It takes hard work, business acumen and patience to build a successful dental practice. Here are five tips on how to run a more successful dental practice to get you started.
Great First Impressions and Customer Service
According to research, it takes only three to five seconds to make a first impression. Unfortunately, first impressions can make or break your dental practice. For this reason, you should ensure your staff, particularly your front desk team, always creates a great first impression with your patients. In particular, your team must possess the necessary communication skills, attitude and professionalism to leave a lasting positive impression on your patients. This means you should train all your staff accordingly. For instance, to ensure your front desk team has the necessarily skills to provide excellent customer service, enroll the team in a quality front desk training program. In addition to flawless customer service, you are your reception/waiting area should be spacious, clean, uncluttered, comfortable and welcoming to approach.
Invest in a Good Medical Appointment Scheduling System
Online medical appointment scheduling services such as Zocdoc and Demandforce are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry. In fact, according to Accenture, a management consulting firm, nearly 70% of patients will book their medical appointments using digital tools by the end of 2019. What’s more, nearly 40% of appointments will be self-scheduled. These systems typically come with myriad features that can improve the efficiency and productivity of your dental practice. Examples of such features include charting, scheduling, charting, note taking, automatic billing and treatment planning features. These features would allow you to streamline your processes, allowing your staff to dedicate more time to patients. Some of the benefits associated with these systems include optimal patient flow, increased flexibility and productivity, as can also help reduce the stress levels of your employees.
Get More Dental Referrals
Referral marketing is one of the best ways of attracting new customers and generating new business. In fact, a recent survey from Harris Poll found that more than 90% of adult consumers in America aged 18 to 34 seek recommendations from family and friends before purchasing any product or service. Additionally, according to Nielsen’s 2015 annual “Trust in Advertising” survey, more than 80% of American consumers completely or somewhat trust the recommendations for family and friends, whereas 65% trust online reviews. Meanwhile, a 2015 survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that referral marketing attracts 65% more new patients.
Based on these studies, dental referrals can help you bring in new patients and more importantly, grow your practice. Fortunately, you can use tried and tested strategies to achieve this goal. One of the easiest and most effective strategies is to ask for referrals from your existing satisfied patients. In other words, you should encourage your loyal patients to tell others, including their friends and family, about your cosmetic dentistry services. To be proactive in asking for dental referrals, you can tuck cards into your dental practice mailings, ask patients to review your practice on credible review sites and social media platforms, hand out referral cards or offer special promotions such as free dental exams. Other effective strategies that you can use to generate more dental referrals include building partnerships with other medical experts, hosting dental events and joining your local business community.
Expand your Service Offerings
According to a 2015 survey by the American Dental Association, general dentists don’t have enough to do. For this reason, general dentists are increasingly offering a wide range of specialty services such as periodontal surgery, cosmetic dentistry and placing dental implants. This means that, as a general dentist, you, too, should expand your service offerings.
Flexible Financial Options
To build a successful dental practice, you have to offer your customers a wide range of payments options including insurance coverage, cash, debit and credit card options. Beyond that, you can offer your patients special financing options to ensure their current financial situations don’t interfere with their dental care decisions.
Use the tips above to build a more successful dental practice.