The name of the game for a successful dental Practice is to attract and keep your ideal patients. Patients leaking out the back door can be just as detrimental, if not more, than not driving enough new patient traffic to the practice doors.
Keeping your ideal patients is all about building relationships, staying top of mind, and making it as easy as possible for them to schedule and show up for their next Appointment.
From the moment a patient walks into the practice, they should feel welcomed and remembered. Even the tiniest gesture can make a world of difference. A simple, “How was your vacation?” or “How is your daughter doing?” allows the patient to feel special, valued, and at ease.
Further, the importance and value of the patient’s treatment should be communicated every step of the way. If they are clear on their treatment plan, the necessary steps to achieve and maintain optimum oral hygiene, and all of their questions are answered, returning for their follow-up appointments will be a no-brainer.
You and your practice should keep patients engaged and aware between their appointments. This can be done by posting on social media profiles and sending email campaigns. Engaging with your practice’s social media community is extremely cost-effective and easy to manage. Simply post practice updates, celebrations, patient milestones (with the patient’s consent), updated hours, etc., so that the practice’s name is always in their view, if even discreetly or subconsciously. Email campaigns are also a great way to position you as the expert and remain top-of-mind. A simple once monthly email with the same sort of content; practice updates, updated hours, new equipment, special offers, etc., allow you to educate your patients and stay in constant touch.
Make Appointment Scheduling Easy and Effortless
Each time a patient is checking out, schedule their six-month follow-up appointment. Very rarely do we know what we’re doing six months from now, and having to pull up your calendar six months from now is a hassle. Simply schedule the appointment for them, at the same time of day, and let them know that if they need to reschedule they can always do so at a date closer to the appointment.
Send email, text and call reminders as the appointment approaches. If they specify a preferred method of communication, stick to that. We recommend following up one month, one week, and the day before to confirm the appointment. That way, you’re taking the legwork off of them, essentially creating a, “how can I not show up for this appointment?” situation.
Attracting and keeping your ideal patients doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Develop awesome relationships with your patients, establish rapport, and make coming to the dentist as easy, welcoming and comforting as possible, and your practice will continue to sustainably and predictably grow.
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