In today’s crowded marketplace, one of the keys to success is being able to differentiate yourself from the competition, not only to solidify a good first impression, but also to continue to impress your patients with each succeeding encounter. Attracting and retaining patients is about creating value for them — as a medical professional, a business owner and a friend.
Strategies to create a welcoming environment for new and returning patients:
- Create a professional-looking website that contains detailed content about your practice, including dental team bios, a list of services, patient financing information and a map to your office.
- Design a comfortable waiting room that doesn’t look or smell like a dentist office.
- Ask patients what they’re expecting in their relationship with your dental team.
- Identify the patient’s chief concern as it relates to his or her oral health.
- Be respectful of your patient’s budget limitations and consider offering flexible financing when discussing all treatment plan options.
- After their first appointment, send your patients a personal letter welcoming them to your practice (and directing them to the resources available on your website).
- Build strong relationships with your patients by getting to know them and their families.
- On your website and in your other advertising and marketing materials, make sure the writing is clear and compelling and the photography is of high quality.
Another way to attract new patients is to become involved in your community. Volunteer at your children’s school, become a member of the library board or participate in health fairs. Just being out-and-about in your community will create awareness of your practice and bring new patients to your office.
The above content is excerpted from Episode #20: Attracting New Patients to Your Practice, a podcast created by the ADA and featuring Mark Hyman, DDS, MAGD, who teaches at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the UNC School of Dentistry. Listen to the complete audio recording below.