A lot of dental practice owners are looking for different ways to keep their waiting rooms occupied and their treatment chairs full. Every practice owner wants to ensure that their office phones are ringing from new patients and they continue to offer high-quality treatment for existing patients. Dentists want to build patient populations and they need to be aware of the different marketing ploys that could literally rip off the integrity of their brands.
Practice owners should actually focus on the building of a pattern that will invite patients to their practice. These strategies can be used to increase new patients and can also help engage with the current patients. If you want to acquire new patients, you need to begin with interacting with your patients. You should not assume that since you have already seen a patient in the past, they will return to your office. There is an increase in competition in the market and they might opt for a different dentist for some reason.
Tips on attracting new patients
- Build a strong first impression
Have you considered what most new patients encounter first at your dental practice? It could be anything from a phone call to the front desk receptionist to the appearance of the office from the street. The first impression will be the last impression and if you are not actively working on building a strong first impression, you will not be able to expand the patient base. Diana Lobdell from Better Practice Solutions explains that having a receptionist at your practice who is courteous and answers the phone quickly can be the difference in keeping your patients happy.”. You need to ensure that you make a positive first impression in every possible manner. If you have a website, ensure that you have it optimized and understand the importance of SEO. Invest in marketing wisely and understand how search engines work.
- Hire friendly people
This is applicable to every business and profession. You need to hire sincere and friendly people for the practice so that the patients feel comfortable and positive in the environment. Employees should be trained in proper office etiquette and should offer sincere greetings to the patients. The customer experience will make a huge difference and if there is nobody who greets the patients or asks them to be comfortable in the waiting room, the patients will not be satisfied. The kind of staff at your practice will make all the difference to the business. You need to train the staff and ensure that they are polite and friendly. They should help the patients in every manner possible.
- Ask for feedback from the patients
Businesses need to know how they are doing and how they can improve and there is no better way to find out than by asking the patients. You can ask them through a text message or an email survey, but you need to know how their appointment went. Ask them for feedback and for ways you can improve the service. Ask them for suggestions because they like to be heard. There will be many who will not be willing to complete a survey but you will never know until you ask. You can also start a patient referral program and let your patients know about the same. You can ask them how their appointments went and offer incentives to them so that they participate. These incentives could be a free lunch or a shopping voucher. It is the feedback that matters to you and you should take every step possible to encourage as many patients as possible to give you feedback on the services.
- Use the feedback constructively
When you ask for feedback, you need to take it very seriously. Unless you take the feedback seriously, you are wasting everyone’s time. When you discover information about the staff or the service you offer, you need to bring it to the attention at the next staff meeting. If it is about the behavior of the staff, you need to speak to your staff immediately. If you get positive feedback of the team, you need to acknowledge it and reward the same. Reward your best employees in every manner possible and appreciate them for their excellent services. This will encourage them to perform better in the coming months.
- Be available for them
This might be easier said than done but it can make a huge difference to the patients. As a dentist, you have numerous things to look into every single day and if you are not available for the patients, they will start looking for a different dentist. There is an increase in the competition and patients are always looking for those dentists who are easily available, who are friendly and easy to communicate with. Whether it is online or in your practice, you need to be there for the patients. You need to speak to them and assure them that they can rely on your services. There might be some patients who are coming to you for the first time and they will have their own doubts and apprehensions. You need to be there for them and explain what procedure you are going to do on them. It will make them feel comfortable and relaxed. If they can communicate with you easily, they will trust you as their dentist.
As you continue to look for new patients, you also need to keep in mind that your current patients are an asset and you need to ensure they remain loyal to you. Begin with quality interactions with the patients whether it is online or in person and always ask for feedback after they visit you. Once you get the feedback, act on it and you will set yourself apart from the competition in the industry. You need to show them that you care and when you do this, they will reward you with many repeat appointments.