Brand Experience Builds Loyal Patients
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.” Whoever wrote that quote probably knew from experience what they were referencing. Everyone wants to be around positive people who make them feel good – and even more, make them feel hope for a better tomorrow.
A few weeks ago I attended the California Dental Association meeting in San Francisco at the George Moscone Center. It was a very positive experience because it was organized and delivered perfectly by all who were involved, from registration to the courses offered. Everyone I spoke with helped with a smile and caring attitude. In my hand, I held a map and a book that had been prepared to assist me in all that I needed to know. But because I prefer human interaction, I asked people for directions and help. No one said, “Look in the book for that answer.”
I have attended the CDA meeting in Anaheim, California for years and have also had very positive experiences. Do I feel like going back to either location for their yearly conferences? Absolutely – and I am positive that I will again have the same wonderful experience.
This is a perfect example of brand building. It is also the reason I choose the same chain of hotels for my stays when out of town. I can count on them to deliver the same standard of excellence. Dentists and dental practices are building a brand, whether they are tuned in or not. The interaction with patients or potential patients is demonstrated by everything that is designed to be a vehicle of patient encounter. Your signage, reception area, restroom, logo, business card, website and social media connections, etc. If you were going to dress yourself for success, wouldn’t you want every part of your visible body to radiate success? Would you wear flip flops with a black suit, or attend a networking event dressed like you just came from the beach? Probably not.
Stop for a minute and scrutinize everything a prospective patient will see or experience prior to their arrival at your practice. Are there old posters yellowing on the walls or old charts hanging from shelves behind the desk? When was the last time you painted? How is the phone being answered? What is being said to make a person want to choose your practice? Is your website up to date, or are there photos of staff members that quit two years ago? If the practice appears old and dated, your dentistry is probably the same in the eyes of the patient.
“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” This old Chinese proverb is relevant to every business, but so much more to dental practices. Attitude is everything. If your new patient greeting is a lackluster, “Hi, please fill out this paperwork and we will seat you soon”, this is not the first impression you want your patient to experience!
Why not consider, “Welcome to our practice (patient name), my name is Betty and I am the Business Coordinator. It is a pleasure to meet you. Did you have any problems finding our office or parking? If you would please take a moment to fill out this new patient form we will be happy to assist you. If you would like coffee, tea or water we have a beverage cart in the corner. The restroom is through this door down the hall. If I can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to ask.”
It takes only a few seconds to make a lasting impression.
Speaking to many office managers and front desk people at the CDA it became apparent that most practices still suffer from the same challenges: attracting more new patients, retaining patients and improving treatment acceptance. None of these people had their own business cards. All felt that they had a job, not a career. None felt vested in the practice because the doctor never listened to their suggestions. If this is considered “business as usual” in dentistry, then the results will be the same.
If you want to build your brand to attract and keep patients who will feel confident buying your services and products, then you must make the changes. McKenzie Management is here to help with branding and building business systems to ensure the success of your practice. Reach out to McKenzie Management today for a better future for your office.
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