Attracting and retaining patients is an ongoing challenge for many dental practices. It’s an evolving endeavor and one that requires creativity, planning and a dedicated team focus. Here are some ideas to help foster a thriving practice.
Don’t pass the patient to the competition. Generate lots of interest with a fabulous website where existing and potential patients can find the information they need. Having the information available builds trust and showcases your leadership in your community. Provide details on products and services you specialize in. Talk about your high-tech dental devices that elevate the patient experience. If you use a dental laser or digital x-rays for instance, let them know. Request images from product vendors to add to your website. While you have your prospective patient's attention, make it easy for them to spend time with you. Offer online appointments, and don't forget to put your email address on your website.
Personalize the experience
Help retain patients by appreciating them. Track patient referrals and send personalized thank you notes to enthusiastic patients.
Discuss diagnosis and treatment options with every patient. Present treatment plans with 3D animation, full-motion videos, and images. Be prepared to review costs and value. Explain the treatment benefits clearly to your patient in terms they understand.
Elevate the patient experience through comfort. Beyond offering gentler dental treatments through technology, your office can really make an impression by providing blankets, pillows and music to make the experience more relaxing. Offer warm towels after hygiene appointments and treatment.
Tell a friend
It really is who you know. The best kind of advertising is often word of mouth and there is nothing better than a satisfied patient who is happy to share your contact information with a friend or colleague. Help the conversation along by soliciting their help in attracting new patients. If your patient has an excellent experience (comfort, speed, value) ask them to tell a friend.
Ask for Yelp
Ask happy and satisfied patients to write a favorable review on Yelp. Positive comments online can often persuade potential patients to make an appointment with your practice. Newer comments are shown first and help decrease the impact of other comments. Include a "grade us on yelp' on your appointment reminder cards.
It costs 10 times more to attract new patients than it does to keep current ones. Boost your appointment book and get lapsed patients back into your practice. Make calls and re-engage with these patients on down time or hire a reputable company to make the calls.
Send a card
An effective recall card prompts patients to get in touch and make appointments. Design a card with a concise recall message that reflects your practice. Include your logo, practice colors and contact information.
Community involvement is a great way to meet new patients. Volunteer, coach a soccer team, join a service group, or get on the board of your favorite non-profit organization.
Throw a party
Schedule an open house for patients and their friends. Show off your friendly staff, state-of-the-art dental equipment, and organized practice.
High levels of patient satisfaction determines the success of a dental practice. Focus on the patient experience and drive patients to your front door. Nurture your patient base and retain good patients for life.