I know what you are thinking–why on earth would I want to make my patients members of AA? Isn’t that for people with a drinking problem?
Well, we are not talking about Alcoholics Anonymous here.
We are talking about making your patients members of the Ardent Admirers Club!
So what is an Ardent Admirer?
Take a look at the dictionary and you will learn that “ardent” is an adjective and means passionate, loyal or enthusiastic. “Admirer” is a noun meaning follower, supporter, fan or disciple.
So if you put the two together, you get a passionate supporter, a loyal disciple or an enthusiastic follower.
Would any of those descriptions make you happy if they described your patients?
Would you like to know how to get your patients to be members of your AA club?
In my book, It’s All About Millimeters: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact on Your Business and Your Life, I devote an entire chapter to this topic, but for purposes of this article, I am going to summarize it here for you.
There are three essential things (what I call the Three E’s) you need to do to get your patients to be passionate, loyal, enthusiastic supporters and disciples of your practice.
#1 Provide Exceptional Experiences
You don’t need to rent out a movie theater or spend thousands of dollars to provide a huge party (although those are certainly experiences that most patients would appreciate and enjoy). What I am talking about here is the day in and day out experiences they have with your office, with you and your team.
Are you doing the little “millimeter” things that make a big difference and providing exceptional experiences while they’re in your office? What about your follow-up care? How is that being handled in your office?
It can be something as simple as a thank you card, care card or just making sure to ask each and every patient as they check out, “How was your appointment? Did you get all your questions answered, and is there anything else we can do to serve you and your family better?”
Why wait to find out via a negative review that they were upset with their appointment or felt their needs were not addressed?
#2 Focus on Education
We are so used to our terminology and our big “doctor” words, but our patients do not have our vocabulary. When we present diagnostic findings and a treatment plan, it is imperative that we educate our patients in their language and in a way that ensures they understand the dental problems they have, the proposed treatment plan and what will happen if they delay or decline treatment.
You and your team need to be compassionate and understanding of their need to process this information. Many times we are in a hurry to get to the next patient or we just assume they understand what you just told them. Many people will be overwhelmed and can’t make a decision because we either confused with them with too many options, too much technical detail or we did not emphasize the gravity of their situation and the need for immediate action.
Provide the right education in a language and environment that is non-threatening and inviting and you will soon find many of your patients becoming passionate about their dental health, and especially the care they are receiving from you and your practice.
#3 Practice Excellence
As Aristotle stated, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
The habit of excellence starts with leadership, and leadership starts from the top. That means, as doctors, we need to start building our leadership muscles and provide additional training on leadership to our employees if we expect excellence to be a habit in our practices.
Excellence is a byproduct of strong leaders who understand that there is no other way to live your life, both professionally and personally.
Operating with a mindset of excellence in everything you do for your patients will have patients following you to the ends of the earth. Everyone loves to follow a strong leader, especially if that leader is also providing them and their family with excellent dental care.
For more details on how small “millimeter” steps can provide a big impact on your practice and your life, go to Amazon.com and order a copy of my book, It’s All About Millimeters.
Making patients members of “AA” will provide you a never-ending supply of new patients, as these “supporters” of your practice will have never-ending loyalty to you and your team of professionals.