A lot has changed over the years in the delivery of dental services.
Unlike a previous era, dental strategies revolve around appealing office designs, advanced marketing campaigns and even process automation.
Still, your top priority as a dental leader is to provide quality and affordable services to those in your care. As you build on your past successes and look forward to reaching new milestones, it’s good to know that there are plenty of tools and strategies at your disposal to get you to where you want to be.
The following tips can help grow your business and maintain a high level of success.
The explosive and ongoing growth of the digital world means patients are as savvy and connected as ever before. By keeping up, your practice can open wide lines of communication with your patients.
This is not just about important reminders via text. This is an opportunity to empower your patients to visualize what they can expect when they visit your office for a routine checkup or procedure, for example.
Ease of communication also allows you to directly inform patients about insurance, out-of-pocket costs and other pertinent information they want to know about. Your willingness to open the door of communication wide open can be a huge asset.
As mentioned above, it’s vital to leverage technology and instant connectivity to boost customer service.
With the use of a specialized appointment management system and a savvy administrative assistant, you can enhance the way your patients make, adjust and reschedule appointments.
Integrate a reminder system with your flow of appointments to reduce the number of no-shows.
Simple text alerts, notifications, emails and other outreach will deliver timely updates to patients. You can also track if these notifications were read and adjust as needed. Not only will you reduce no-shows, but you will also demonstrate to patients how much you care about their well-being.
Customize care for older patients
When working with older individuals, a primary task is to put the patient at ease.
The industry has come a long way in recognizing the need to augment patient ease. Increased awareness about this and the oral health needs of older patients has also driven demand for geriatric specialists. So, when it comes to treating the older population, dental professionals must pay particular attention to their needs by developing skills and understanding their concerns.
A robust CRM suite will be invaluable in finding and nurturing leads.
While a powerful system is indispensable in this regard, it’s also important to get staff trained and adapted to the system. When everyone is on board, the likelihood of a potential patient slipping away dramatically drops.
Evaluate patient satisfaction
The quality of care and level of patient satisfaction will determine whether or not patients return. In addition, patient satisfaction will also have a major impact on referrals. Unlike most all other industries, the opinion of a dental patient carries a lot more weight with respect to how it will influence other potential patients.
This reality underscores the importance of constantly evaluating patient satisfaction reports and proactively adjusting based on feedback and patient experience.
Another important step is to publicize positive feedback from patients. Categorizing feedback makes it easier for patients to review testimonials.
Finally, remember that the patient’s first point of contact will leave a lasting impression, which will assuredly make its way into social reviews. That’s why it’s important to evaluate feedback on all aspects of service and train staff accordingly.
Market the basics
Sometimes, outreach and marketing materials get too far into the weeds. While this approach is useful in some cases, it’s also a good practice to market the basic dental principles to your audience.
This includes information about how often to visit the dentist or tips about basic oral hygiene. So, as you plan your outreach, don’t underestimate the value of sticking to the basics.
When a new patient calls for the first time, there are some basic customer service approaches to keep in mind that will establish a connection.
Staff should be trained to answer the phone with a smile, for instance. New or returning patients should never be put on hold for longer than two minutes, especially if they have an urgent request.
If the staff member does not have an answer, it’s best to respond with “let me find out,” instead of saying “I don’t know.”
Staff should always return calls promptly and use a professional and friendly tone.
Market your practice’s special care plans. This information is sorely needed, as patients with special needs are at higher risk — and they might not even know it.
Not all patients are aware about the connection between oral and overall health. Since the status of their oral condition can have serious implications on their overall health, dental practices should go above and beyond to educate their patients about specialized services and the wide-ranging benefits of care.
If you are interested in learning more ways to grow your practice, don’t hesitate to contact us!