One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Customize Your Patient Interactions for Optimal Results
Do you and your staff interact exactly the same way with all of your patients? If so, then your dental practice is missing out on opportunities to improve patients’ connections and boost treatment acceptance rates. A 2016 study conducted at the University of New Mexico Dental School indicated that “determination of patient personality type results in better patient communication and consequently better oral health.”
As you’re no doubt aware, there are many different communication and personality style inventories out there. The study’s foundation concepts just mentioned, and our dental office courses derive from the DISC personality type theory developed by William Marston.
So, how do you go about leveraging personality/communication styles?
The first step is an awareness of different communication styles.
- Some patients enjoy a chatty, high-energy approach.
- Others are quiet types who prefer a calm, subdued approach.
- And, some patients want all of the facts and details about their dental care and proposed treatments while others just want you to cut to the chase and give them the big picture.
When there’s a mismatch between the dental clinic staff’s approach and the approach that’s desired by the patient, the result is typically patient frustration and dissatisfaction. I know I don’t need to spell out for you the impact this can have on patient satisfaction and retention, not to mention treatment acceptance.
We recommend that all of your staff receive training that will enable them to identify both patients’ communication styles and their own style. That way they can customize their interactions to bolster patient comfort and receptivity and establishment of rapport.
Communication Styles and Practice Management
Another area in which communication styles are useful is dental office management. If you’re interacting with staff in a uniform way and you’re assigning tasks without factoring in communication style, your office is probably not operating optimally.
Communication styles can help predict what will motivate or discourage different types of individuals. They can also give you insights into the roles, tasks, and projects most appropriate for individual dental office staff members. Teamwork also tends to improve when employees are aware of each other’s communication style. They’re typically more empathetic and tolerant of their colleagues. Training topics related to communication styles, most often energize employees.
Our four micro-courses provide this useful training through engaging, interactive activities that specifically target dental team training.
About NGT Academy
We are one of the very few turnkey-Learning Management System providers that specializes in the dental industry. Currently, with a library of more than 30 courses created for dental teams, our eLearning platform is one of the easiest to use. Simultaneously, eLearning typically costs at least 30% less than conventional training making for a truly efficient solution for your dental organization.