Patient Retention Tips For Dentists
A lot of dental practices focus on bringing in new patients but it is just as important, if not even more important, to keep those patients returning when they need services. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time just trying to get new patients to walk in the door and your practice will see little benefit from it. Now, after stay-at-home orders are relaxing, it’s even more important for practices to get their current patients back in the doors.
So we are laying out our best patient retention tips for you.
All About Safety
As we respond and change as a result of COVID-19, our practices need to make sure that patients know that safety is of utmost importance. From the cleanliness of our facilities, to our behind-the-scenes cleaning practices, to even physical safety while in the office (like with Rollens shades), make sure your patients know about the safety measures you’re putting in place. Never assume that your patients know what you’re doing. Tell them, and tell them often so that they have no reason to question the safety of your practice. Our Rollens shades are also a nice touch b/c they are individual-use, with no disinfecting needed and no other patient has used them.
All About Convenience
Everyone has busy schedules and there never really seems to be enough time in the day to do it all. So when patients walk into your office, they are setting aside something else to make time for their appointment. So don’t let them walk away feeling like they wasted their time. Instead, make your practice more convenient for your patients. Here are some ways you can achieve that:
- Reduce time spent in the waiting room and don’t forget to apologize when there is a delay. Also, consider offering free Wi-Fi that will allow patients to work while waiting.
- Make sure your staff is educated about all practice policies, payment options, services, and other basic information. This will ensure that patients receive accurate information when they have questions.
- Give your patients 24/7 access to important information. Try a contact form on your website, or even better, a patient portal.
- For many patients it can be difficult taking time off of work so consider extending your office hours to later in the evening one day a week or doing one Saturday a month.
Show You Care
Remember your patients are not a number. They want to know that you are truly listening to their concerns and that when you are with them, they have your undivided attention. No matter the concern, be sure to discuss it with them. Even a few extra minutes spent with a patient can make a big difference. Also, don’t discuss business stuff with assistants in front of patients, otherwise the patient may feel you aren’t paying attention to the treatment you are providing.
Great Communication is a Foundation
Communication with your patients shouldn’t end once they leave your office. Follow these best practices to keep your practice in your patients’ minds between appointments.
- Make your website useful by providing an FAQ page and an educational blog or videos.
- Utilize social media to connect with current patients by letting them know they should follow you. Use these platforms to remind patients about the importance of keeping up with dental cleanings or even to share a promotion you are having.
- Start a newsletter to deliver promotions and educational information right to your patients’ inboxes.
- Follow up after treatment with a simple phone call to check in on how they are doing. It shows you care, and if there happens to be an issue, it gives you an opportunity to correct the problem before you lose a patient and get a bad review.