Encourage more interaction from potential and established patients.
Continued success as a dentist means continued efforts in growing your patient base. The ultimate goal should be a strong pool of established patients as well as a steady flow of potential new patients seeking the best in dental care in the local area.
Here are 8 things you should be doing right now to prompt growth—and retention—in your patient base.
1. Make sure your current patients are happy with their care.
Gaining new patients and growing your patient base is important, but retaining established patients should be a priority. Speak with your patients during their checkups and genuinely take an interest in how they feel about the care they’re receiving. Keep an eye on reviews and encourage patients to reach out, perhaps even anonymously, if they ever feel something isn’t right or they wish an aspect of their care was improved in some way.
2. Start a campaign to boost online reviews from patients.
Positive online reviews are gold for growing your patient base. Unfortunately, many patients forget to leave reviews after a visit, even if they had a great experience. Get more online reviews by reminding patients after their appointment to leave a review and send a follow-up text or email the day after their visit. You can also offer rewards for leaving a review, though this should apply to any review left, not necessarily just positive ones. Remember, honest reviews are valuable and show integrity. They also give you insight into how your practice can improve.
3. Offer new-patient incentives and established-patient rewards.
Offering new-patient incentives is a classic marketing technique for growing a patient base that is quite successful for dental practices. Advertising new-patient deals, such as a free exam or cleaning, can be enough incentive for a potential patient to go ahead and book a visit. Make a great impression during their visit and chances will be high they’ll return.
With that said, don’t forget about your established patients. Routinely offering rewards will encourage them to continue to see you for care. A fun idea might be offering a professional teeth whitening session.
4. Create custom targeted email campaigns for recommended care.
Have you noticed that some patients come in irregularly for cleanings and checkups or tend to delay recommended care after an evaluation? A friendly and inviting way to encourage them to come in for a visit or continue a treatment plan is to create targeted email campaigns.
These targeted email campaigns should be customized to the care the patient needs and provide additional information on the treatment or procedure. They should focus on the benefits the patient will experience and not necessarily on any high-pressure push to book a visit.
5. Update your digital presence on a regular basis.
Your website, social media profiles, and online business profiles are very important tools for growing your patient base. These tools aren’t a “set it and forget it” situation, however. They need regular attention to ensure the most accurate information is available and patients have frequent reminders of your practice.
Consider consulting with a marketing manager or social media manager to figure out a schedule in which each digital outlet for your practice is updated.
6. Get involved in community events as a vendor or sponsor.
A dental practice that’s active in the community is one that’s automatically in the minds of locals. When local events come up, consider having a booth at the event or sponsoring the event in some way. From family fairs to Little League, getting involved in the community is an incredibly effective way to gain exposure to potentially grow your patient base.
7. Stand out from the crowd with virtual dental consultations.
There has been a serious uptick in virtual appointments within the medical field since 2020. Providing virtual appointments served an important purpose during quarantine, but even now it remains a very popular option. A growing number of dental practices have followed suit and now offer virtual consultations for busy patients who aren’t quite ready to book an in-person visit.
By offering something more personal than a simple phone call, a virtual dental consultation allows dentists to connect with patients who might have otherwise postponed a consultation because they didn’t have time to come in.
8. Expand the services your practice offers to patients.
Stagnation leads to a slow decline in business. For a dental practice, it’s vitally important that the services you offer right now aren’t the only services you’ll ever offer to patients. As advancements in dental technology evolve and demand for cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics grow, general dental practices need to keep up.
While deciding on which services to add, keep in mind that following what’s trendy doesn’t often last. Focus on adding one or two rewarding services that will truly help patients achieve the beautiful, healthy smiles they want.
Consider straight wire orthodontics as your practice’s new service.
Did you know that most Class I and Class II malocclusions can be treated with straight wire orthodontics? By choosing straight wire orthodontics as a new service for patients, you are opening up an entirely new income stream as well as the ability to treat more patients in-house rather than relying on referrals.
Williams GP Orthodontic Seminars courses are specifically designed to teach general and family dentists, like you, the necessary skills to confidently begin offering orthodontic care. You can learn more about Dr. Williams’ courses and seminars by clicking here.