Your returning patients may stop visiting your practice. You may lose them because they moved away or found a new dentist. It is, therefore, vital that you keep a steady stream of new patients to make up for the losses. Your dental practice must treat at least 20-50 new patients every month to survive and grow. To accomplish this goal, you must take a look at your practice and make the necessary changes. The last step is implementing your marketing plan to attract new patients.
Here is a list of areas to improve on to get new patients:
Examine Your Practice
The first step requires you to look at your practice to figure out your next move. Examining four important factors of your practice will help you see what you’re doing right and what you need to improve.
Here are the four factors that require your attention:
Find out what sets you apart from other dental offices in your location. List down all of the things your practice does well and think about how you can leverage these strengths to get more patients. Adhering to your strengths is a great way of standing out from the competition.
Find out your patient’s biggest complaints about your practice. Ask them through emails and surveys what your practice can do to improve. Be honest and accept your practice’s weaknesses to make the necessary changes.
Enumerate the many means your practice can grow and determine how you can take advantage.
Think about potential issues your practice may experience. Are patients switching to another dentist? Are you able to reach new patients through your website? Anticipate possible issues you may face and fix them quickly.
Your resources will likely be spread thin if your practice is new. You need to make every cent count. Looking at your practice internally will help you make informed decisions.
Create Your Web Presence
Most new patients will look for your practice online through their phones. You need to put your best foot forward and create a positive web presence to attract new patients.
Here are a few tips when creating your practice’s website:
Your site must be intuitively designed to make navigation easier. Your site’s buttons should be properly labeled to help visitors find what they need at a glance.
The colors of your site’s many elements must not clash to avoid hurting the eyes of the visitor. The text and other elements of your site must have good color contrast to make reading easier for visitors.
You must put your best foot forward when it comes to presenting your practice. Patients must see your practice as a family-friendly place that they want to visit. It may be best to hire a professional photographer to take your pictures. Be sure to update the pictures on your site at least once a year to maintain your image.
Your website will be your first impression on potential patients. Be sure everything on your site is presented in a family-friendly manner to welcome new patients.
Hire and Train Your Front Desk Staff
Your front desk gives your new patients their first face-to-face impression of your practice. First impressions are of the utmost importance when getting return business. Your front desk must give off a welcoming and attentive vibe to your new patients to encourage them to come back.
Here are three essential skills your front desk staff should possess:
Your front desk staff should always greet patients who enter your dental office with a smile and an inviting voice. Make sure that you tell them to maintain eye contact while talking to patients. Maintaining eye contact gives off the impression they are listening to your patients. Try offering refreshments and inform your patients of any unexpected delays.
Good impressions should not end with welcoming your patients. Your patient’s entire visit must go smoothly from start to finish. Your front desk staff must handle scheduling future appointments and collecting payments in an accommodating manner. They must be trained to answer any questions about your services and patient concerns. You must train them to address the patient with a friendly and calm demeanor while maintaining eye contact. You start the patient check out as you check them in with a smile.
Answering the Phone
The front desk is also the voice of your practice. You’ll find many patients calling the office even if appointments are scheduled electronically. Train your front desk to answer calls by the second ring and have them smile as they answer. Smiling transforms your greeting to make it sound more positive. Finally, you must ask permission before putting someone on hold to prevent any hurt feelings.
At the end of the day, people will always remember how you made them feel. Make sure they feel great whenever they visit your practice.
Engage with Your Community
One of the best ways to get new patients is by establishing trust within your community. You need to show others that your practice is a friendly place that will take care of their dental needs. How can you reach out to your community? You need to make a positive impact.
Here are three ways to establish trust between your practice and the community:
Get Media Exposure
Reach out to radio hosts, local newspapers, and TV stations and inquire if they need an expert to answer questions about your field of expertise. Helping the media give the public vital information makes you an authority in your field. You will also get a huge boost in name recognition because of the free media exposure.
Establish Yourself as an Authority
Build blogs on your website that give your patients vital information that can enrich their lives. Whether it’s a blog about how to brush your teeth properly to avoid damaging your teeth and gums or a blog about oral health maintenance, giving patients vital info will increase your chances of getting new patients.
Don’t be shy. Start volunteering to help aged care facilities, community centers, and charity events to make your presence known. Taking care of your community is a great way of building trust that will encourage new patients to come to your practice.
Whether it’s going on the news, writing blogs for your site, and participating in charity events, enriching the lives of members of your community will help you build trust.
That trust will translate to more new patients visiting your practice in the future.
In the end, your regular patients may stop visiting your practice for many different reasons. Your dental practice needs to attract new patients to survive and grow. Examining your practice, creating a positive web presence, hiring and training your front desk, and engaging with your community are all necessary steps to get patients in your door.