25 Dental Patient Trust Builders – Part 4

By now, you've seen more than half of our 25 trust builders for peace-of-mind and acceptance with patients.  We started with the first five here.  #5-10 here.  And the latest #11-15 here.  Read part 4 of our 5-part series now.

Trust Builder #16: Personalization


If I think I’m just one more no-name in a long line of no-names getting generic service, I’m going to worry that my specific needs and desires aren’t being met. We switched car mechanics recently because our former mechanic kept recommending “band-aid” solutions when it was important to us that the car get back to excellent condition. If our old mechanic had asked us, he would have discovered what we really wanted.

Find personalization through...

Understand Their “Why.” It’s not about the teeth, it’s about the result the teeth will give the patient. Why is the patient here to see you? What do they want? Are they trying to get out of pain? Stay healthy? Keep their teeth forever? Look better? Until they know that you understand what they want, you’ll run into trouble...

Patient Involvement. Harvard Business School uses the “case method,” because they’ve figured out that you learn better when you come to a conclusion yourself than if they force feed you lectures. How will you involve your patient in the decisions and planning of the care you recommend so they feel joint ownership?

Trust Builder #17: Track Record

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“Prior performance predicts future performance.” This trust builder is a simple one, but the fact stands that if you deliver exceptional service, care, and experience, your patient’s trust in you is rewarded, and trust grows.

Manage your track record by...

Reverse Roadblocks. Make a list of any shortcomings in your patient service and care. Then brainstorm ideas with your team for reversing these issues and turning them into ways to dazzle the patient.

Duplicate Triumphs. Survey patients and find out what they like best about coming to your practice. How can you extend these things to all of your patients?

Trust Builder #18: Manage Expectations


When I was a senior in college, I had to write an Honors thesis to finish my degree. My paper was called “The Effect of Subzidation on Consumer Utility and Total Satisfaction.” Ok you can wake up again. Yawn-inducing title aside, I learned that satisfaction comes when a patient’s expectations are met, but the real magic (accept, repeat, refer) happens when
patient’s expectations are exceeded. Unhappy patients are the ones whos expectations were not met at all. Underpromising and overdelivering builds patient trust, because patients come to know that you will do what you say you’re going to or better.

Manage expectations by...

Underpromise. How can you manage patient expectations on... wait times? Scheduling time for treatment? Pain? Cost?

Overdeliver. Thinking about the patient experience, make a list of what “most” dentists do. Now think of ways you can take it a step further to create “wow” experiences for your patients.

Trust Builder #19: Social Proof


The Law of the Herd states that “Everybody does what they think everybody is doing.” Have you ever been at a restaurant and can’t decide what to order? Sometimes I’ll ask “what’s the best thing on the menu?” I get one of two responses. Sometimes the waiter will ask questions to try to figure out what I’m in the mood for. Salad, meat, spicy, mild, etc. But usually I’m told, “Well, the most popular dish is ______.” Demonstrating that you are popular, or that many other people already trust you is an effective way to build trust.

Build social proof...

Testimonials. Consider featuring large numbers of happy patients you’ve served all over your website and in your practice. “10,000 happy patients can’t be wrong...”

Language. “Most of our patients do this...” “After looking at the options, about 90% of our patients move forward with this.”

Trust Builder #20: Segmentation


“Birds of a feather flock together.” Patients tend to identify with various demographic groups organized by age, income, attitude towards dentistry, interests, etc. Building trust in your marketing efforts requires speaking directly to one of these groups at a time, then providing a reason why they will enjoy receiving care from your practice. When they feel that you are speaking directly to them and their needs, they’ll feel enough trust to come in.

Help give segmentation by...

Segmented Marketing. A postcard might say “Scared of the Dentist? You’ll love Dr. Jones because...” If you are mailing to elderly prospective patients, include pictures of elderly patients, and a testimonial of one of your senior patients, “Age 76.”

Treatment Buddies. “When showing case studies or examples for big cases, consider showing only examples of patients who are similar to the patient you are presenting to. If they are young, show other young patients, etc.

Click here to read more Dental Patient Trust Builders.  

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