The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected regular activities, including dental visits. Many patients may be confused about whether or not they can go to the dentist and how to stay safe if they have an appointment. Communicating with clients is the key to assuaging their fears and letting them know that your practice is doing the necessary work to ensure their safety.
It’s important not to leave your clients unaware of safety protocols at their dentist practice; use all viable means to inform patients about the measures in place to protect them from COVID-19. If you send out regular emails or newsletters, be sure to include information about the staff protocols are at your practice, what personal protective equipment (PPE) they will need, and what your practice has on hand for them, such as hand sanitizer and plastic gloves. You should also provide this information on any social media websites your practice uses to communicate with clients, on your business’ voicemail, and prominently displayed on your website. Anywhere clients are likely to look for information about your practice or where they would attempt to contact you is an excellent place to circulate your COVID-19 protocols. Including this information will help to reassure your patients that you are aware of and are responding to the crisis and that their safety is a priority for your business.
The CDC recommends that dental practices pre-screen their patients for common COVID symptoms before they arrive to get work done; this is also an excellent opportunity to provide clear instructions for how your practice is handling appointments. Tell them whether or not your lobby is open, how you are handling screening procedures at the practice, and, most importantly, provide them with a link to your full Coronavirus protocols. Being straightforward about your practice’s COVID rules will allow everyone to be responsible and protect one another from COVID-19.
Most clients are going to be concerned about their safety in a dental office during the pandemic. Effective communication is the easiest way to reassure them that your practice is taking the virus seriously and that their safety is foremost amongst your concerns. Providing clear and concise communication about how you are handling appointments will restore your clients’ confidence and, in turn, help your business return to its pre-COVID success. As always, dentists’ priority is their patients’ safety and well-being; effective communication is an essential aspect of that during COVID-19.