questions and newly heightened fears or concerns. Because of COVID-19 remember what’s routine for you and your team (e.g. infection control, treatment protocols, PPE, etc) is a significant point of concern for them.
- Avoid appearing cavalier about topics you routinely embrace as part-of-the-job.
- Listen and repeat their stated opinions, concerns, or fears back to them. This implies that you’re seeking to understand rather than dismiss what keeps-them-awake-at-night, so to speak.