Making a good first impression is an important part of being at the front desk of the dental practice. Your front desk is the face of your practice. Proper front desk etiquette is very important, yet many practices skip formal training.
If you are worried your front desk staff are falling short on their front desk manners, here are four questions to ask yourself. If you can honestly answer yes to the four questions below, you most likely have a good team. If you are not sure of your answers or if any of your answers is no, there may be room for improvement.
Is your front desk staff well trained?
Prepare your front desk staff for any and all situations they might encounter, for example, an upset patient. An efficient way to do this is by creating a handbook that has every scenario your front desk staff may run into and how to respond. Be sure it is accessible at any time and that it is update with new scenarios.
Does your front desk staff have strong interpersonal skills?
Strong interpersonal skills does not only mean verbal communication; it also includes non-verbal communication, listening, manners and problem solving. These are all skills that can be refined and improved upon. Make your front desk staff aware of the importance of these skills and give them concrete examples on how and where these interpersonal skills can be used with your patients.
Does your front desk staff exhibit proper phone etiquette?
Many times the first impression in your office is over the phone. Generally speaking, phone etiquette is not something the assistants and the hygienist have to work with regularly. However, the front desk does need proper phone etiquette techniques and scripts for when called to help patients. Smile while speaking over the phone, it shows in your tone and it can really make a good first impression.
Is your practice a great place to work?
No amount of training will help your front desk personnel if they are not happy in their work place. Make it a point to talk to your team members at least once a month. It doesn’t have to be long; a five-minute chat may be all it takes. Find out what’s going well for people and what’s bothering them. Unless you know what’s going on in the background, you won’t be able to help those employees who are unhappy. Also, take the time to recognize the hard work your team has been doing. Try rewarding them with buying them coffee or taking them out to lunch. Spending time as a team can have a significant impact on the motivation and productivity of team members. Read our blog, How to Create and Environment your Staff and Patients will Love, to learn other ways you can improve the environment in your office for staff and even for your patients.