Dentistry is ranked as one of the most competitive industries, with the country reporting an estimated 201,117 dentists as of 2020. If you are looking for ways to stand out from this crowd, differentiation will be crucial in helping you attract more clients to your practice while also retaining your current patients. This means identifying the most effective practices, sticking with them, and doing away with operations that may cost you your clientele. Below, we discuss some tips on how to get more patients in a dental office.
Build a Well-Designed and Efficient Website
Your website will be the first point of interaction between you and your patients and determines how well you engage with your patients. A good enough website will no longer serve your dental practice needs, requiring you to get a unique and captivating website. To help with this, here are some tips to keep in mind when building a website.
Design and Functionality
Design plays a crucial role when getting a website, with an essential component of this being the layout and how you present your branding. Your website needs to highlight the services that you offer, your unique selling points, and the value that your practice provides to patients. In addition to this, ensure your design incorporates quality graphics while paying attention to an uncluttered space.
Functionality refers to website performance where speed and quality content comes in. If your speed load time exceeds two seconds, you will likely lose patients to competing sites with faster speeds. Each page should also highlight relevant information, ensuring your patients get answers to their needs without difficulty.
Ease of Use
Websites also need to put user experience to the forefront as this will also determine how well your patients interact with your site and whether they stay. With this in mind, create a website with easy navigation, with a hierarchy of information playing an essential role. Consider using visual cues as well to allow your patients to get around without any problem.
Incorporate a Call to Action
Introducing a call to action also acts as another tip on how to get more patients in a dental office, ensuring your patients have the correct contact channels when in need of your services. For this, include share buttons, contact information, your social media handles, and tools such as mailing lists where your patients can get more information on your practice.
Hire a Digital Marketing Agency for Professional SEO Services
Changes in search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms often mean getting on board with every modification, an area that dental experts may lack knowledge. This makes a digital marketing agency the go-to in this field with their expertise allowing you to figure out areas to optimize for organic searches and customer traffic. Some examples include internal linking, page meta-titles, and appropriate content generation.
Keyword research will also go a long way in helping your practice gain visibility, with local SEO being the most common component for this. Here, your agency will help you determine what your clients often search for, with ‘services near me’ keywords often coming in handy in targeting patients within your region. By optimizing your content to factor in these traits, you stand better chances of getting a better ranking, with search engine bots likely to recommend your practice to patients close to your area of operation.
Utilize Social Media as a Marketing Tool
Social media also comes in handy when looking for ideas on how to get more patients in a dental office for cleanings and other procedures. Due to real-time data and convenience, patients are more in touch with social media channels now more than ever. But even with this, using these platforms for marketing is more than just flooding your outlets with information. It also requires the proper steps. The following tips will come in handy:
Identify the Most Appropriate Social Media Channels
Each social media channel comes with a different set of customer demographics. Some like Facebook and Instagram attract younger audiences, and others like LinkedIn are the go-to for professional audiences. Identify where your target audience lies before setting up profiles on the various platforms. While doing this, set up your social media platforms with the right and appropriate positive brand image. Make it a point to take down any posts and content that may clash with your brand’s image and audience preferences.
Use Social Media Campaigns
Social media campaigns also act as additional resources for how to get more patients in a dental office. Come up with engaging campaigns such as Instagram polls to educate your patients about some of the services your practice offers. Such campaigns can also act as a social listening tool that will help you gauge the kind of information your audiences resonates with, helping you come up with better campaigns as time goes by.
Utilize Paid Ads
Paid ads will also go a long way with your social media marketing efforts. All you need to do is pay an advertisement fee to your preferred social medial platform. After this, your chosen platform will advertise your services to your audience, helping you reach a broader patient base in a minimal amount of time.
Provide Quality Care for Consistent Word-of-Mouth Advertising
While external outreach practices will afford you visibility in the online space, quality care will come in handy in helping you get more word-of-mouth advertising. To help you reap the benefit of this technique, here are some practices worth considering for quality care:
Ensure Patient Safety
Patient safety comes in many forms, with the first one being observance of hygienic standards. Having dental care comes with the risk of increased infection due to sensitive services performed such as root canals, making extra precautionary measures key in preventing any patient infections. With this in mind, ensure that you practice hygienic standards such as having the proper protective gear when taking care of patients and keeping all equipment clean. In addition to this, ensure that patient records are kept safe for confidential purposes.
Be Attentive to Customer Concerns
If your patients have a complaint concerning various services, make it a point to listen to each concern. This may mean adjusting to gentler dental techniques when dispensing services. Problems should also be highlighted to the staff to ensure that they are also part of the solution.
Encourage Patients to Leave Reviews
When patients need to get information about your practice, online reviews will be the first area they check. If you have any negative reviews, patients will likely forego your practice in favor of other practices that have better reviews. For improved reputation and credibility, here are some ideas that you can use on how to get more patients in a dental office:
Rather than wait for your patients to bring it up or wait for voluntary ratings, let your patients know that their feedback will go a long way in helping you reach out to more patients. Ask them to leave feedback online, with links to your most preferred dental review sites coming in handy. Talking to them first-hand can also serve as a way to resolve any concerns when they occur, helping you get rid of any pending issues before they post their reviews.
Include Links on Your Website and Online Platforms
Add a link on your website and online platforms where patients can leave reviews after their cosmetic dentistry consultations and procedures. It will allow both first-time and returning patients the chance to post their reviews every time they visit your website if you forget to remind them after walk-in consultations.
Promote Your Dental Practice’s Specialty
Patients need to know that you are an expert in your field, with a promotion of your area of specialty being an incentive in getting more buzz to your practice. A few ideas of how to get more patients in a dental office include:
Contribute to Articles
Find notable publications in your line of field that occasionally invite experts to write about various services. These can include family dentistry coverage, a factor that will ensure you get more outreach avenues for building visibility and reputation.
Show Off Your Results
Showing the end product of the services you deal in also serves as another tip on how to get more patients in a dental office. For this, begin by creating a collage of pictures that show your work’s before and after progress. Where possible, you can also highlight the various equipment used and the level of expertise that your employees carry for added benefit.
Use Engaging Videos to Educate Patients
Engaging videos can also help you showcase your area of expertise, with an example of this being interesting QandA sessions of the most asked dentistry questions. In addition to this, you can also share tips on various hygienic practices that patients can use in their daily routines.
Create a Welcoming Environment in the Waiting Room
Waiting rooms can often get crowded and unwelcoming, a factor that will likely cause more stress to patients that are already in agony. To get rid of any unpleasant experiences in your waiting room, consider using the following tips:
Update Your Furniture
With the average waiting time being 21 minutes, patients need to feel as comfortable as possible in their seats. For this, fill your waiting room with furniture suited to your patients’ needs. Children should, for instance, have smaller tables accompanied with games to keep them entertained, while adults will often prefer ergonomic chairs. Include current magazines as well to help keep older patients occupied.
Provide Enough Lighting and Music
Consider adding extra lighting to dark waiting rooms for a touch of professionalism. If you only have ceiling lighting, ensure your walls also have enough warm light bulbs to help patients get adequate areas for reading. Soothing music can also go a long way in getting you more patients, with background music being an ideal starting point for a dental office. Soft music will, for instance, help your patients relax as they await their tooth crown procedures.
Decorate Your Office in a Warm and Inviting Way
Decorations may be looked down upon as an unnecessary addition to a dental office, but are in fact, other must-haves that help create an inviting space for patients. Examples of decorations to use include:
Here, consider aspects such as whimsical art prints. These will allow you to inject some personality into your space, allowing you to match your pieces to your brand image. Ensure that the colors used complement the existing wall paint and office decor.
Flowers can also lighten up dull spaces, with both live and artificial flowers coming in handy as additional ways of how to get more patients in a dental office. Make it a point to wipe the latter daily to eliminate dust accumulation.
Ensure Your Office Looks Clean and Professional
No matter the time of day or night, a clean practice is one of the essential tips on how to get more patients in a dental office. Clean areas highlight the kind of services that patients will likely receive while also going a long way in creating a comfortable working space for your employees.
For starters, make it a daily habit to clean your premises and empty trash bins. Vacuum and mop your floors daily with appropriate cleaning supplies to get rid of any stubborn dirt marks. If your flooring needs an upgrade, consider having an office floor installation, especially in your high traffic areas. If you experience a labor shortage, cleaning service companies can help out with this, allowing your employees to prioritize patient safety.
In addition to this, clean devices and appliances both in the waiting room and office spaces. Items such as screens and reception desks often get dirt due to daily use, so make it a point to have these wiped. Antibacterial and disinfecting cleaners will come in handy in maintaining safety and hygiene throughout your space, eradicating any disease transmission to both your patients and employees. Lastly, organize all office supplies, documents, and furniture in their rightful places to avoid cluttering your office.
If you are struggling with how to get more patients in a dental office, the above guide details some essential tips that every practice needs. From upgrading your website to using social media to your advantage to enhancing the look of your waiting room, these tips may be the missing link you need to increase patient retention and satisfaction.