Would You Hire The Person You Just Spoke To?

My wife and I recently celebrated our anniversary with a trip to New York City, where we first met. While planning our trip, I booked our flights with Delta Airlines well in advance. However, I just remembered that I needed to select our seat assignments in the hustle and bustle. Realizing this oversight just four days before our flight, I panicked and called Delta. The call went smoothly; the representative was helpful, and I secured our seats. At the end of the call, I was asked a surprising survey question:

“Would you hire the customer service representative you just spoke to for a customer service position in your business?”

I was taken aback. I had expected the standard Net Promoter Score (NPS) question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?” Instead, Delta had introduced a novel way to gauge true customer satisfaction.

Applying This Insight to Your Dental Practice

Now, imagine applying this same question to your dental practice. After every call from a potential new patient, consider asking:

“Would you hire the person you just spoke to for a customer service position in your business?”

Why This Question Matters

This question shifts the focus from mere satisfaction to assessing service quality and professionalism. It’s not just about whether the patient was happy; it’s about whether the service was exceptional enough to earn a hypothetical job offer. This approach can provide deeper insights into how your Patient Care Representatives (PCRs) are perceived.

The Importance of First Impressions

For many patients, the first interaction with your practice happens over the phone. This initial contact sets the tone for their entire experience. If your ideal patients are professionals who value elective treatments and regular dental visits, their expectations for customer service will be high. They are likely judging your practice based on the quality of these interactions.

Implementing Call Tracking

If you don’t have a system to monitor these interactions, consider implementing call tracking for a few months. Call tracking can provide valuable data on how effectively your PCRs handle calls. You can measure:

  1. Call Answer Rates: How many calls are answered versus missed?
  2. Conversion Rates: How many calls are converted into appointments?
  3. Service Quality: Evaluate the professionalism and effectiveness of the interaction.

Enhancing the Patient Experience

Striving to optimize your patients’ experiences is crucial for retaining them long-term. Here are some steps you can take to ensure top-notch service:

1. Regular Training: Ensure that your PCRs receive regular training on customer service best practices. Emphasize the importance of empathy, patience, and effective communication.

2. Feedback Mechanisms: Implement feedback systems like the Delta question. This can be done through follow-up emails or automated phone surveys. Use this feedback to improve service quality continuously.

3. Performance Metrics: Use call tracking data to identify areas for improvement. Set performance benchmarks and regularly review them with your team.

4. Role-Playing Scenarios: Conduct regular role-playing exercises to prepare your PCRs for various scenarios. This can help them handle difficult situations more effectively.

5. Technology Integration: Invest in technology that can help provide better service. CRM systems, call routing software, and AI-powered assistants can streamline operations and improve service delivery.

The Bigger Picture

Patient satisfaction and loyalty hinge on the quality of interactions with your practice. Ensuring that every phone call is handled professionally and effectively creates a positive first impression that can lead to long-term patient relationships. Asking whether you would hire someone you just spoke to can provide a fresh perspective on your customer service standards.