Ways To Strengthen Brand & Reputation
As I begin to craft this article about brand and reputation and how important these elements are to a highly successful dental practice, I can’t help but consider the 30 years we have been in business at Patient NEWS® and what it’s taken to develop our brand and reputation. Many small steps and big commitments have gone into it all. We’ve learned a lot.
A positive reputation is possibly the number one key to being a successful dental office, and there are many simple ways marketing can help enhance and strengthen a brand to improve patient confidence and increase practice production. Simple things that you might not even consider when thinking about how to market your practice to enhance your brand reputation.
Why not schedule a free consultation with the dental experts at Patient NEWS today to request a complimentary brochure package and find out how you can leverage our 30 years of exclusively dental experience to augment your community reputation and attract more quality new patients?
Building a brand and reputation does circle back to the company vision. Have you established your vision, core purpose, and core values, and do they guide business decision-making?
Our purpose (to help dental offices stand out and grow) and our values (innovation and product quality, service with honesty and integrity, and corporate culture) certainly guide our decisions. That can include all sorts of decisions, including who our clients are, how to market, the presentation of our materials, the quality of all aspects of our products and services, which organizations we partner with, the team members we hire and retain, our work environment, our team reward programs, how we take care of clients, and how we react when things don’t go exactly as planned. These values are so ingrained that our team members ask each other: Does that make sense and line up with innovation? Does that answer align with service with honesty and integrity? These questions help us ensure that we’re following the right path. Ben Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one to lose it.” Funny how these quotes from many moons ago hold relevance today.
Having earned a great reputation over the past 30 years is something we really value. It means a lot. We are proud of our status as one of North America’s best dental marketing agencies. I know that clients, past and present, dental consultants, DSO managers, and industry partners will all say we’re “great” to work with. Heck ya! We are pretty fun while still taking our work very seriously. Our leaders, Wayne Lavery and Karen Galley, are awesome and have set the stage for the culture and top-shelf products and services we provide. But achieving a great reputation doesn’t come from wanting one. It comes from living your vision, purpose, and values. It means you’ve set and are delivering the right expectations for the product/service offering and the client experience.
We’ve always said that repetition builds recognition (which is why Doritos and Dunkin’ Donuts don’t stop advertising), but Elizabeth Arden famously said, “Repetition makes reputation, and reputation makes customers.”
Here are a few things your dental office can do to repeat, enhance, and build your reputation.
- Be there in a quality way.
There’s no doubt that successful dental practices need a steady flow of new patients to increase production. More new patients mean more treatment, more referrals, more reviews – more revenue – which results in a healthy, thriving practice. As Arden said, recognition builds reputation, so you want to “be in homes” on a monthly basis with your name visible to your target market. We make that easy.
The reason why Patient NEWS clients are significantly ahead of industry average production (25% ahead) is because they work to attract new patients using our best-in-class websites and our high-quality educational newsletter, which is mailed monthly to targeted homes. Repetition builds … reputation! But more than that, digital printing on bright white, 80 lb paper (something you might not even consider that makes a huge difference) with consistently great educational content that’s branded and customized to the buyer demographic – with variable data and all the latest direct mail elements – make these dental practices stand out in their local community. This makes it the most impactful type of marketing on a deep-seated neurological level.
High-quality newsletters build recognition and reputation and significantly impact consumers’ perceptions (for both existing and prospective patients) who live in the practice neighborhood draw area. They also affect how consumers innately feel about the service the practice will provide. Consider that most people perceive that all dentists offer basically the same thing. This is one of the biggest pet peeves in the industry, so when your practice can stand out and be distinctive, more consumers will choose you. According to Business Chief, over 70% will pay more for a brand they like and trust. FYI: Our newsletter format is THE MOST TRUSTED AD FORMAT across all mediums.
- When your practice reaches out to households by offering dental/health/wellness education month after month (and not just the $29 cleaning on a postcard that goes into the pizza coupon pile or a $99 cleaning ad on Google), consumer perception is significantly enhanced. Dental consumers want good information to make good decisions, so a reputation for quality and caring dentistry is emphasized. In turn, the consistency of quality and visibility proactively creates a practice brand that patients care about, making the practice their top choice for dental services.
- Make the experience good for your patients and team.
- Brand and reputation will change how people perceive your practice. Do your patients expect anything extra beyond the transaction in the office? Does your team think it’s great to work with you? Do you recognize top performers, even if they’ve worked with you forever, and you feel they should “just know” you appreciate them? What about top-value patients and those who review and refer? Consider the concept of surprise and delight. What if “your peeps” received tangible recognition for being part of your practice? (If you’re marketing with us, do you like your socks?! Our Practice Performance newsletter package is en route to your office now as well.) What simple things can you do for your patients? A holiday gift (that’s more than a card – no one really likes generic cards signed with scribble scratches we can’t read), something special with an elective service, or a quarterly patient newsletter? It should be tangible, not transactional, and it should be part of and reflect your brand and the reputation you want to strengthen.
- Doesn’t providing patients and team members with a good experience sound like a no-brainer? It’s not. It’s hard. It takes commitment and dedication (with reminders) to make sure that everyone will feel good about their decision to choose your practice, that they are listened to, and that they feel valued and will WANT to spend their time and money at your practice. That everyone walks the walk! Great teeth, great smiles, and great welcomes.
- Convenience is extremely important. This includes ease of booking, speed to secure an appointment that suits, easy physical access to the location, fast help during web chats or phone calls, convenient payment methods, membership plans, insurance processing, reminders, confirmations, and education about options (patient newsletters). You want to make it easy for patients to do what you want, whether that is accepting treatment, referring family, or posting a Google review. Our Review Booster® platform is da bomb – “the” best for dental offices.
- When patients post a review, thank them. People are happy to post one when asked, and new patients really check these things out. Show that the experience they’ll have at your practice will be what they want via your reviews, and that element of reputation building will attract a lot more new patients. And guess what? Prospective staff will also check out your reputation online before choosing to work with you. Google reviews affect both new patients and hiring effectiveness.
- Take a second look when you walk around your practice. How is your curb appeal? Good signage? Clean entry? Does it need a new coat of paint or a bigger refresh? Are the chairs and fixtures spotless? Is the office technology up to date? Uniforms consistent, branded, and crisp? Is everything as pristine and modern as it can be? Do you have nice amenities? Does it smell good?! These can be simple touches that will make a world of difference to the patient, your team, and their overall experience.
And social media? It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page and have a company post generic posts for you. We do that part so there is a steady stream of quality posts to support your online presence, but making your social pages engaging and entertaining (which is what social is for) requires 100% personal effort. You’ll enhance everyone’s experience of your practice. Of course, we get that this isn’t always easy – not everyone is another Dr. Ben Winters, TikTok’s The Bentist with over 13 million followers, which is more than Rhianna, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, or Kane Brown! We manage Dr. Winters’ website, so we’re pretty into him, his team, and the spectacular practice they have. So, what can you do if you’re not a social media player? Someone at your practice will be! Assign a team lead – ideally, someone who would love the role of taking pics and videos (while adhering to brand guidelines) and HAVE FUN while showing the personality of your practice. This makes the world of difference on social.
- Prioritize customer service and patient satisfaction. After listening to thousands of dental patient calls, we’ve overheard some awful phone experiences with potential patients who then choose not to schedule an appointment. That’s just a shame after investing in quality marketing to attract new patients to your office, and there’s no need for it. We provide best-in-class new-patient call training to help convert calls, and it boils down to having the right people with the right toolkit to answer questions and overcome objections quickly and efficiently while providing a very engaged and enthusiastic welcome to the practice. The people who answer the phone at your dental practice are critical to your success. It’s one of the most important jobs and is often underestimated. Consider that a great new-patient experience on the phone not only leads to more production coming into your practice but also to more positive community awareness and reputation building. Commit to team training to ensure a fabulous onboarding experience for new patients.
At the end of the day, as reported in Harvard Business Review, businesses “with strong, positive reputations attract better people.” Patients that perceive a better connection and a higher-value experience will spend more and be more loyal.
We love supporting your positive – branded - reputation through our high-quality services and solutions:
- Strong online presence (our websites are the fastest in dentistry with a modern user experience)
- Top-quality, targeted, and branded direct mail campaigns featuring customized newsletters that are 283% larger than a jumbo postcard and are mailed flat, making them more visible, generating a 170% higher response
- Best-in-class automated communications, like Review Booster, to increase your positive reviews
- Supporting you and your team with call tracking, live scoring, and team training
- Providing clear visibility to results via Practice ZEBRA®, our marketing software for dentists
And, of course, our dedicated, experienced team of dental marketers who care about your success.
Our client production is 25% ahead of industry average. Book a FREE CONSULATION today.