For a dental practice, being able to count on a set of loyal patients who regularly visit or who would recommend the practice to their friends and family is an integral aspect of a successful patient retention strategy. For the practice's bottom line, retaining existing patients is substantially less expensive than having to put in the effort to acquire new ones. However, retaining old patients and relying on their loyalty requires more than just offering passable service and convenience of location and hours. In fact, according to Ologie, patients usually choose their dentists, doctors and other healthcare professionals for deeply personal and emotional reasons instead of rational ones. One of the biggest emotional factors that can sway a patient toward your practice is by earning his or her trust. Keeping this in mind throughout your dental practice marketing campaign can pay significant dividends for your practice. Here are some tips on how to earn a patient's trust.
Truth above all
According to The Takeaway, 30 percent of patients will lie to their healthcare professionals about their health habits, while 40 percent fudge the truth when it comes to how strictly they follow medical advice and orders. As a dentist, you want to ensure that this does not happen, so set the tone by always being absolutely truthful about everything. Don't sugarcoat any information that you have to share with the patient, be it about his or her dental habits, the state of the industry or even a personal story. Leading off by opening up with a personal story disarms the patient and lets him or her eye you with less suspicion, ultimately setting the foundation for a trustworthy relationship.
Strengthen their trust for you and your team by sharing personal news and events in your quarterly patient newsletter. Be real and include images of the dentist with his or her family having fun. Share staff events and community involvement.
Address concerns before patients have a chance to be concerned
Patients typically put off potentially uncomfortable visits to the dentist for as long as they can, as a subconscious fear factor can kick in. Ologie notes that the power of the fear factor can be very real, as can the ability of a dental practice to alleviate those fears. Along with assuring the patient that visiting the dentist is an important task that needs to be accomplished regularly, address the concerns of existing patients should they arise. Alerting a patient that you have spotted a potential dental problem that might crop up in the patient's near future creates a sense of authority, proactiveness and trust.
Your newsletter can also start the process of understanding for patients. By educating them in their homes, they will arrive at the practice with questions and ready to take the next step towards case acceptance. Focus the content of your patient newsletters on the topics that are most prevelant with your patients, and those services that you'd like to practice more of.
Your Account Manager can help with content ideas and suggestions.