Just like a plant needs water and sunshine to live, a dental practice requires consistent care and attention to detail for it to be a successful business. All dental practices strive for growth and patient satisfaction for the years to come. The key to a successful practice is not only to attract new customers to your business, but to also retain your loyal patients. Small businesses are supported by their community, so it is essential that you foster long lasting relationships with the patients who make the choice to return to your office again and again. Unified Smiles want to offer our years of experience as dental practice consultants to help guide independent dentists in building a successful and profitable business. Check out the following tips from your dental practice consultants on how you can help grow your dental practice.
Make Simple Office Improvements
The most important factor in having a successful dental practice is to practice proper hygiene. While that sounds like common sense, it is a factor that can easily start to slip through the cracks over the years. Not only do you actually need to meet hygiene standards, you need to show your patients that you are going above and beyond to provide them with safe and sanitary care. Hygiene is not only for health purposes, but it is also a form of communication. Go above and beyond to show your patients how intentional you are with providing them with sanitary equipment and treatment.
Your dental practice consultants at Unified Smiles recommend viewing your office as if you were a brand-new patient visiting for the first time. Look at the waiting area, consider what messaging it conveys. Sit in the patient chair and take a look at the ceiling. When was the last time you dusted the cobwebs off the lightbulbs? Are the white walls giving the impression of comfort or are they looking a little yellow since you painted them ten years ago? Is your technology up to date and does it look clean? Detail your facilities to check for areas where you can improve. The current state of your office sends a message to new patients, so be sure you are saying that you are a clean and welcoming environment who they can trust with their dental care.
Make it Personal
Another factor in the growth of your business is retaining patients. One of the best ways to ensure that your patients return in six months is to schedule them when they are checking out. However, there are even more effective ways to ensure that your patients come back for their next visit. Updating your technology can help remind patients that they either need to schedule their next appointment or that they have an appointment they may have forgotten about. Setting up an email, text, or voicemail system can help you retain patients who may not consider their dental health as one of their top priorities. Your dental practice consultants at Unified Smiles recommend making your messaging as personal as possible for the most effective results. Patients are much more likely to call and schedule an appointment if someone personally reaches out rather than if a generic message is left on their machine.
Offer a Patient Referral Program
Another way you can help grow your practice is to provide current patients with a referral program. Using simple incentives, you can use your current network of patients to help attract new people to your office. Most small businesses grow through their community, so it is important to get your name recognized locally. People are more likely to trust a dentist recommended by someone they know rather than someone they’ve seen largely advertised. However, a patient referral program is no replacement for a proper marketing plan, so it can’t be relied on alone. A referral program works best when your current patients really feel like you are offering them something of value. Your dental practice consultants at Unified Smiles advice is to find something your patients could truly benefit from, like a hefty discount, a prize, or an extra treatment that they can take advantage of at their next visit. Listen to your patients to find out what sort of service they are more inclined towards. Find something that would benefit the majority of your patients for it to be as effective as possible.