How to Attract and Retain Patients in a Competitive Market
It used to be that you could hang a sign up in front of your dental practice with the word “Dentist” on it and you’d be one of the only dentists in town. Locals would stroll through your doors when they needed to get treatment because you were the closest and most convenient clinician around.
Unfortunately, it’s not so simple to get patients to come to your practice anymore. Competition is bigger than ever, and patients have access to more information than before. That means we have to adopt a different mindset when attracting new patients as well as to retain existing patients. When we do, we can attract the patients we want to grow our practice and then retain those patients for the long term. Even better, we can get those patients to sing our praises online and tell their family and friends about us, making our marketing efforts even easier.
Here are two ways to attract and retain patients no matter how competitive a market you practice in.
Make all patients feel like VIPs.
When a patient comes in for treatment, they aren’t too concerned about your clinical skills. They have already concluded that you know how to treat them. In fact, most assume you do because of your training. Thus, while it’s obviously important that you do an amazing job, quality clinical care isn’t a selling point. Making all patients feel like VIPs is a selling point. Treating all patients like VIPs creates loyalty with current and new patients and gives you great content to use in your marketing campaigns.
Does your team make patients feel like VIPs when they come in? How were they greeted by the front desk? How were they treated by the dental assistant when they were handed off? And how did the dentist present a treatment plan to them?
What’s your office environment like? Patients care a lot about how the environment made them feel. A comfortable waiting room with access to magazines that interest them and coffee they like turns what most people expect to be a boring experience into a relaxing one. Having iPads with music people can enjoy in the OP as they receive their treatment can make a stressful experience more pleasant. The list goes on.
Too many practices overlook the experiences they provide to patients but just a few small tweaks can often help attract and retain more patients, especially in a competitive environment.
Create a WOW online presence and get patients to share their experiences online.
In this day and age, everything is on the internet, and online reviews are becoming more and more important. There are sites like Yelp and Google where you’ll be graded on a scale of 1-5 stars and people will talk about their good, bad, or ugly experience at your practice.
If you don’t match your online presence to the in-office experience you provide, you could lose a lot of potential patients. When patients see your marketing, they will often visit your website. Does it demonstrate the look and feel you want to convey in the market? Make sure your online presence matches your dental brand. If you need help, here are seven ways to supercharge your practice website.
Also, you can be sure that many new patients have analyzed your online reviews before they came into your practice for treatment. If another practice has a 5-star rating with great online reviews and you have a 3-star rating with only a few mediocre online reviews, who do you think they’ll go to for their treatment?
It can be a struggle to get patients to leave online reviews sometimes. But if you work hard to deliver an experience that WOWs them, make sure you encourage them to share their experience online. Here’s a simple two-step process to get patients to leave positive online reviews for your practice.
Are you attracting a regular stream of loyal patients?
Do you consistently have trouble getting patients to come in and then stay loyal customers? Getting in your patients’ mindset to make them feel like VIPs and get patients talking about their positive experience with you can help you attract and retain patients in even the most competitive markets.
If you want even more help growing and marketing your practice, sign up for the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can find more training and coaching on all aspects of running and growing a high-profit dental practice.