Slick websites and media ads may drive patients to contact your office but they are only a tiny fraction of what is needed in order for someone to schedule an office visit or commit to allowing you to physically intervene with care on their behalf. A far better resource is the recommendation of an existing client. But even that is only a crack in the door to development of trust.
Dr. L. D. Pankey often used the phrase – “know yourself, know your patient, know your work”. In other words, are you trustworthy? Is your patient able to express the outcome they are looking for so you can help facilitate their health? Are you the right provider and is this the right time? Are you capable and competent to deliver your part of the outcome?
Your client’s sense of trust will be built from a series of experiences. Some items you can control, others you cannot. You can’t control their prior life and dental experience or what others say about your office or your skills. You can control your behavioral skills and level of accountability. You can create a client experience that allows for the development of a relationship based on trust and mutual respect. This will require a philosophy shared by you and your staff that is implemented at every point of client contact.
If we want our clients to trust us, we must be worthy of trust. We must have mutual trust with our team and among team members. When this situation exists there is an unspoken aura that exists within your business. You don’t have to talk about it, your clients can feel it. It is then the job of you and your team to create the climate where clients can choose to trust you (you and your team) too. This takes time and is different for each individual. Some people will not choose to trust and should be guided to another office. For those who choose to participate in a trust driven relationship, you will be able to provide care, skill and judgment that will be satisfying to all involved.
In a follow up post we will discuss some of the psychological aspects involved in decision making relative to trust. Also, we will review some questions and conversations that we might choose to use to improve our understanding of ourselves, our team and our clients.
 Miriam Webster dictionary