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Judy Kay Mausolf is a well-known author, speaker and consultant who focuses on creating an amazing dental practice culture. Here she shares her five strategies for delivering an amazing experience not just for dental patients, but for all team members.


W.O.W. is the acronym I use for Weed Out the Weeds. I find that if we just get rid of anything that would make our patients feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, we can deliver W.O.W. service. I recommend using these five service strategies. It doesn’t matter if you are in private practice, a group practice, or dental service organization (DSO). The following five strategies set services standards that create W.O.W.


Five Service Standards that Create Wow

1. Be Happy to Serve Your Dental Patients and Co-Workers

If you've made the choice to come to work, it's your responsibility to be happy to be there. But what does that mean when it comes to your behavior? It means you warmly greet others, introduce yourself to patients, ask patients how they would like to be addressed, and invest time in building relationships. Ask, “How may best help you?” 

The same things go for interacting with your team members and family. Intentional happiness shines through everything you do -- all day long! That’s why I promote the habit of “Rise and Shine.” Get those sun rays emanating out from you from the moment you wake up. Not only will you love how you feel, but everyone else around you will feel better, too.

2. Serve with Consistency 

Consistency in providing excellent service and in sustaining a positive attitude helps us manage expectations, create good relationships, and build a strong brand with our patients and co-workers. Having a bad day at the dental practice … letting frustrations get to you … taking things personally … will result in consistency failure. Relieve stress as it happens and give yourself little positive pep talks to sustain cheerful self-control. If fear of failure or fear of causing another person discomfort is holding your back from being your best self, talk things out. Find a resolution as fast as you can to get over the obstacle that is blocking the sunny disposition you need to serve consistently well.

3. Stay Patient Focused 

Focus on what is best for each dental patient. Discover what is best and put that above personal gain. Your workday will be much more meaningful to you, and this purposeful intention fuels the best patient experience. 

Perhaps, imagine each patient as if they are the most important person in the world. Address concerns the patient may have. Make sure the patient is fully informed about her or his oral health circumstances, what to expect if left untreated, the appropriate treatment options, payment options, and the why behind what you recommend. Respect their choices and how long it may take (number of visits) before they have sufficient trust to move forward with care. Be creative in helping the patient phase treatment comfortably and find a way to pay. 

Always show your patient appreciation because they chose your practice. Be empathetic when this is called for, acknowledge the patient’s concerns, provide inspiration to envision their own preferred future self, and open pathways for the patient to achieve this.

4. Work Together to Maintain a True Dental Team

If you do a great job yourself but you disrupt the emotions of other team members--say because you are obviously impatient with them, they no longer feeling happy working with you. Passing blame, gossip, and competitive feelings easily trigger team disruptions that affect the patient experience and others’ enjoyment of their work.

It’s important to work together as a team, even if you don't care for the personality of another person. Remember that supporting your teammates will help everyone do what is best for your patients. This may be as simple as appreciating the strengths and workload of co-workers … treating them with patience and respect … or as large as pitching in to help lift their load. 

5. Care About the Ambience of Your Dental Practice

Practices often underestimate the value of office aesthetics. Your office needs to appeal to the eye. It needs to be comfortable, organized (decluttered), and clean. That includes the bathroom. I highly recommend "policing" the bathroom every 20 minutes to keep it clean. 


The Benefits of Stellar Service Standards in Dentistry

If you always keep top of mind those five service standards, several benefits will accrue:

  • Patients will enjoy coming to your practice.
  • Patient trust will grow.
  • Patient retention will increase.
  • More restorative and perio treatment will be accepted.
  • More referrals will be made.
  • More 5-star reviews will appear on the Web.
  • No shows and cancellations will decrease.
  • Your workday will be more meaningful and enjoyable.
  • The practice will grow in profitability.
  • Your career within the practice will flourish, and you will enjoy more development opportunities.

If you consistently use those five strategies, you and your team will give patients a W.O.W. experience they will rave about. And isn’t that an incredible brand?


More Resources 

If you want to harness the power of Judy Kay Mausolf’s approach in your dental practice or DSO, here are some additional resources. Judy Kay provides workshops, she calls “culture camps” for dental teams. The purpose of the workshops is to promote a positive culture in the practice that opens communication and enables team members to not only team together but happily do so, knowing they are serving patients best.

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