New efforts and protocol added to ensure company meets the needs of each customer
SmileDirectClub has announced updates to its customer experience to ensure greater transparency of its procedures for its customers and provide effective training for its team members. According to a press release, the company conducted a thorough review of its customer experience with a mission to uphold the company’s commitment to safe, affordable access to care.
SmileDirectClub is adjusting its customer consent form to ensure customers understand the need to verify that they have visited a dentist within 6 months of starting treatment with SmileDirectClub and have not reported any pain or other clinical concerns specific to their oral health. In the same press release, the company maintains that it has always been a requirement to begin treatment with SmileDirectClub.
The company further announced that its SmileShop team members have received additional training to ensure consistent, clear and effective communication with customers regarding teledentistry and SmileDirectClub’s consent form. Although many of SmileDirectClub’s SmileGuides are dental assistants and hygienists, when they are in the SmileShops they are not engaged in that capacity, do not practice dentistry, and are not able to answer clinical questions about clear aligner therapy or treatment plans. According to the company, SmileGuides provide general information about SmileDirectClub and its teledentistry platform and the SmilePay program, as well as gather patient information for subsequent review, assessment and diagnosis by one of the more than 250 dentists and orthodontists in the affiliated doctor network. Should customers wish to speak to a dentist or orthodontist in the network, SmileGuides may provide information on how to do so. This training is being rolled out across all shops, and is a mandatory part of the onboarding process for all new SmileShop team members.
In its announcement, the company pointed out that since its founding, every SmileDirectClub customer’s treatment is prescribed and overseen by a dentist or orthodontist licensed to practice in the state of the customer. Going forward, each customer will receive the name and contact information of their treating dentist or orthodontist, upon the approval of the treatment plan, making staying connected throughout treatment simpler. In addition, SmileDirectClub will provide a dedicated email and phone number for any customer who wishes to speak with an affiliated dentist or orthodontist prior to starting their smile journey.
SmileDirectClub also announced that it is improving its refund timelines and making its refund policy clearer. SmileDirectClub’s Smile Guarantee continues to offer a full refund without questions or conditions for any reason within 30 days of receiving aligners. Customers who seek a refund outside of the Smile Guarantee window may receive a partial refund for any unused aligners. SmileDirectClub’s customer service team will reportedly continue to work with any customer to offer additional refinements or referral to a brick and mortar practice for follow-up.
The company also reports that it has automated its manufacturing lines to significantly reduce delivery and shipping timelines for both new orders and mid-course corrections and retainers. This comes in response to complaints from customers regarding shipping time. The shift to automated manufacturing is intended to address this concern. Later this year, the company will expand its manufacturing capabilities with the opening of its second facility in Kyle, Tex, in efforts to reduce shipping time even further.
SmileDirectClub’s clear aligner therapy is already offered in-network for adult orthodontic treatment in some corporate plans provided by United Healthcare and Aetna. SmileDirectClub will continue to expand access to affordable, premium oral care products and will continue to seek additional network partners to join in this mission. Additionally, customers may use HSA and FSA funds to purchase clear aligner therapy through SmileDirectClub.
“We are a mission-driven, customer-first business, and we are taking every step necessary to ensure that all of our club members receive the care and experience they deserve,” says David Katzman, chief executive officer, SmileDirectClub. “As the leader in the teledentistry space, we are constantly evaluating our processes and listening to all feedback in order to ensure our customers receive a positive experience that delivers on our mission to provide affordable, convenient access to care. In a time when the convenience and safety of telehealth is increasingly critical, we are focused on ensuring a safe and effective option for consumers.”