If you own, run, or just participate in a dental office practice, then you likely are doing so because you can genuinely help people stay beautiful and healthy while also making a really good living. You likely do all you can to get patients in the door, but if you want to retain them as regulars, then you need to make sure that your location has implemented the following 8 dentist best practices:
1) Know what makes your practice different from others: Figure out the competitive advantages you have over other local dental offices, and market them hard. Cater to them when patients are in your location for their appointments.
2) Set a specific office culture: Many dentist practices focus hard on the patient experience when with the dentists and technicians in the chair. That’s smart, but it’s also only half the equation. Patient visits will start and finish with interactions with the office staff, and with the look and feel of the office as well as its online presence; make sure your website looks just as good as your office and shows the personality like this example here: http://www.wholelifedental.com/ . So pick a particular office culture you want to have and implement it on and off line.
3) Always look for ways to expand services: Whether it’s keeping up with competitors, beating them out to the local market with new technology and services, or just adding things existing clients have been asking for, you need to always be on the hunt for new things you can offer to make more money.
4) Financial flexibility: Ideally, every patient would walk in the door with great dental insurance that covers everything. That’s not reality though. You’ll need to be prepared to handle debit cards, credit cards, checks, cash, and even unique financing arrangements that enable you to help out patients that need dental health care but have trouble affording it.
5) Engage your client list: This is one sector where 80 percent of your profits might come from 20 percent of your customers. Making one parent a loyal patient might land the business of the entire family. Retention is also usually more profitable considering that marketing for new patients takes money.
6) Encourage patient referrals: Offer some kind of loyalty or reward program that gets your own patients to provide word-of-mouth referrals to those that they know. Such referrals carry a trusted weight to them that no other marketing method ever will. You can also include loyalty and reward programs for leaving you good reviews on your Yelp, Yellowpages, or Google Listings.
7) Always upgrade how you handle scheduling: It shouldn’t just be for booking patients. Look for ways to have better patient flow and boost the productivity of your staff. The right system will minimize wait times for patients and the anxiety and stress of your staff.
8) Train your staff: Hiring enough people is the first thing you have to do, but make sure that once your staff is full, they have the right training. If you’re a dentist yourself, finding other dentists and technicians might come easy. What about the front desk staff? They’re often the first point of contact with patients, so make sure that they’re communicative professionals.