There is a basic need that is important to us all, psychologically speaking, that doesn’t cost anything to give—the need to feel special and valued.  At no time is this more true than for someone that is worried, scared or concerned about an upcoming appointment. When a patient feels important and valued they also feel as though you are excited to see them and you’ll take exceptional care of them and their loved ones. Help your patients feel at ease by adding a personal touch. Adding a personal touch may seem an impossible task when you are seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of patients each year. Fear not, here are a few simple ways to make you patients feel like your MVP (Most Valuable Patient) and continue using you as their provider:

1. Patients want a health-, dental- or eye-CARE professional

When finding a dentist, and sticking with one for a long while, there are a few things all patients look for but one thing matter above all. Sure, finding a dentist that uses the most current technology and procedures is important, but patients expect that from any licensed dentist. But while most patients might say they want to go to the ‘best dentist’ in the area, they aren’t just talking about a provider’s skills. Actually, they want a gifted dentist who has a great staff/team around them that genuinely cares about them. Basically, all a patient cares about is knowing that you care.

2. Contact patients the way they prefer

The U.S. Health and Human Resources (HHS) performed seven systematic reviews that included 60 studies. The reviews looked at the effectiveness of text messaging interventions in regards to health outcomes and patient behaviors. Three of these studies demonstrated that text message reminders improved attendance. Compared with no appointment reminder, text messages improved attendance by 50 percent.

Personalized text messages make your patients feel even more special, and they can help improve treatment follow-up to programs you and your staff recommend. Two of the studies included in the HHS reviews did not use personalized messages; these two studies were among those with the highest participant inactivity, supporting the fact that patients find personalized text messages more engaging. One review concluded that, in comparison to other types of reminders, text messaging interventions were particularly effective.

With only 18% of people listen to their voicemail and 22% of emails opened, compared to the fact that 98% of text messages are opened, it hard to not see the writing on the wall (or text on the phone screen for that matter)—if your goal is to contact a patient, texting is the vehicle. Using software that syncs with your management software, you are able to have all relevant patient data to send personalized text messages to your clients, issue appointment reminders and even wish them a happy birthday. In addition to reminders, using a service that allows for two-way texting gives patients the ability to text you back to ask questions, voice concerns or to confirm an appointment.

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3. Be up front

Cost is a big concern for many dental patients and more than 90 percent of patients say that they are more likely to continue going to a dentist who offers honest information about the cost. In fact, transparency about cost is one of the biggest obstacles patients face when choosing a new dentist. By using a software like Weave, you can have the honest, upfront conversation about cost that will make your patient feel like a million dollars.

4. Demonstrate that you care about the patient’s family

Having the right information will make every patient feel like their family is more famous than the Kardashians. Imagine if all relevant information about a patient and their family appeared on the receptionist’s screen at the ring of a phone. This would allow your staff to do things like remind a patient that they, or other family members, are due for a checkup or simply wish someone in the household a happy birthday or anniversary. Having these features, along with the ability to make a note that the patient has a child who is taking dance lessons, for example, gives you a cheat sheet to better serve the customer and make them feel über important as well.

5. Show that you have taken the time to become familiar with a patient

Weave tells you everything you need to know about a client the moment the patient contacts your practice. Imagine how empowered the individual will feel when your receptionist answers the phone using your patient’s name. Your receptionist will never have to ask how to spell a name or put the patient on hold while she looks up his information. This instant recognition makes every patient feel important.

Really, with all the resources out there, along with the new technology available to us, patients have every right to expect to be treated like family when the call or walk through the front door of their provider’s office. Watch a demo of how Weave can insure that every patient feels like your Most Valuable Patient.