You're marketing your dental practice in an excellent way, taking advantage of time saving automation software (hopefully Legwork) and you're seeing an increase in new patient appointments. Awesome!
However, outward marketing efforts are only part of the "Dental Practice Marketing Pie".
You must create value in the appointment process in order for your practice's marketing efforts to succeed.
We previously wrote about how in order to have a competitive advantage you need to provide value that is unique to your practice (Check out the post here). With so much competition in dentistry today, it is vital to set yourself apart.
Sure you have new patients, but will they become lifelong patients or will they be one appointment patients because of a forgettable experience?
Here are 6 essential areas that are crucial for creating value in the appointment process:
This may seem obvious, but sometimes the most obvious item is overlooked. Greeting new & existing patients upon arrival with their first name goes a long way in creating a valuable experience.
Moving the patient from the waiting room, to the operatory, and back to the waiting room needs to be smooth and seamless. This can be accomplished by each staff member being introduced as they are encountered. Transitions are an important time to make the patient feel valued, instead of feeling like a guest walking through a place they don't belong.
Also, make sure directions are clearly communicated such as what to do next, and where they should go. Going to the dentist is anxiety inducing and somewhat of a dreaded experience. However with a quality transition these emotions can quickly be evaporated.
Maintain consistent communication between providers. Remember that your patients are customers. They shouldn't have to repeat or explain themselves through the appointment process. This means making sure that everyone on your staff stays informed about each patient coming through your office.
4. Overall Appearance
From the office exterior to the waiting lobby, overall appearance is very important and has a large impact on the patient's experience. Many times this is neglected, we often see unorganized waiting rooms with magazine's thrown about. Make sure your front office staff takes time to keep the area in appealing appearance.
The Operator should have a calm relaxing environment. Approaching a cold, clinical and bland Operatory induces anxiety and does not promote a positive experience. Patients are your customers, not science experiments.
6. Patient Send-off
Evaluate how you're ending your patient visits. Are you just pointing them to the lobby and saying have a nice day? The send off is the most important time to reinforce and retain a patient relationship for life. The standard gift bag with a toothbrush & floss is not enough anymore.
Consider providing them with something that sets you apart, that they can share family or friends.
To be competitive you need to set your practice a apart. Dental patient marketing is a puzzle with many different pieces, and one of the biggest pieces is the patient's experience with your practice.