Top-3 Words that Patients use to Describe why they LOVE their Dental Practice

We analyzed a random sample of 500 pre-visit questionnaires completed by returning patients prior to visiting their Jakari Care member dentist.

Along with updating their health history, these returning patients were asked the following question:

“Your satisfaction is our #1 priority. How are you liking your experience with our practice so far?”

a. Love it!
b. Like it
c. It’s OK
d. Slightly unhappy
e. Unhappy

Patients who said “Love it!” were then asked:

“We are so HAPPY to hear that we are doing a good job for you! Please tell us about your favorite part of the experience, or about your favorite staff members.”

Patient questionnaire results were aggregated and de-identified.

We then performed semantic analysis of patient responses to identify the most common words and phrases that patients used to describe this loving relationship.

Here are the Top-3 words most commonly used by patients to describe why they love their dental practice (excluding adverbs and connectors):

  1. “Staff” showed up in 33% of the loving responses
  2. “Friendly” showed up in 23% of the loving responses
  3. “Everyone” showed up in 13% of the loving responses

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Friendliness trumps professionalism and competence as an ingredient for patient love. Patients in love with their dental practice were 6 times more likely to use the word “friendly” vs. the word “professional” and 56 times more likely to use the word “friendly” vs. the word “competent” to describe why they love their practice
  • A friendly doctor is not enough. The entire staff has to contribute to a friendly environment. “Staff” and “Everyone” had 4 times more mentions than the doctor references.

This resonates with me on a personal level.

I have a cafe next to my house. They have wonderful coffee and a very nice and friendly owner. I liked to get coffee there every morning before heading to the office. However, recently, this cafe hired a new person – let’s call her Susan. Unlike the other three cafe team members who work the early morning shift, Susan does not smile or show emotion. She barely nods when customers say “good morning” and “thank you,” and silently hands you a receipt at the end of the transaction, avoiding eye contact or communication.

Susan is only one of four team members, and the other 75% of the team is perfectly friendly, as is the owner. However, each time I experience “Sour Susan,” I feel somewhat resentful towards the owner for hiring this person to be the customer face of the business. As a result, I don’t go there every day anymore, and would not recommend them to my friends.

Do you have any “Sour Susans” on your staff, or is your team 100% patient-friendly?


Last updated: 1/31/18

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