The key to running a successful dental practice involves a number of strategies, among them retaining your existing base of patients to ensure a promising future. However, this is never easy because studies have shown that it costs up to 6 times more to get new patients compared to retaining existing patients. Keeping loyal patients is also important because many of them are unlikely to switch to another provider. In fact a large majority will return back and tell friends and family about your practice. Below are 5 strategies that can help your dental practice retain patient’s:
1. Every encounter is important: Every encounter at the dental clinic is crucial in developing a lasting relationship between the service provider and patient. You can make all your encounters count by sharpening your communication skills and being skilled at what you do. Communication includes taking advantage of the social media to communicate with your patient’s.
2. Cultivate loyalty: Patient loyalty is highly critical, if you want to maintain a vibrant dental practice. Because loyal patients are more likely to respond quickly to reminders such as check-ups, teeth cleaning and other services. Loyalty involves a number of issues, including building positive feelings and creating a mutual connection between the dental staff and patients.
3. Treat patients with respect: a dental practice that wants to retain patients must cultivate a culture of respect by ensuring visitors, patients and their family members do not feel like they are interrupting operations in a busy dental office.
4. Pay close attention to your patient’s needs and concerns: successful dental practice should always pay attention to patient needs by listening to their concerns and offering practical solutions where possible, even if the issue at hand is trivial or less important.
5. Act proactively at your patients behest: It is very important to anticipate that problems and obstacles may arise at one time or the other and avoid the habit of constantly reacting to situations. Understanding this crucial fact will help you make a proactive move that will help you retain patients and cement trust. For example, if a group of patients from a particular company have an insurance that is about to change. It is important to act proactively, because failure on your part can impact your patient retention strategy.
Marketing Your Dental Practice
The whole strategy of retaining patients in a dental practice goes hand-in-hand with the marketing strategies. Some of the strategies that can help overturn a patient slump and turn it into growth over a short span of time include; ensuring patient convenience and training the front desk. To prioritize the needs of your patient to ensure treatment convenience, make sure your appointments do not greatly interfere with your patients jobs. Some of the best times to consider under such circumstances include weekends, early morning and after work hours. Lastly, first impressions can make or break a practice. For this reason, it is important to train the team at your front desk team on issues like telephone etiquette.
Contributed by Kelly Schwartz of Schwartz Consulting Group. Kelly Schwartz helps dentists across the country improve patient retention, front desk processes, and reduce expenses.