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Influence and a Great Dental Experience: How are they connected?

All dental teams want the best patients and team members. Patients that follow through with treatment recommendations, give glowing online reviews, and never miss an appointment. Team members that follow protocol to a T while delivering excellent patient care.

Funnily enough, the best dental patients do not start with having the mythical superior patient community. The best patients are a direct reflection of a great dental experience every time they step through your doors.

There are countless ways to adopt a positive patient culture to provide excellent dental experiences. Still, one ever-popular method incorporates the “six principles” in Robert Cialdini’s National Best-Selling Book Influence: The Power of Persuasion. This book breaks down six theories that can help you persuade others—including your patients and your team—to cultivate a great dental experience.

1.     Reciprocity

One of the baseline principles of influence is to give that of which you receive. This theme of reciprocity is not only in daily life but in practice culture. To win brownie points with your patients and team, you can always perform small acts of kindness and help others when you are able.

Many people believe in the “Golden Rule,” or “treat others as you want them to treat us.” How would you want your dentist to treat you if you were in your patient’s or supporting team members’ shoes? Asking yourself this simple question helps you become a better steward for your patients and the dental team.

2.     Consistency

Consistency is a verb, and real and practical consistency relies on a three-part commitment. In other words, consistency entails a trinity of active, public, and voluntary commitment:

  •       Active commitment requires actively committing and sticking to what you say.
  •       Public commitment means professing your commitment in front of others, which adds a level of accountability.
  •       Voluntary commitment involves being enthusiastic about the new commitment and for the individual to decide that this commitment will improve their life.

Once you’ve persuaded someone to commit to their promises legitimately, they are consciously persuaded to meet the intended goal. For example, this mindset can be beneficial if you and your team members strongly encourage a patient to commit to an extensive, new treatment plan that will restore their smile.

3.     Social Proof

Humans are intrinsically social. As a part of everyday life, people heavily rely on cooperation and social cues to survive and thrive. Yale researchers discovered that even babies prefer individuals who like the same things they do.

So, if you want to influence a particular team of new hires, it’s essential to get one of them to genuinely buy in. When a new employee sees another employee of the same stature following a new directive or taking action on their own, others are likely to follow suit.

4.     Liking

It’s not rocket science, but most people like to do things for people they like or perceive as friends. One method of creating a positive, friendly environment is to find commonalities. The truth is that the human experience is universal, and even if you don’t think that you have anything in common with another person, you’re likely mistaken. Take time to connect with your team and patients by asking them about their hobbies, interests, or families. Then, find common ground.

5.     Authority

When you’re perceived as an expert in your field, others are less likely to question your credibility and expertise. For example, you can subtly show off your expertise by showcasing experience, education, and additional training in your website’s practitioner and team biography sections.

6.     Scarcity

The economic law of supply and demand tells us that people value what is scarce. As things become more scarce, they become even more valuable and have an air of exclusivity. People are more likely to jump on board by creating urgency via scarcity. For example, use terms like “one-time offer, for new patients only, or limited supply” to frame a situation as scarce.

We Can Train Your Team in Fostering a Great Dental Experience

The bottom line, the quality of care your patients receive will never exceed the quality of the people providing it. So, Dental Practice Enhancement provides administrative and clinical training for your staff. Learn more by sending us a message online or calling us at 833-DPE-FOR-U. 

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