How to attract new patients to your dental practice
How to attract new patients to your dental practice
Dentists all over the world research extensively on how to attract new customers and retain the existing ones. Though it isn’t any rocket science, it definitely takes some homework to understand what really attracts patients to your practice. Here is a brief guide about how you can get more customers to visit your dental office and make sure they stick to you for long.
Firstly, get noticed
Several dentists complain that though they’re doing a really good job, they’re not able to expand their customer base. The reason behind this is simple; You’re not getting the required exposure. Any business without a good marketing and advertising strategy will most likely remain stagnant, or worse, perish! Hence, one of the first things to do is to formulate a good marketing plan which is going to spread the name of your practice far and wide.
Know your audience
Before you could reach out to potential patients, it’s important to know about your existing ones and their patterns. For example, proper knowhow about their gender, average age, profession, location, etc. is required to target the audience for promotions. This would make the marketing technique more effective.
Build an awesome website
For this, you’ll need a skilled website developer. Most dentists either hire a freelance website developer or get the help of website managing agencies. Either ways, make sure your website looks and functions exactly the way you want it to.
Here are some of the aspects that make your website worth a view:
- A simple yet beautiful design
- A simple user interface which ensures easy navigation
- Professionally written content which is SEO friendly
- Relevant pictures wherever necessary
- Information about yourself and the other dentists at your practice
- Contact information, which also includes the office’s address
It would be great if the website is technically advanced. Meaning, patients should easily be able to create a profile and book appointments, download tests and lab results, have video calls with dentists, etc.
A special section on the website should be dedicated for blogs (almost every successful website has one). Posting fresh content regularly on the website indicates that you’re keeping your readers and patients informed. Health blogs include wellness tips, home remedies for health conditions, fitness advices, etc.
Make the website visible on smartphones
Over half the population use their smartphones to look up anything on the internet. If your website doesn’t have a mobile friendly version, it could mean you’re losing half your customers.
Make sure that the website loads pretty quick, as users wouldn’t have the patience to wait while it continues to load for a longer time. Moreover, the number of alternatives available are plenty, which means users could easily bounce if the website is slow and less impressive.
One of the best ways to make people notice you is using social media marketing. There are several online platforms that you can utilise for the betterment of your practice and to build reputation. For instance, you can create a Facebook page using the name of your dental practice and post relevant content, such as pictures and videos, which would attract customers. Other social media handles include Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Reddit, Tumblr, Google Plus, etc.
It’s important to address any queries and comments that people hurl at you, as it shows that you’re socially active and committed to work. On social media, criticism can hit you hard and frequently. It’s best to hold your nerve and avoid answering back in a rude tone, as it would drive patients away from you! In addition to these, you can occasionally organise giveaway contests. Offering prizes for spreading the word about your practice most often serves its purpose!
Participate in local events
This wouldn’t seem too important, but trust me, it really is. Participating in any local events, especially the ones which are intended for charity, is going to massively increase your reputation within your community. Getting your name listed on the websites and programs would help search engines notice your involvement in your area, which would in-turn route customer traffic to your website. It would also improve your ranking on the search engine results.
In addition to these, you can create a brochure for your practice, which can include all the details about your practice, the services offered, the bios of the dentists working in your practice, etc.
Advertising banners and discounts
Partnering with local entities to put up small advertising banners is going to increase your popularity among patients. Word of mouth also plays a very important role in getting the news out about your practice.
A clever trick that has been used for a long time is drawing customers in by offering discounts. It is probably the simplest and one of the very few fool-proof ways of attracting new patients.
Train your team
Your team needs to be as good at their jobs as you are. You should be aware of the fact that patients meet your team even before they meet you. Hence, creating a good first impression by addressing them well is essential for patient retention. Your team should know how to answer calls, receive patients, explain about the services and treatments offered, equipments used during the treatment, pricing of various procedures, discounts and insurance available, etc.
Following up with the patients and collecting feedback is vital to understand where your team stands in terms of patient handling.
Quality treatment is the best marketing tool
Perhaps, I was saving the best for the last. The best way to publicise your practice is by rendering great treatment. Once the word gets out on the streets that you offer quality treatment, patients would automatically start to visit your practice regularly.
There is no way patients would refer your practice to their friends and family if they aren’t satisfied with the treatment themselves. Showing genuine interest during the treatment and ensuring that their condition has been treated well is important to maintain patient satisfaction.
You need to be responsive to the developments that take place. For example, if more patients are visiting your practice, recruit extra staff to tend to them. You can also introduce new services to meet the needs of the patients. Being flexible with the work hours is also important. Sometimes, patients may come up with emergencies, or ask you to schedule appointments at the eleventh hour. Making yourself available according to the patients’ schedule is the key!
When all the above stated points are implemented and taken care of regularly, it would gradually build a solid reputation in the community as well as online. This could potentially bring in new patients and help to retain the existing ones!