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More often than not, a patient’s first contact with your practice is through your employees. The impression that this encounter makes paves the way for your practices success or failure. The power of a genuine smile and interest is priceless. When people are interested in what we have to say we feel important. We feel special. The same is true at the doctor’s office. If the staff is genuinely interested in what is going on with their patients, the patient’s feel special.

One of the most memorable doctor/patient experiences I ever had was at the dentist over 15 years ago. As a new patient I was asked questions not only about my health but also about me. I had just graduated college and was contemplating a move to Colorado. Their genuine interest and questions made me feel comfortable sharing my goals with them.

About a week later I was sent a letter thanking me for my visit, congratulating me on graduating college and wishing me luck in Colorado. This made an impact because it was a unique event. Thank you letters are sent every day but they are often generic. This letter was compelling because it showed me that they really listened to what I said during the exam. That is powerful!

The information gained during this type of conversation can help in a variety of ways. It can not only make the patient feel more comfortable with those providing their care, it can also give the practice valuable information about the types of services and treatments that would be of most value to the patient. This is an important medical marketing tool to have in your arsenal.

Encourage your employees to get to know each patient. While not everyone is comfortable doing this at first, you can develop their communication skills on the job by giving them the tools they need to succeed.