The “magic pill.”
Most are looking for it especially when it comes to dental patient acquisition.
But it’s an elusive pursuit.
Well, primarily because acquiring dental patients relies on more than one approach.
- Your services and expertise?
- Location…location… (you get it)?
- Easy appointment scheduling?
- Fees and insurance acceptance?
- Extended and/or weekend office hours?
- Promotions and giveaways?
The list could go on and on. Really, the only “magic” is the awareness that every patient is different, and acquiring them demands a multi-faceted strategy.
Truth-bomb: Acquisition is merely the first step. Developing long-term loyalty is the journey.
How to see patient acquisition as the beginning of a journey to long-term patient engagement
Patients (like opportunity) are in abundance. Sure, you might be tempted to think that dental competition is too stiff and you’re getting squeezed out of the mix.
Scarcity seems to be in abundance these days. With 2020’s pandemic and the perceived public hesitancy to schedule dental appointments, scarcity thinking is an easy out.
Why not shift your perspective? It’s time to get proactive, dust off some of those tried-and-true patient acquisition strategies…and innovate around them.
Whaddaya say? Are you game?!
“The reviews are in…!” But that begs the question – are yours?
It’s important to read the “stars” – review “stars,” that is.
Chew on these stats:
- 86% of patients choose a new dentist because of online reviews
- 40% of consumers form an opinion from browsing one to three reviews
- 88% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation
It’s agreed that reviews make a difference in the “who” and “how” of choosing a dental provider. Let’s focus on the how.
- Ask for reviews: train your team to ask and to make the “ask” a routine part of your patient conversations.
- Keep it simple: give patients an easy way to leave a review.
- Be responsive: appreciate positive reviews and graciously reply to negative reviews. This lets patients know their opinion (either way) is welcome.
Make scheduling easy
Deciding to schedule a dental appointment should open the door to an uncharacteristically smooth process. Why uncharacteristic?
Traditionally, a busy dental office could mean being placed “on hold,” being shuffled to the proper team member who handles scheduling, or worse getting through the entire process to discover that there’s an insurance issue.
Scheduling shouldn’t be burdensome. The easier you make the process for someone on the front-end the more likely their loyalty to your practice will be.
- Reduce “on-hold” times drastically.
- Eliminate scheduling “hoops” by providing an online patient portal. The first connection with your practice will most often be online so…provide FAQs and a clear checklist for new patients to follow on their initial contact (prior to phoning your office).
- Provide an online scheduling option. Many will prefer to bypass an initial phone call and request their appointment virtually.
- Give patients a virtual visit option for an initial consultation. A dedicated teledentistry platform is a secure, safe, and comfortable way to begin a patient relationship around a treatment concern or question.
Go all-in on the patient experience
The experience you provide your new and returning patients is about “flow.” Each step in their relationship with your practice in general and your team specifically – follows a path.
- How they’re greeted – in person, on the phone, in the reception to clinical hand-off, and from clinical back to front-desk – it all works together.
- Create an environment that’s sensitive to their emotions about dentistry. A light mood, amenities that promote comfort, and a noticeable willingness to listen to their concerns and questions will set your culture apart.
- Stay in consistent communication. Use your blog, email, text messages, social media, surveys, and informative content to deliver value.
Keep patient oral health front-of-mind through recare
Always be thinking, “next.” As in, next checkup, next follow-up, etc.
This is a good area for automated appointment reminders and online scheduling options. Again, a high percentage of patients appreciate the opportunity to schedule online and be reminded about their next appointment via text.
If you’re in doubt about their preferred recare approach – ask them. New and current patients are typically not put off by a reminder. But how they’re reminded and how often can be a matter of preference.
Pacing is important here. For many, dentistry is out-of-sight-out-of-mind. It’s to their advantage (and yours) to help them keep a steady health-conscious, preventive mindset.
A patient-first mindset
Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can improve your patient acquisition and overall patient experience:
Choose the tools that help you achieve success as a DSO, group practice, or solo private practice
The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on track during your morning huddles and overall practice or DSO goals.
- Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
- Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups, and DSOs
Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!
Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability