Why engaged patients are a most-valuable asset to dental practice marketing
Engaged patients are active participants in their home oral healthcare routines. They attend regular recare appointments and accept your team’s treatment and homecare recommendations. They are your ideal patients and they are your best resource for more patients just like them – engaged patients refer more than 50% of your new patients. They are your practice ambassadors and happily visit your team and accept your expertise for themselves and their loved ones. They also make it easier for your team to do their work and stay on schedule.
How to ramp up patient engagement and loyalty
What do you do if your patients aren’t engaged with your dental practice? And how do you leverage patient relationships to take your practice to the next level and maximize your revenue?
Build Relationships. Get Results. It’s been Patient News’ tag line for almost 25 years. It’s what we do every day ... and it’s what you need to do every day too!
Establishing and building relationships is a critical part of what you and your team do during each patient appointment. As a result, your actively engaged patients-of-record have chosen to become a part of your dental practice because of the solid bond they’ve formed with your team and the services you deliver.
How do you ensure the relationship in between appointments?
- Continue the care and support with repeated meaningful contact and excellent customer service
- Anticipate patients’ needs and provide solutions
- Communicate these solutions regularly.
Now escalate and maintain patient loyalty and engagement, as well as patients’ perception of you and your team…
Focus on these 3 areas to increase patient engagement:
1. Service Options & Procedures – It’s imperative that your patients know what services you offer and that they feel confident in those services. How do you achieve and support your reputation as the expert? How do you become the go-to dentist in your neighborhood?
2. Responsiveness – Ensure that patients know you’ll be there when they need you. You may be the most accommodating dentist out there. You might even provide 24/7 emergency service. Are you confident that, whatever you offer, 100% of your patients know it and will call you when they’re in need?
3. Fear Reduction – Knowledge about their oral condition and understanding treatment will go a long way in reducing most patients’ treatment apprehension. Sedation, compassion, and a friendly approach will help dissipate fear effectively. But if patients avoid you, how can you reassure them? How can you get them into your office efficiently, easily, and expertly?
Find out how to kill three birds with one stone
Well, that’s a little twist on a 17th century idiom … but it’s exactly what you can do because you don’t have the time to see every patient every time they’re in the office.
You certainly don’t have time to pick up the phone and speak to each patient on a personal level between dental visits or to provide them with all the information you’d like them to have about how your practice can help them. When your time and energy is limited and finite, you can keep these 3 critical elements of patient engagement – responsiveness, service options, and fear reduction – in the forefront of your dental practice marketing strategies all the time!
Your hygiene revenue, elective services, and referrals all suffer when you have patients-of-record are not…
- attending their regular recall appointments
- completing treatment plans
- engaging as they could be.
Most people don’t value dental care as much as they should and it’s very easy for people to avoid dental visits altogether (67% of Americans don’t visit the dentist every year) – even when they are completely happy with the care you and your team provide. It’s a challenge!
When there is so much relationship-building information that you must communicate to your patients to ensure they continue to choose your practice over the one down the street – one that may be offering a more competitive offer – how do you do it?