How to Acquire Dental Patient Survey Data You Can Actually Use

Jan 25, 2023

What might seem like a bother to some could actually be valuable to your dental practice. We’re talking about effective dental patient surveys and reviews.

It’s surprising to realize how many patients choose a dental practice based on survey or review data:

”Over 80% of potential patients make their decision to come to your practice based on reviews they have read.” 1

Asking for patient feedback might feel invasive or a hassle. But the benefits to you and your patients are worth the “ask.”

Don’t overthink asking for feedback from your dental patients

A survey or review request highlights your patient awareness:

  • That you care about your patients’ feelings and experience with your dental practice
  • That you value their opinion, input and impressions about the care they received
  • That you’re willing to make improvements to your care standard and services based on their feedback
  • That you’re interested in developing a relationship with them around their dental care

You may be surprised how responsive patients are to a survey request. One study notes, ”Industry standards for patients who actually complete satisfaction surveys are around five to 30%.” 2

Of course, there are occasions where you will need to filter your survey data. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, you need to listen to each and leverage your discoveries to make improvements.

Your ultimate goal is seeking to understand what’s contributing to or diminishing patient satisfaction. Surveys help you accomplish two goals, among others:

  • How to meet and exceed patient expectations
  • Create a patient experience they would feel compelled to refer to family and friends

Even though you don’t need to overthink the process, effective dental patient surveys do require some intentional strategy.

Know your purpose for requesting feedback

Lack of an end goal for your survey could be obvious to your patients. A clear purpose is more compelling than a generic “How did we do?” kind of survey.

  • Be intentional with your questions. Think through how you would feel being asked and answering the same questions.
  • Focus on the data you’re interested in.
  • Communicate a future benefit relative to how you’ll respond to their feedback (positive or negative).

Make the survey process easy and convenient

Use your dental patient demographic data to remind yourself how your patients prefer communication. A percentage of patients might prefer a brief paper form. Others prefer a digital experience. To cater to these patients, make your survey available in a simple, easy to use electronic format.

  • Provide electronic survey access through a QR code patients can scan at check-out, or send a link in a text or email.
  • Time your delivery of the survey following their appointment or interaction with your dental practice.
  • Create simple, easy-to-answer questions that capture their experience with your practice.

Keep surveys short and to the point

A lengthy conversation can become burdensome. In the survey context, a short conversation is optimal. Think conversationally. Treat a survey like you would a conversation.

  • Time-test your survey with team members before going public.
  • Aim for under five minutes. Consider two to three minutes to be the sweet spot. Again, this could depend on the end-goal of your survey and the amount of feedback you’re after.
  • Provide a response field to give patients free range to expand on their feedback if they choose.

Attach value to your patient’s feedback

Incentives are useful. But not all survey request have to be accompanied by a reward-like incentive. Seek to compel participation by helping them feel they have a stake in the outcome of your survey data. Keep patients in the loop about your progress relative to their input on the survey. Thank them specifically with a specific outcome they enabled:

”…your recent feedback enabled us to…”

“…we were able to…because you invested the time to let us know your opinion on…”

Value confirmation has the potential to incentivize patients to participate the next time you ask for their feedback.

Dental patient surveys are effective for creating loyal, long-term patient relationships. They also contribute to your overall patient experience by helping you improve your care standard, services and team performance.

Check out the following resources to help improve your patient connections, build long-term relationships and acquire data that can upgrade your patient experience:

A Review of Data-Driven Best Practices for Your Dental Marketing, Dental Patient Referrals and Dental Patient Retention

How to Create a Data “Story” and Use It to Guide Patient Care and Dental Practice Growth

Use a proven data analytics platform to create effective dental patient surveys

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps you ensure that you’re tracking useful patient data and the important metrics, and that you’re staying on track with your goals as your dental practice grows and expands.

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!


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