Experience Never-Ending Patient Upgrades by Strategic Design, Not Random Chance
Any doctor practicing dentistry can relate to having a certain number of grouchy, high-maintenance, or flaky patients. They’re the ones that shuffle into the office grumbling about the weather, inflation, and anything that catches their attention on the drive to your office. They can drag the mood down even after they’ve left.
Or maybe you have that high-maintenance patient who questions every treatment recommended, blames you for all their dental problems, and calls your office on the regular, taking up valuable time for face-to-face interaction with patients actually in the office.
And let’s not forget the ones that show up late and throw your entire day off. You work quickly, rushing them through their visit, which reflects badly on your practice — through no fault of your own. The notorious no-shows leaving gaps in your schedule, that could have been filled by valuable cases, leave you frustrated and with lower profits.
No matter the patient type, they can affect your bottom line, team morale, and even your other patients. The good news is there is a way to methodically start replacing your “bad” patients with ones that bring better moods, an appreciation for the skilled work you do, and most importantly, higher case values.
Are you due for a patient upgrade?
There is nothing wrong with wanting more from your patients. You’re a skilled dentist who has spent years perfecting your craft, and it’s fair to want an equally engaged clientele. Understanding that not all patients are created equally is the first step on your journey to attracting the ones you want. These are the patients that will help you maintain high profits in exchange for valuable services. They are the ones that will remind you why you went into dentistry in the first place. It’s a win-win for everybody.
Your objective for a patient upgrade campaign is to start treating better patients than you did last year, last month, or last week. Perhaps last week is a bit too soon, but you get the point. Every case that comes in the door should already be vetted by the marketing strategies you have in place. You’re essentially designing your marketing to attract specific cases. You’re casting your unique net that is meant to capture high-value fish.
Look at it this way — There are only 24 hours in a day. And that means, for every hour you spend treating a patient who does not fit the profile required to move you towards your goals, you miss out on treating the patients who can.
I’m ready to upgrade…where do I start?
So how do we get moving in the right direction? Where can you start attracting better patients by design rather than chance? Let’s start with your web presence. It’s safe to say most people don’t use the old-fashioned version of the Yellow Pages anymore to find services, including dentists. By claiming your dental practice page on directories like Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp, you put yourself in control of the content found on these pages. Contact information, business hours, and a link to your website will help give your practice further reach in the region so you can begin to attract cases you desire.
The next logical step in making your practice attractive to the right crowd is ensuring your website is SEO-perfected and mobile-friendly. It’s nearly unthinkable that a business would not have a website these days, and dentists are no exception. A well-built, sleek site that contains clear details on services offered, team bios, and current patient testimonials helps set the tone and engage potential clients before they even walk in your door. Don’t forget how powerful video can be, too. They can quickly capture visitors’ attention in a fun and effective way.
Once you have these two aspects in healthy working order, it’s time to enlist your best clients and ask if they’d be willing to write online reviews. They’re the ones who know your value and would most likely be willing to toot your horn for you. And, potential clients put a lot of faith in what other clients are saying. Research shows that at least 82% of adults read online reviews before making a decision. The odds are in your favor so start asking.
While you have your best-of-the-best clients writing online reviews, it might be time to step up your game when it comes to social media and paid advertising. Over 75% of the U.S. population use at least one social media site — it’s low-hanging fruit you can’t ignore. Regular posts, that can be scheduled ahead of time, will help you connect with potential clients and give you more exposure. Combining social media campaigns with paid ads can further enhance your marketing strategies. Paid ads push your practice to the top of searches making it easy for patients to find you, your services, or any specials you may be offering. It’s an investment that will pay itself back as you begin to accept higher-value cases.
Our last marketing strategy that can start generating new and better patients is blogging. We know, who has time for it? Look at it this way, you hold a wealth of knowledge when it comes to oral health, so why not share it in a fun and interesting way?
And you don’t have to do the writing. Enlist a talented team member, or you can always employ a freelance blogger to capture your ideas and put them to good use for minimal investment. Blogging creates a “personality” for you and your practice that is enticing to those in search of a skilled, friendly, knowledgeable, and “modern” dentist.
We hope these strategies resonate with you, and you feel more informed on how to make the moves to get you better patients. You don’t have to jump into doing it all at once. These are calculated moves that push you in the right direction one case at a time. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
As you implement these steps, ask yourself once in a while, “Am I treating better patients than I did last year? Last month? Last week?” If the answer is yes, you’re well on your way to a patient upgrade.
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