Our office likes to track where we are getting new patient referrals from. When I meet a new patient, I always greet the patient and ask them how they heard about the office. Usually, it is family or a friend. The econd most common is internet and third is probably insurance carrier referrals.
I had an interesting encounter with a patient a few weeks ago. Let’s call her Mrs. Wrench. I asked her the same series of questions and got a response I was not expecting. She told me that she was looking for an "honest" dentist that was not a "shyster." She was searching the internet and found the Daily Grind blog. She started to read the posts and liked what she was reading. She said she felt like she got to know me a little and said it made her want to come on in. She also told me her mother told her to be careful coming in to see me because I might write about her and use her name in the blog. I told her not to worry, there are a few laws that will protect her from that issue. I told her I was going to write this blog about our meeting and I hope she gets a kick out of reading this post.
I was really surprised by this encounter and her finding the blog. When I write blog posts, I forget that this gets sent out into the cyber world wilderness. I have kind of incorrectly assumed only dental professionals read this stuff. I figure any other person would have no interest in reading about our trials and tribulations or joys of the profession. Well, she had read them and seemed to really like reading them.
She has been a great patient, very understanding and serious about improving her oral health. She does not have insurance, but doesn’t hesitate to have the necessary treatment completed. I have enjoyed helping her and need more patients like her.
I know that patients want to feel like they know the doctor and staff. If they can make some level of connection with the office on a personal level, everyone is happier. We really strive to make patients feel welcome and cared for. I know all kinds of little details about many of our patients that I try to file away in my limited data bank so I can have real conversations with them. I feel this is what separates many of the small private offices form the big corporate clinics. I know they are not all this way, but from my experience, people are willing to pay a little more and drive a little farther to receive this sort of care. This sounds like some old-fashioned business model, but I believe in it.
Have a great week.