What Do Your Dental Patients Want (and How Can You Meet or Exceed Their Expectations)?

May 03, 2023

“The global dental market is projected to grow from USD 38.84 billion in 2022 to USD 63.93 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.4% during forecast period.” 1

How do you tap into that revenue potential according to those growth projections? It means that your success could hinge on how well you manage what patients want from your dental practice or DSO.

Essentially, we’re talking about expectations.

This isn’t the time to overthink your strategies

Instead, you might have greater success getting back to the basics.

What basics?

It’s common to do a deep dive into patient attraction and patient retention strategies. And those initiatives that work.

But you could get lost in the weeds if you don’t focus on one fundamental among engagement strategies.

Your audience!

Or in this instance — your individual patients.

  • Their wants and desires
  • Their problems and pain points
  • Their frustrations

The list could go on but suffice it to say it pays to realize that people (dental patients included) are somewhat consistent in their behavior.

Patient to patient, practice to practice — the same applies.

Meet their expectations!

So that raises a core question to answer as you seek to capitalize on your share of that $45.7 billion projected dental revenue.

What do dental patients want (and how can you meet or exceed their expectations)?

If you’re listening to your dental patients (and we would assume you are), you might hear them tell you what they’re looking for these days.

“We want convenient access to dental care…”

Accessible care starts with communication.

  • A phone call from a new or current patient wanting information, answers to questions or to schedule an appointment.
  • An email or text reply letting you know that a patient is confirming their appointment or that they need to reschedule.

However communication happens, your responsiveness says a lot about how well you understand convenience.

Scheduling options, wait times in office or on the phone, appointment and procedural pace, insurance and payment processing, etc. These confirm how intuitive you are about patient preferences around convenient, accessible and responsive dental care.

Review your patient intake systems and evaluate them on convenience and ease of access.

“We want to know the benefits of your services and treatment…”

Patients are accustomed to hearing about the “latest,” “greatest,” “state of the art” this or that. Yet, keep in mind that behind the promotional features is a patient asking — “nice, but how will that solve my dental issue…?”

There are also patients who, when educated and informed about the service or treatment benefits, are more likely to avoid delay. Some patients live under the illusion that they’re healthy until they hear about how the recommended treatment will make a difference…for them.

  • Educate and inform your patients around the emotional benefits of a particular treatment.
  • Listen to the questions your patients are asking and the solutions they seek.
  • Create informative content and conversations around answers and beneficial solutions.

“We want to be aware of our insurance and payment options…”

Many patients will lead with, “do you accept my insurance…” when they initially contact you or when they’ve changed employers.

Get as much information as possible about their policy details. And encourage your business team to apply due diligence to help your patients understand the scope of their provider coverage.

Be clear and up front about their network allowances. If something isn’t covered, clarify that prior to treatment.

In addition to insurance filing, be prepared and communicate your available financial options. Open and clarifying financial presentations help build and maintain patient trust.

“We want to feel free to review our experience with your dental practice…”

Online dental patient reviews allow your patients to express their satisfaction and dissatisfaction with their appointment and/or treatment. The freedom to do so says you value their input and feedback.

  • Ask for reviews at checkout.
  • Make the review process simple, easy and convenient. Use posted QR codes or direct links that connect them with your preferred review platforms.
  • Get permission from your patients if you choose to use their reviews on social media or in other marketing content.
  • Respond to online reviews — even the negative reviews. Acknowledge their feedback and thank them for sharing their experience.

“We want to know that our relationship with your dental practice matters…”

This speaks to showing appreciation to your patients. One way to appreciate them for choosing you for dental care is to follow up with them.

  • Briefly connect via phone or text message to ask how they’re doing posttreatment, etc.
  • Clarify any additional questions they have about posttreatment issues or concerns.
  • Assure patients that you and your team appreciate them choosing your practice and referring others.
  • Value their time. If you’re late or running behind schedule, acknowledge it and provide them some token that shows you appreciate their patience.

Awareness of dental patient expectations provides you information you can translate into potentially profitable actions. Listen and leverage your patient data to make those valuable connections.

Check out the following resources to help you better understand how to strategize around your patient data:

2 Factors That Are Useful to Understanding and Shaping Dental Patient Behavior Around Treatment

A Review of Data-Driven Best Practices for Your Dental Marketing, Dental Patient Referrals and Dental Patient Retention

Tap into your dental patient expectations using a proven data analytics platform

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps ensure that you’re tracking useful patient data and important metrics and staying on track with your goals as your dental practice or DSO grows and expands.

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!


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