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Working with Difficult Patients- 4

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Working with difficult patients is more about your communication and emotional intelligence than it is about anything else.- Jen Butler  (it’s a tweetable:)

Difficult Patient #4- The Shopper

Problem: Patients that go from office to office trying to find the dentist that tells them what they want to hear at the price they want to pay.  When this happens you feel as if a precious hour or more of your time was wasted when it could have been better spent attending to a patient that is serious about you as their dentist or playing Candy Crush.

Reality:  No one wants to be made a fool of and definitely no one wants to be swindled. You can relate to this feeling every time you take your car in for a tune-up and the mechanic comes back with a thousand dollar tab claiming you’ve got hoses and belts that are all cracked and broken.  When people have limited understanding and knowledge of something that can come with a high price tag, it’s normal to want to get a second opinion.

Solution:  Instead of resenting patients that are Shoppers, welcome it.  Encourage it!  You’re going to win either way.  If a patient sees another dentist that is less expensive, willing to discount their fees, and happy to do less work, that type of patient isn’t someone you would do your best work with anyway.  NEXT!  If the patient gets a tab greater than yours or a treatment plan that is longer than Santa’s naughty list, they will come running back to you ready to say YES!  Look at the Shoppers as a chance to create a win-win-win situation; for you, your team, and the patient.

Step 4: Document what you do to customize each patient’s experience in your practice software or in hardcopy.  Tricks and tips you want to remember about each patient so you and the team can continue to make every experience exceptional.

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Continue reading this series by clicking Working with Difficult Patients 5

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