Patient Experience Is King
These days it is simply not enough to provide excellent patient care and affordable treatment. You need to “wow” your patients with a dental experience that they won’t forget and will recommend to others. In order to give your patients a memorable experience, there are several things you can implement in your dental practice to ensure positive patient reviews and that your patients perceive your office in a dynamic way.
1. Offer patient incentives.
There is no question that people react positively to incentives like reward systems or complimentary services. When you offer patient incentives, they feel like they’re getting extra value from their visit and that you may be offering something “special” that the dentist down the block may not be offering. Some good patient incentives include:
- Complimentary whitening.
- Take-home oral hygiene kits.
- Interest-free treatment plans.
- Offering a discount when treatment is paid in full.
- Gift cards.
- Raffles during holidays and events.
2. Use social media channels.
Social media is a necessity for all dental offices. It connects you to your community and gives patients the opportunity to be a part of your office, even though they may only visit twice a year.
Use Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter to give patients updates about your dental team, any promotions, or office policy changes. Patients love getting to see before-and-after photos of dental treatments like orthodontics because it creates motivation for them to seek treatment.
Social media can also help improve the patient experience because it creates a positive brand image that stands out from other offices. Be consistent and write blog entries or updates on social media to let patients know how they can maintain and improve their oral hygiene. They will appreciate the effort you put in and recognize you are present for them (even if it is only digitally) all year round.
3. Create a welcoming environment.
Most people identify dental offices with strange sounds and smells and the appearance of a scary sterile environment. Change their perception by creating a warm and comfortable dental setting.
There is a range of changes you can make to your office depending on your budget and needs. Some offices are outdated and need a complete makeover, but others simply need some welcoming touches to make patients feel that extra special touch.
You can offer patients free Wi-fi, warm towels, noise canceling headphones, tissues, and water to make their visit feel welcoming. Patients give positive feedback when dental offices go out of their way to make a dental visit feel like a spa experience.
4. Be on time and prepared.
One of the biggest complaints patients report at healthcare visits is long waiting times. Work with your dental team on eliminating longer wait times by being on top of your schedule and encouraging patients to attend their visits on time. When you respect your patients’ time, they will be generous in writing positive reviews and referring their friends and family.
You should also have your administrative team up-to-date on your patients’ contact information and dental insurance coverage. When you are prepared ahead of time and can give patients an accurate description and breakdown of their dental benefits, it creates less stress and time wasted for both the patient and dental team.
5. Implement new technology & treatments.
Your dental practice must be up-to-date on the latest technology to give your patients an experience they will remember. Outdated technology like paper charts or old X-ray technology is not appealing or comfortable for many patients.
Offer technology that shows you invest in your dental practice and your patients’ oral health care needs. Advanced technology like 3D Cone Beam X-rays, digital scanners, and CEREC equipment to mill crowns and dental prosthetics in-office are great ways to demonstrate your office is up-to-date with the latest safety protocols and technology.
Consider offering newer treatments that patients seek out, like orthodontics, and cosmetic dentistry, like veneers and teeth whitening. Patients want to maintain their oral health, but they also want a smile they can be proud of and this typically means a straight, bright smile.
There are many ways you can create memorable experiences for your dental patients, but most importantly, you need to have good communication and treat your patients with the utmost respect. Remember to educate them about oral healthcare and offer a warm environment to improve your patients’ experience and take your practice to the next level of personal service.