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 connections with patients and boost treatment acceptance rates. Also, 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 foundation concepts for the study just mentioned and for our dental office courses are derived 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. Some patients want all of the facts and details about their dental care and proposed treatments. Other types of patients 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.
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 that are 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. Most employees are also energized by training related to communication styles. Our four micro-courses provide this useful training through engaging, interactive activities that are specifically targeted to dental practices.
Take advantage of our free registration to access the course :Introduction to Leveraging Communication Styles. Click here to register for free