Ask any dentist if they’d like to have more new patients at their practice, and you’re going to hear affirmative answers across the board. Adding patients is one of the best ways to ensure continued growth. That’s why Bryant Consultants compiled this list of tips you can use to attract new patients to your office.
Tip 1) Communication is key
A quality dental practice doesn’t concern itself so much with “selling” itself, but rather meets the needs of its patients and safeguards their oral health. Each of your patients is unique and wants to be treated that way. They want to be heard—especially if they’re experiencing pain over a dental issue or fear over going to the dentist. That’s why each member of your team should be trained in the art of excellent communication, which should begin from the phone call, where they schedule their initial consultation and continue through every visit to your practice.
Tip 2) Answer the phone
Imagine you’re looking for some type of professional service, and you’re calling around to make an appointment. If no one is answering the phone when you call, you’re probably going to move to the next business on your list. Prospective patients are going to do the same thing when it comes to seeking a dentist. Make sure someone is handling the phone at all times, and that your receptionist is an expert at speaking with new patients on the phone. Not sure if your team has these skills? Bryant Consultants offers phone skills training.
Tip 3) Make use of social media
People talk about their experiences and share their opinions about several aspects of their lives on social media. You want them to talk about their experience at your dental practice as well because their friends and family see it, and it serves as great word-of-mouth feedback. A positive review on social media will only go so far if your practice doesn’t have a strong social media presence of its own, though. Facebook and Instagram are two of the key channels to help spread the word about the work you’re doing.
Tip 4) It’s in the mail
Marketing mailers are a more effective strategy to find new patients than you may think. Compile a mailing list, and you can rotate who gets a card when and vary the designs with different messages and pictures. The concept here is to repeatedly reach out to prospective clients, building the brand awareness that helps them eventually decide to respond, reach out, and make an appointment.
Tip 5) Run a contest
No form of marketing or advertising is more valuable than word of mouth. Consider running a monthly contest for referrals among the members of your team. For example, if online reviews of your practice mention any specific team members who went above and beyond in providing care, that employee could receive points for the mention—with the highest point-getter at the end of the month receiving a prize.
Tip 6) Keep track of your online identity
More and more people are looking online for professional services—whether they need a mechanic, a dentist, or anything in between. You need to make sure your practice has a strong online presence, which starts with a website that is easy to navigate, informative, and well-designed. You also need to track your online reputation or hire a professional like Bryant Consultants to do this for you. You should provide feedback to patient reviews, especially if someone is not satisfied with their experience. If you don’t see any reviews posted as of late, this leads to our next tip.
Tip 7) Ask for reviews
If you’re providing state-of-the-art dental care with compassion and excellent communication, you’re probably hearing from happy patients as they depart your office. If you’re hearing compliments, why not ask those pleased patients to post a review online or make a referral?
Tip 8) Become part of the community
Getting involved in the community helps to build brand awareness of your practice in your area. Your practice is no different than any other locally-owned small business; it needs people from the community to come in and be customers in order to thrive. In combination with the previously listed tips, community engagement can help establish your practice on the road to, ideally, becoming known as the top choice for dental care in your area.
Tip 9) Don’t get bogged down in insurance plans
Roughly two-thirds of all Americans have some form of dental insurance coverage, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. You want your practice to be savvy when dealing with various providers and their plans, but you don’t want insurance providers to be dictating the treatment and services you provide. Patients are going to accept treatment plans based on their needs and desires, not just on what their insurance will cover.
Tip 10) Membership plans
A membership plan can be appealing to patients who don’t have dental insurance or are concerned in general about paying out of pocket for dental work. With a membership program, patients pay a set amount every month that goes toward the work they need throughout an entire calendar year. This allows them to budget and lessens the risk that they will just avoid the dentist altogether because of financial concerns.
Tip 11) First impressions matter
You only have one chance to make a first impression on a prospective new patient. This first impression becomes the foundation of their level of trust in your practice, and trust is the one key component in the likelihood of case acceptance. You can build that trust before ever meeting one of these people in person by following the tips listed.
Our services offered by Bryant Consultants can help you refine your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your business. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799. We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us. We will even come to you!