People, time & effort – not only money – can increase ROI
When we hear the word investment, we typically think of the stock market or real estate, but there’s one investment that produces a much higher ROI and that’s investment in your dental practice.
1. Practice Marketing
Driving a strong flow of new patients will yield significant ROI over the next five years.
On average, the value of a new dental patient to our clients is close to $2,000 in year one. When you combine that with the $1,000 average annual value that the same patient will spend for next 5-10 years, the math is clear. One new patient can drive upwards of $10,000 to the practice – before they bring in family and friends.
Investing in practice marketing has to have a primary focus of increasing new patients. When you increase your monthly new-patient count – even by just a dozen – you’ll gain a lot of dough ray me!
Invest in a proactive dental marketing plan and remain consistent to drive the new-patient flow that will drive long-term practice success.
The dental office that is most primed for ongoing success will have 30% new-patient representation in their active patients count (over the last 365 days).
2. Telephone Training
Increase new patients, build a winning culture, and stand out from your competition by investing in your front-line team.
No matter how fantastic your dental marketing strategy is, if you don’t view new-patient calls as a priority, you will just continue to spin your wheels. Without investment in this critical area, dentists lose out on new patients that could have easily been converted to the practice.
New-patient calls can’t go to voicemail. Don’t put your phone on “nightline” for a single lunch period and don’t do it to turn over operatories. Don’t be afraid to ask your team to handle calls during non-office hours for a spif. Dental office telephone calls should be manned at all prime new-patient calling times.
Telephone training is an investment in time (and a shift in attitude) more than anything, and when combined with a commitment from your team and a commitment from you to support them, your investment will pay off with solid ROI.
3. Patient Attrition
It’s common knowledge that most dental offices will lose 15% of their patient base each year to naturally occurring reasons (deaths and moves), but the surprising stat we’re finding is that most dentists are losing more patients than they have to simply because patients are lapsing and are not attached to the practice with any “next scheduled” appointment.
This causes perceived indifference by patients, and it is hurting you financially. Investing in a loyalty and communication strategy as part of your overall dental marketing plan to keep patients attached to your business is smart business practice.
Right now, do you know how many of your active patients (those that spent any money at your practice in the last 24 months) have a next-scheduled event? The results may astound you. You need to find out, and then act on getting those patients back in.
4. Practice Appearance
Take a fresh look at your office space. We get so used to walking by that pile of stuff, it becomes white noise to us but patients notice.
Today when you walk in to your office – pay attention. Is your entry and main office clear of dead or dying plants, no sand or single sad sock in the corner, no scuffs in the paint or rips in the furniture? I was totally grossed out at a derm appointment where they wanted me to remove my shoes and put on sockettes – but they weren’t new. They had been used by other stinky old feet. Gross. Get rid of tattered books, magazines, and old binders. Take down out-of-date posters and items that “landed” in reception that shouldn’t be there!
Make sure your practice looks like the brand you’re presenting to the community or patients might not come back.