Timeless Tips For Practice Growth
An inside scoop from your dental marketing company
By Joanne Bishop | September 20, 2017
According to a recent study, dentists are at a higher-than-ever risk of losing patients. Quality patients that could refer. The patients leaving your practice in the coming years could be DOUBLE the expected average of 15-20% that defect each year due to general reasons like job shifts, moves, and death.
1. What would happen to your practice if you lost 40% of your patient base next year? Within the next two years?
2. Are you prepared to combat regular attrition (let alone this additional defection) AND ramp up growth?
3. Is your practice positioned for growth right now?
4. Are you already facing more competition? Are active patients lapsing?
5. Is your team engaged and ready to help?
As a premiere dental marketing company, we’ve been tackling patient attrition for years. 25 years. All you must do is generate more new patients than you lose and lose as few existing patients as possible. No prob right?!
The process you’ve had in place for your practice just might not be enough anymore.
The fact is, the process you’ve had in place for your practice just might not be enough anymore. Things continually change and you and your team must be prepared to stay ahead of the curve. There are five key areas for focus that will ensure your dental office thrives.
Invest in your practice – don’t make marketing an afterthought
Many dentists have relied on a small marketing budget to sustain practice revenues, but in today’s competitive market, where patients are a little more savvy and a lot more demanding, many offices are finding that they are unable to attract the number of new patients they require each month to really increase revenue.
Invest in good people – those interacting with patients can make or break a practice
Don’t underestimate the value of the reception position – this role can significantly increase practice revenue. Effectively equipping your front desk team with the training, tools, and rewards necessary to keep them motivated to convert more new patients into your practice will definitely impact your revenue – positively.
Invest in customer service training – for team AND doctor
There is nothing worse than a doctor who doesn’t have a good communication style. Tone, inflection, and enthusiasm will impact patient satisfaction – from the first phone call to your front desk team, to the last in-office visit. Build patient and team trust by walking the walk.
Invest in patients-of-record – internal marketing – retention & referrals
The number-one reason that patients defect is perceived indifference. Dental consumers have so much choice, so make your patients feel appreciated and cared for. And, according to a recent study, one in five baby boomers is likely to switch providers in the next few years. Strengthen your patient relationships while you have them – in and out of the office. A patient newsletter mailed to homes every other month goes a long way.
Invest in new-patient recruitment – growth funds improvement, expansion, and better services
It’s quick and easy to run a growth trajectory model that shows what your practice revenues – and profits – will look like 3 years from today if you do “same old same old” or if you invest in practice marketing. There are two key points to remember when considering marketing investment:
A: If you have capacity to accept more new patients without adding space or staff, then every new patient dollar spent basically goes to the bottom line (except for the minor amount used for consumables).
B: Dentistry is a recurring revenue model. Never focus on the $99 new-patient special that the patient took. Focus on the fact that if they LOVE your practice and the awesome caring customer service you offer, that patient represents $5,000 over their lifetime with you, BEFORE they refer friends and family.
What’s all this invest, invest, invest? Sounds like a lot of money. Money well spent. Money invested in the future growth and security of your practice, your staff, and your patients. It’s time to get fully committed to your expectations. Committed to strategy and growth. This may require hard decisions, but the reward is significant.
Talk to your Account Manager about your current marketing strategy and what your growth model looks like. They can show you statistically where you can expect your practice revenues – and profits – to be within five years based on your metrics. As always, you have unlimited free support from your Account Manager, so reach out to them today. Here’s to the dental practice that wants to STAND OUT and grow!