How good is your clinic’s first impression?


The first impression isn’t necessarily the last impression; however, it does often leave a sizable impact. Dental offices are no different because your patient’s first impression of your practice is crucial in order to determine his or her future with the practice as well as the practitioner.

Creating a welcoming reception area and finding the right receptionist is also not stressed enough especially in Pakistan. The receptionist should be knowledgeable, courteous and welcoming to every patient walking through the doors as well as to those calling for inquiry. Unfortunately, practitioners tend to hire the first person who responds to the job vacancy or worse, hire a distant relative or friend with zero job experience to deal with a crucial position such as this. The lack of attention towards this essential component of a practice specifically is concerning because generally, unlike reception, practitioners prefer to hire assistants and hygienists with past experience.

It is essential to fight the right team member who will leave a good first impression on your patients because every team member can make or break the everyday functioning of a dental practice. Hiring someone strictly on the basis of need and no past experience is a gamble that could work out for better or for worse.

Patients calling for any inquiry when greeted by someone lacking basic phone etiquette, concerned knowledge, manners, or is simply incompetent, it will immediately reflect upon your clinic and its day-to-day operations. Your practice could be top notch but the front desk can destroy that image and your reputation as a practitioner in a matter of mere minutes.

It all comes down to your specific requirements for a receptionist. Some gravitate towards an amiable personality, some call for software or insurance-related expertise while others prefer someone with excellent communication skills. The truth is that an ideal receptionist should possess all of the above-mentioned skills and attributes. It is not a case of either or because again, it is a huge risk to take.

Perhaps the most important attribute of all that a front desk individual should possess is the ability to multitask. Dental offices are busy settings and the receptionist is supposed to cordially deal with patients whilst answering the phone, scheduling appointments, and processing payments without errors. Needless to say, it is a quite a handful. If the receptionist is unable to cope up with his or her duties, it will deeply affect the clinic’s operations.

No one ever truly understands the pressures of the front desk position and the importance of making a lasting first impression until put on the spot. If you are in search of a good receptionist, here are some pointers to help you ensure a great first impression.

  • Do a Background Check

A background check is absolutely vital because the hired individual will a directly contributing team member in your practice who will be dealing with your patients and contributing heavily to your overall business.

  • Carefully Shortlist Resumes

It is important to be patient during the selection process. Resumes reflect on the applicant’s experience and commitment to the job. Do not rush things and select the first person to apply. Shortlist candidates and arrange interviews to get a better idea of their personality.

  • Do a Reference Check

Before hiring anyone, besides counting former experience, contact the candidate’s previous employer and inquire about their work ethic and general attitude in the workplace. Find out if the applicant got fired from said workplace or whether they chose to leave themselves. Always ask them if they would consider rehiring the applicant because that can influence your final decision.

  • Multitasking Ability Check

Make sure the applicant is capable of multitasking and dealing with the pressures of the job. Incompetence will only bring a bad name to your reputation and affect your overall business.

  • Decide on an Adequate Stipend

The job market is tough. You get what you pay for quite literally. Discuss your set stipend and make the terms clear to them before proceeding further.

  • Make Necessary Investments Needed for the Job

To reap the benefits later, do not hesitate when it comes to investing in any skills training necessary for the required field of work. It will only contribute to the betterment of your practice.

Every patient is entitled to having a great experience when they pay a visit to your dental office and each team member contributes to that overall experience. Do not underestimate the importance of a good receptionist. Find yourself the right fit to ensure the best for yourself and your patients.

May 3, 2017

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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