Does Your Office Stand Out Or Blend In?
Is your practice pulling in the amount of new patients you want per month? Are you retaining a satisfactory percentage of the patients that come to your office? Take a moment to think about what it is that the team is doing to get patients to come to your practice and why they are staying. Asking patients what is it that they like best about your practice will help you identify your brand. Many patients keep coming back because of the gentle dental hygienist, the dentist or both. Some patients will say it is the Business Coordinator who is so kind and good with insurance or the dental assistant who always holds your hand during treatment. Or perhaps it is the large windows that look out into the garden where the birds are flocking to the bird feeders, or the calming nature of aromatherapy and soothing music. Whether you know it or not, these are examples of branding.
Recently I had an opportunity to listen to an award-winning professional speaker give a presentation on the topic of branding. Branding is the use of logos, symbols or product design to promote consumer awareness of particular goods and services. A logo coupled with outstanding service is of utmost importance if a business is going to build a brand in the minds of consumers. For example, you would be able to pick out the logos for Apple computers, Nike, McDonalds and many others out of a group of pictures. These companies have branded themselves with these logos and the quality of product and service. Simply seeing these images brings up an image of what to expect from these businesses.
Do you have a logo for your practice? Is it a picture of a barn, your office building, a tooth? What is it that you are trying to say about your practice? Does the logo reflect the special values of your practice? Does the sight of the logo promote the practice?
Tag lines are another way to improve marketing strategies. Tag lines should be catchy and easily repeatable. If you hear, “I wish I was an…” I bet you would say, “Oscar Meyer wiener.” How about, “You are in good hands…”? You would say, “with Allstate.” Promotion of your business brand and tag line helps to ensure that when people hear or see it they think of your dental practice. As an example, you might decide to say, “Your total health is our concern,” if your focus is to not only promote the latest in dentistry but also address nutrition and smoking cessation. Putting the brand and tag line in front of people regularly helps to keep you in the minds of existing and potential patients. If your business does not have something special to say, you will blend in with the competitors and the possibility of you being chosen above the others is left to chance.
Once consumers have awareness of your brand and tag line, you will need to provide a service or atmosphere that people cannot experience at other offices. What will that defining characteristic be? Questions that can assist you in deciding this are:
After you have developed answers to these questions it will be clearer to you what your office excels at or what could be improved.
In today’s economic turmoil it is more important than ever that your services stand out over the other practices in the area. Start today by building the kind of dental practice that patients brag about. We can help get you there.
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