There’s always a risk of losing a new patient to another dental office.
In some cases, patients have no choice but to move on. Maybe they enrolled in new insurance or relocated to another city.
A negative experience can also prompt patients to take drastic measures and seek a new dental team.
Other reasons why patients leave: dentist retired, pain experience during appointment, high fees, disagreement on treatment plan or lack of empathy.
Understanding why patients leave is the first step in building a game plan that emphasizes your practice’s greatest strengths and speaks directly to the patient. The following tactics can position your practice above the rest so you can avoid missteps and more importantly, so you can better resonate with your patients in a positive way from the very beginning.
Understand their financial standing
Know your target patients’ income and insurance situation.
While some affluent single patients are willing to invest in high-end cosmetic procedures, other patients will be focused on the essentials.
Depending on the demographic of your patients, you can offer payment plans or other financial assistance programs to make them feel like they’re in the right place.
Share what you do best
Standard advertising of your practice might not show the complete picture of how wonderful you are.
Highlight your degrees, awards and specialties prominently on webpages and other outreach materials so your patients are better informed about your services.
Practices can also publish useful educational content on a range or oral health topics. Blogs, social media, videos and downloaded guides are a tremendous resource to patients and will help build trust.
Make everything painless
It goes without saying that dental professionals must do everything they can do to avoid a painful experience for their patients.
It’s important for dental practices to also be mindful of psychological, emotional and other pain points that could arise through patient interactions away from the dental chair.
Make it easy to schedule appointments. Make billing easy to read and understand. Whenever possible, do not put your patient in an awkward situation when going over billing or other administrative tasks. The patient will want to feel at ease at every step.
Remember, one bad online review can snowball into something larger and puts practices at risk of losing not only a current patient, but also a future one.
Follow treatment philosophy
Patients are not only concerned about whiter teeth and fighting off cavities. They also want to feel safe and cared for.
When practices follow their guiding treatment philosophy, they can make a huge difference in the lives of their patients. Dentists can get their messaging across through marketing channels and campaigns. These should focus on the practice’s treatment philosophy to convey their trustworthiness, competency and compassion for all patients.