As a dental practice seeking growth, finding effective ways to increase patient volume is crucial. From optimizing the way you handle appointments to enhancing the overall patient experience within your practice, each aspect plays a significant role in attracting and retaining patients.
It’s about creating a place where patient care is above all else, backed by efficient operations and tactical strategies. Get ready to dive into the world of successful dental practice management.
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14 Ways to Increase Patent Volume in a Dental Office
Let’s explore 14 innovative ideas to transform your dental office into a bustling hub that not only appeals to your target patients but also maximizes patient retention.
Unleash the Power of Patient Referrals
A key to the successful growth of any dental practice is building a strong, loyal patient base. Often, this begins with the patients who are already satisfied with the services offered. Happy patients can serve as the best marketing tool for your practice, especially with the right incentives.
To encourage patients to refer others, you can create a referral program. Such a program can be a rewarding system that inspires your current patients to act as ambassadors of your service to their friends and family. Offering incentives, such as discounts on future treatments or dental products, can fuel this word-of-mouth marketing.
How to implement a referral program?
Implement a system with “refer a friend and get 20% off your next visit.” Promote this program through in-office materials, your website, and social media platforms to maximize its reach.
Be There for Your Patients When They Need You
Patients value prompt assistance and the ability to schedule appointments effortlessly. Yet, statistics reveal an alarming reality – up to 30% of calls to dental practices go unanswered. This leads to potential financial losses and, more critically, can negatively impact patient satisfaction.
A missed call can equate to a missed opportunity for patient connection, potential treatment, or even long-term patient loyalty. Furthermore, the repercussions of such missed calls extend beyond just the direct revenue loss. It also includes the possible loss of referrals that a satisfied patient could bring.
How to ensure a prompt response to every call?
Use a dental office answering service that ensures no call or opportunity goes unanswered. Such services are staffed by trained professionals who handle calls, schedule and manage appointments, and address patient concerns in a timely and courteous manner. This is particularly important during peak hours, breaks, after-office hours, and holidays when most in-house staff are unavailable.
For more information, contact PatientCalls.
Offer Online Appointment Scheduling
In the digital age, most people prefer – and often expect – to do things online, including booking dental appointments. Providing an online appointment scheduling system can offer more convenience for patients, representing a significant step towards patient-focused service. By offering online bookings, your practice can cater to patients’ needs anytime, anywhere, appealing especially to the tech-savvy and younger demographics.
How to implement online dental appointment scheduling?
Integrate an online booking system on your website and social media pages to make it accessible round-the-clock. Moreover, ensuring the online scheduling process is straightforward and user-friendly is essential. The system should give patients an overview of available slots, allow for easy selection of preferred dates and times, and offer a clear confirmation of their booking.
Organize Community Health Events
Engaging with your community can hit that sweet spot between community service and business growth. It fosters goodwill among the community members and provides an invaluable opportunity to create awareness about your dental practice – a win-win situation! A local approach can be a critical strategic move for attracting new patients.
How to create community engagement?
- Organize free dental health camps at community centers or local parks. These camps can offer essential dental check-ups and consultations, serving as a direct way of showcasing your services to potential patients.
- Conduct oral hygiene workshops at local schools.
- Sponsor local events, such as neighborhood festivals, youth sports, or charitable events.
- Make sure to capture these engagement events through pictures and videos (with necessary permissions, of course), which can be shared on your website and social media platforms.
Encourage Feedback and Reviews
Positive reviews and feedback are powerful testimonials that can lend credibility and enhance your dental practice’s reputation. In fact, in the internet and social media age, online reviews often act as the first point of reference for potential patients researching dental offices. A solid online presence backed by positive reviews can make your dental practice stand out among competitors and attract new patients.
How to collect positive reviews?
- Encourage satisfied patients to share their experiences online. When asked directly, you might be surprised at how willing patients are to write a review. The best time to request a review can often be right after a patient’s appointment when their experience is still fresh in their mind. Train your staff to ask for reviews in a courteous and unimposing manner.
- Consider automating this process by incorporating review requests into your patient follow-up procedure. For instance, an automated email could be sent after a patient’s visit, thanking them for choosing your practice and inviting them to share their experience on online review sites such as Google and Yelp. A direct link to the review page can be included in the email to make the process as hassle-free as possible for the patient.
Offer Flexible Payment Options
In an ideal world, healthcare decisions, including dental, would not be influenced by financial constraints. However, the reality is that the cost of dental care can often be a deterrent for many patients. To overcome this hurdle and make your services more accessible, offering various payment options is a strategic move.
Multiple payment options or dental discount plans can increase the likelihood of patients choosing your practice for treatments they may have considered too expensive. This approach can attract a broader patient base and make your practice an empathetic and affordable choice.
How to offer flexible payment?
- Introduce a monthly installment payment system can be a significant first step towards flexible payment options. By breaking down the cost of a high-priced procedure into affordable monthly payments, patients can more comfortably commit to necessary treatments without financial stress.
- Reach out to various finance companies who specialize in healthcare installment plans. Many companies provide convenient, no-interest installment plans that patients can apply for directly through the financier’s website, seamlessly integrating your billing process.
- For uninsured or underinsured patients, consider creating in-house discount plans. Such plans can offer discounts on various procedures for an annual membership fee.
Invest in Excellent Patient Experience
In the race to stand out in the competitive world of dental practice, one factor can tilt the scales heavily in your favor: the patient experience. Striving to provide a remarkable patient experience is more than just a nicety – it’s a necessity. Always strive to provide excellent customer service. A warm and welcoming environment, minimum wait times, and personalized care can turn a one-time patient into a permanent one.
How to invest in enhancing the patient experience?
Implement a post-visit follow-up protocol. After a procedure, direct your team to call the patient for a quick check-in. This simple gesture signifies that your dental practice genuinely cares about patient’s well-being and doesn’t view them as just another transaction.
These follow-up calls offer an excellent opportunity to check on the patient’s recovery and address any concerns or questions they may have post-treatment. Moreover, it shows that you value their decision of choosing your practice, which goes a long way in building a trusting relationship.
Diversify Your Services
Regarding dental care, each patient’s needs and concerns are unique, possibly spanning different dental specialties. By diversifying your service offerings, you can ensure your dental practice caters to a wider variety of these needs. Offering a broader range of services attracts a wider audience and provides your existing patients with comprehensive, one-stop dental care. This can increase patient loyalty as they appreciate the convenience of addressing all their dental needs in one place.
How to diversify dental services effectively?
Assess the demands and needs of your patient base alongside the capabilities and interests of your team. Cosmetic dentistry can be an attractive service for many patients, be it teeth whitening, veneers, or a complete smile makeover.
Offer Attractive Discounts for New Patients
Offering special incentives such as discounts or deals for first-time patients can be just the lure potential clients are looking for when choosing a dental service. It allows them to try out your services at a lower cost, increasing the likelihood of their first visit.
How to implement discount strategy?
Offer a “10% off on first visit” deal to encourage potential patients to choose them over other practices. Remember to keep the process of claiming the discount as simple as possible. The easier it is for a patient to claim the deal, the less likely they are to change their mind about visiting your practice.
Boost Your Online Visibility
While your physical clinic may have a location, your online presence is where patients find you first. Enhancing your virtual storefront – your website, and setting up a Google My Business account are steps to ensure your dental practice is readily seen and found. An eye-catching, easy-to-navigate website filled with helpful information is a must.
How to boost your online presence?
- Create informative and engaging content about dental health on your website.
- Set up a Google My Business (GMB) account and stay active by responding to reviews, updating opening hours, and posting regular updates or offers.
Share Your Expertise – Start A Blog
Today’s patients aren’t merely looking for a service; they’re seeking a trustworthy health partner. Content is King, especially when it’s dental health content that can benefit your patients. By establishing an informative blog, your dental practice becomes more than a service – it becomes a reliable source of information.
How to get started with blogging?
Create blog posts on topics like “How to maintain your oral hygiene?” or “The benefits of regular dental check-ups,” incorporating SEO-friendly keywords to reach a wider audience.
Maintain an Active Social Media Presence
A strong social media presence can improve your outreach and patient engagement. Regular, engaging posts on various platforms not only boost your visibility but also give your audience a sneak peek into your practice.
How to maximize social media presence?
- Create educational posts by explaining common dental issues and their prevention, or simply busting popular myths about dental health can provide valuable content to your followers.
- Share before-and-after treatment images (with patient consent).
- Showcase team and office photos on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
What’s the secret sauce for a successful dental practice? Keep an eye on your competitors by observing and analyzing what other dental practices are doing. Analyze their successful dental marketing strategies and determine how you can adapt or improve upon them.
Remember, the goal isn’t to replicate the competitors’ strategies but to learn from them – to adapt what works, avoid what doesn’t, and keep innovating for your unique practice.
How to effectively monitor competitors?
- Regularly monitor competitors’ prices, service offerings, and patient reviews to keep pace with changes and trends in the dental industry.
- Look at their marketing strategies – what platforms are they using for advertising? What type of content are they posting? How frequently?
- Consider subscribing to competitors’ newsletters, following them on social media, or even being a ‘secret shopper’ to understand their customer service and patient experience firsthand.
Decrease Staffing Challenges & Increase Patient Satisfaction
Is finding qualified receptionists an uphill task? Solve this challenge with PatientCalls and witness your practice evolve and grow.
PatientCalls ensures an enhanced patient experience for both new and current patients. Furthermore, the 24/7 availability of our service ensures convenience for patients who prefer to call after-hours.
At the same time, working with PatientCalls helps dental practices manage their staffing in a more economically efficient manner. Finding and retaining qualified receptionists can be challenging and costly, but with our dedicated healthcare answering service, this burden is lifted off your shoulders.
Whether you have staff working from home or are trying to streamline office hours, PatientCalls provides a reliable lifeline, keeping your practice efficiently connected to your patients, no matter where you are or what time it is. With us, you’ll never miss a call – or an opportunity to grow your dental practice.