11.24.17 Issue #820 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Boost Patient Appreciation and Grow Your Practice
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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The more patients appreciate what you do, the better off your practice will be. When patients understand the value of the services you provide, they’ll be more likely to show up for their appointments, accept the treatment you recommend and refer your office to family and friends.

For that to happen, you must take the time to educate patients – not only about the importance of maintaining their oral health, but how your practice can help them reach their goals. This means making sure they are aware of the many services you offer, whether it’s implant dentistry, veneers or Invisalign.

If you don’t let patients know these options are available, they might assume they’re beyond the scope of your practice, prompting them to call another office when they’re finally ready to improve their smile. That, of course, costs you money and keeps your practice from meeting its full potential. The good news is this is avoidable. Help patients understand what you do, and both your case acceptance numbers and practice revenues will get a boost. Here’s how: 

Don’t Assume They’ll Ask You
While it would make life easier if patients just told you what services they’re interested in, it doesn’t usually happen that way. Patients tend to be nervous when they’re in the chair, and might be too shy to ask about cosmetic services without any prompting from you or a team member.

Instead of waiting for them to bring up their interest in clear aligners or whitening, ask patients about their oral health goals and what changes they’d like to see in their smile. Answer their questions, address any concerns they have and educate them about the services you offer that can help them achieve a brighter, healthier smile.

Invest in Marketing
Most dentists hate the idea of marketing and would prefer to avoid it if possible. They think it’s a waste of time and money, but that’s only true if it isn’t done right. One-time campaigns, for example, aren’t going to do you much good. Let’s say you offer a free whitening coupon to first-time patients. Sure, you’ll probably get quite a few patients who take advantage of this deal. The problem is, you’ll never see most of them again. That’s why I suggest you invest in continual, targeted marketing efforts that include consistent branding and messaging to attract new patients who eventually become loyal patients.

How can you get started? Commit a certain amount of your budget to marketing. Develop a clear plan, seek outside help if necessary, and be sure to get your team members involved.

Use a Variety of Marketing Tools
It’s important not to rely solely on one marketing method. Instead, use different tools to promote your services. Here are a few examples of ways to market your practice, both internally and externally:

Put up signs in your reception area that promote the services you offer.

Place educational brochures at the front desk that patients can pick up and read as they wait for their appointment.

Email patients a monthly newsletter that features educational articles and details on practice promotions.

Use on-hold messaging to educate patients about the various services your practice provides. 

Train team members to use every patient interaction as an opportunity to educate.

Focus on providing high-quality customer service throughout the patient visit. 

Educate your patients chairside. That includes answering their questions, having them watch educational videos, and showing them what’s going on in their mouths via intraoral cameras and radiographs.

Mail educational materials. Consider including flyers with patient statements or other communications from the practice.

Create a website that features information about you, your team members and the various services you offer. Make sure the website is easy to navigate. Include testimonials, before and after photos of successful cases you’ve completed, and contact information.

Develop Connections
Making marketing and patient education a priority in your practice will go a long way in establishing strong patient relationships. Keep in mind it’s also important to show patients you care about their wellbeing, and you’re not just trying to sell them on dentistry when you recommended treatment.

Show an interest in their families and jobs, and encourage your team members to do the same. Call patients the day after a procedure to see how they’re doing. Remember an important event they mentioned, such as a wedding or a reunion, and ask them how it went. Start building a rapport, and you’ll be rewarded with loyal patients who accept treatment.

The more educated your patients are and the more connected they feel to your practice, the more likely they are to say yes to treatment. Investing in marketing helps you achieve both. When patients understand what you do and how important it is to maintain their oral health, they’ll appreciate you and your team members. They’ll feel comfortable entrusting you with their care, and even recommending your practice to family and friends. 

Still seem a little overwhelming? If the thought of increasing your marketing efforts sets you into panic mode, don’t worry. I’m here to help. Give me a call or send me an email and we’ll get started.

You can take my free Marketing Assessment HERE.

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
Interested in having McKenzie Management Seminars speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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