Although some people love going to the dentist, there are just as many people who completely abhor the idea of getting their teeth worked on. Their reasons are their own, but marketing to this group of people can help to drive a full appointment calendar consistently. Is there a way that you can effectively market your dentist office to bring in new patients?
The first stop on this marketing journey is to provide people with the information they need. There are a lot of horror stories that can be found on the internet today, so any proven information you can provide a potential patient will potentially ease their mind and have them coming down to sit in your chair under the lights.
Useful Marketing Ideas for Dental Offices
1. The more content your website has that is well written, the more likely you’ll get a better search engine result that will drive people toward your practice first. It’s got to be relevant information that you post on your site and a blog that posts twice a week with informational content will easily help boost your overall rankings.
2. Work closely with other doctors to generate referrals that match with your dental specialty. Many offices don’t keep any records about referrals and this could mean a reduction of business of up to 70%. By forming relationships with other practitioners, you’ll create a network of partnerships that will make sure you get the business you need and the patients get the right care they need.
3. Get involved with your Chamber of Commerce and begin sponsoring events locally that will introduce people to your practice for the first time, even if you’ve been in business for several years. You can attract people with raffles or door prizes and make sure you’ve got lots of business cards to hand out to folks.
4. Follow up every contact with some form of a thank you note so that you can express in words your appreciation of a patient’s time. If you’ve got an email address, a personalized note will cover the minimum interaction needed to express thanks. Nothing, however, beats a thank you card that you send in the mail.
5. Realize that there isn’t going to be a perfect marketing method that works for every office. Each community and each patient are unique, so an individualized approach to marketing is necessary in order to maximize success.
6. Don’t just use one type of marketing at a time. You can utilize multiple campaigns at once to drive results because you’ll be casting a wider net.
7. Internal marketing is often more effective than external marketing because patients want to experience a high level of service and satisfaction when they come into your office. Talk to your staff about their phone skills, what the exam process should look like, and even what the ambiance of the waiting room says about the office.
8. There is no substitute for experience, so look for staff that can help to supplement your dental office with the knowledge needed to provide the best care possible.
9. Realize that it’s fine to ask patients to leave if they’re causing problems for your practice because although their care is important, so is the reputation of your office. If you need to ask someone to leave, be sure to utilize your network of referrals to find a better place that can meet that patient’s needs more than you’re able to do.
10. Utilize personality profiles to interview clients so that you can further market each experience in an individual way to each patient. If you know that a specific patient likes a lot of information, for example, you could then load them up with pamphlets about a particular procedure. If you have someone is more of a dominant personality, then you can speak more toward their future benefits than the costs of today to be more effective.
11. Do more than just communicate that you care. People want to see first-hand that you care about them, even if their teeth are the worst thing you’ve seen in all your years of practicing dentistry. They know their teeth are shot and don’t need to be lectured about their care. They came in to get help when they didn’t have to do so. Get them the help they need.
12. Tooting your own horn isn’t going to do you a lot of good, so let your patients speak volumes about the benefits they’ve received from visiting your practice. First hand knowledge influences a decision to go someplace new and an online review or testimonial can provide that knowledge to someone. Encourage patients to leave reviews and maybe consider adding incentives to those that do.
13. Direct mail can always pay off, even when it doesn’t seem like it is working. Postcards, mailers, and other solicitation efforts through snail mail can help to start building a relationship because it encourages someone to call in to take advantage of a great deal.
14. Your actions are the biggest testimony to how good your dental practice happens to be. External marketing can help to get someone’s attention, but they’ll quickly leave your practice if they don’t feel like you can back up the claims you’re making. Walking the talk isn’t a fast solution to a lack of patients, but it will develop long-term patients that will give your office security over time.
15. A newsletter that lets patients know what is going on can help people feel like you’re staying in touch with them and want their business. That’s really the key aspect to any business relationship. If you let your patients know that you really want their business and appreciate them.
16. Give each patient the full exam, even if they can’t afford it at that time. Full dental services are the biggest attraction for a patient because it will ease their mind about their overall dental health.