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5 Strategies for Dental Offices to Attract New Patients

Posted by Jessica Beaudry on Thu, Feb 08, 2018 @ 11:16 AM

dental officesDental offices recognize that building a loyal clientele is essential for both new and established practices. Allocating resources to an ongoing recruitment plan while providing exceptional oral health care and performing routine responsibilities can appear daunting. However, minimal and or unsuccessful marketing efforts can lead potential clients to competitors. To successfully increase patient numbers and revenue, U.S. Dental offices can implement the five following strategies.

An Inviting Website

An online presence is crucial in today’s digitally driven world. According to Google’s 2017 Connected Consumer Study, “across all markets, eight in 10 internet users tell us that the internet is the first place they look when they need information.” Launching and maintaining a website allows consumers to easily discover the practice.

A website’s accessibility, loading time, visual appearance and navigation are key factors that can turn consumers away or toward a business. Consumers form an opinion of a company website in 0.05 seconds, Vendasta reports. Vendasta also found that 40 percent of consumers will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load, and 85 percent will leave due to poor design. An aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly website updated with the latest company information will gain and retain consumer interest. In addition, practices would be well-served by using content management systems offering responsive web design for mobile viewing.

Superior Customer Service

dental officesConsumers desire a stress-free and smooth appointment experience. As the first point of contact, reception answers calls from potential clients and greets current clients before each appointment. The front desk staff should be trained in customer service with an emphasis on maintaining positive relationships. Excellent customer service skills involve patience, clear communication, extensive company knowledge, empathy, dedication and the ability to remain calm under pressure.

The entire team from reception to lead dentist should obtain customer service training to maintain patient satisfaction. Attend a dental conference with sessions devoted to customer service and positive patient interactions such as the 6th International Conference on Dentistry & Dental Marketing. Implementing an ongoing training program will improve staff performance, enhance patient experiences and increase referral rates.    

Efficient Scheduling

The latest patient study conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that in 2014, 2.3 percent of U.S. adults visited a dentist every six months while 15.4 percent visited once a year, 11 percent visited every two or three years, and 21.3 percent visited once in five years. Among the top reasons for forgoing dental treatment, 19 percent of respondents identified inconvenient appointment times as a main obstacle. To encourage patient visits, dental offices can upgrade its scheduling system. Efficient scheduling provides a painless planning experience for office staff and clients, improved organization, higher client satisfaction, decreased wait time during visits and increased revenue.

Practices are advised to utilize one of the many dental practice management software packages that include appointment scheduling, document storage and sharing, contact databases, reporting, dental history charting, patient notes, and treatment plans.

Continual Communication

Clear, consistent communication during visits and outside of the office helps clients obtain a solid understanding of their oral health care needs, services received and services offered. Confident clients are more likely to schedule and attend appointments, leading to an overall increase in patient turnout and new patient retention rates. Alongside appointment reminders and thank you emails, dental businesses can increase visits by encouraging inactive patients with discounts. Regularly publishing blog articles and eNewsletters keeps patients informed and reminds individuals to continue their care.

dental offices

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Tags: Dentists