The dental industry is getting more and more competitive each day. It seems like new offices are opening around every corner and it can be scary to think about competing with these new offices and the growing needs of patients. 

However, there are some simple ways you can differentiate yourself from the others and create loyal patients in the long run. The focus needs to be on the best patient experience that adds true value to the dental appointment.

Wait Times.  Time is precious these days. Patients are keenly aware of how much time they are waiting for you in the office. Respecting this fact is of utmost importance in adding value to the patient experience. If patients feel that their time is being valued, they will want to come back. Simple as that! If you’ve disrespected their time, don’t be surprised if they aren’t very forgiving about this. 

Action Step:  Hire a company to have secret shoppers come in as patients over a given time period and get the honest feedback on your practice. While regular patient reviews are great, the secret shopper model allows you more anonymous, but truthful reviews. Many dental marketing companies can do these kinds of programs – and they are worth every penny!

Comfort.  It’s awkward sitting back in a dental chair with drool hanging out your mouth as the hygienist tries to ask you about your life. If you can focus on making patients’ physical experiences positive, you’ll make a lasting impact. Video monitors, Rollens’ wrap-a-round disposable lenses, Where’s Waldo posters, ChapStick® and music all are great ways to make their time in your dental chair a comfortable one. 

Personalization.  Any personal touch you can bring to the appointment will be remembered.  Whether it’s simply using the patient’s name or bringing up questions about specific parts of their life, they will notice these. Today, dental software makes it easy to take notes about the patient’s family, career and interests. Just take a few extra minutes to look at that information before you walk into the appointment!

When you are dealing with a lot of competition, it’s the little extras that can really go a long way.  And, they don’t have to cost a lot of money to execute. They simply require a little bit of time to plan ahead – time worth investing to be memorable to your patients.  

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