It can take several years to establish a thriving dental practice, but figuring out how to increase your client base after a few years in business can be even more challenging.
To reach the next step, it’s essential to create a dental practice growth strategy that incorporates the latest trends and marketing techniques being used in the industry.
What are the latest trends in the dental industry?
The first step to growing your dental clinic is to understand the latest trends in the dental industry.
Not only will this help you make informed decisions, but it will also ensure your dental practice is offering services your clients actually want.
At the top of the list is convenience.
Now more than ever, clients are looking for a convenient dental service that causes the least disruption to their day. This begins before they even decide to make an appointment.
To make your dental practice as convenient as possible, you need a high quality website that should be easy to navigate, instills confidence in your services, and allows clients to book an appointment online easily.
Gone are the days when clients should be spending time at the dental office to fill out forms when this can be easily done at home.
If you want to take it a step further, allow clients to pay online too.
One of the best ways to instill confidence on your website is to include reviews from patients with five star graphics, not just testimonials, and include links to the reviews on Google, Facebook or Trustpilot.
Including links shows potential patients that you are trustworthy and demonstrates that other people have had a positive experience using your services.
While it’s crucial to include reviews, you might be wondering how to get patients to leave a positive review?
Besides politely asking a patient to consider sharing a review after leaving your office, you can also create an incentive program by offering patients a $10 gift card to a local coffee shop once they leave a review.
It’s also important to stay informed about the latest technological breakthroughs in the industry.
Among the most promising technology that has emerged in the past few years is 3D printing, laser technology and artificial intelligence based tools.
While each of these technologies is at different development stages, they will become more and more integral to your growth.
One of the easiest innovations you can adopt in 2021 is using text messages
Use texts to remind patients to schedule an appointment or to confirm an existing appointment that is coming up.
Patient communication is important and having reminders in their pockets of appointments makes their life easier as well as a direct channel you can send offers through. There are many providers that offer this service so you will need to look at which will work best for your and integrating it into your patient management/appointment system.
The best way to set up this system is to ask clients their preferred communication preference when they come in for their next visit and then note it in their file.
Refining your communication strategy will not only help make your practice more efficient, but it also shows patients that you are innovative.
How can I grow my dental practice?
There are plenty of dental practice growth strategies out there, however these three strategies have proven to be the most effective.
– Network with local businesses
Join a local networking group to connect with business owners in your area. Consider groups like your local chamber of commerce or a monthly breakfast meeting. By joining a networking group, you will get the opportunity to showcase your business and share referrals.
– Get involved in your community
One of the best ways to grow your dental practice is to increase your community presence. Not only will this establish awareness and credibility about your business, but it will also produce more referrals and leads. Some of the best ways to do this is to sponsor a local sports team, attend neighborhood events, or volunteer at a community event.
– Customize your marketing
Marketing is critical to any business’s success, but how you market your dental practice is equally as important. One of the best strategies is to get personally involved in dental marketing, rather than outsourcing it to a third party. To do this, make time to meet people in person at community events or job fairs. If you can’t be there in person, make sure you are involved in videos or photos that are shared on social media. People love meeting their future dentist and putting a face to a name and answer any potential questions they might have.
How can I get more patients in my dental office?
Getting more patients into your dental office can be difficult even at the best of times. To help you get more people in the door, here are three tried-and-true techniques that actually work.
– Get social and ask for reviews
The vast majority of patients rely on social media and online reviews to help them decide whether they want to book an appointment with you or not. In fact, an astonishing 95% of customers are in the habit of reading reviews before deciding to buy something. Ensure your marketing strategy includes a strong social media presence on Facebook and Instagram and encourage your patients to leave reviews.
– The power of referrals
While there are many different strategies to grow your dental practice, the best way is through referrals. The easiest way to do this is to provide current patients exceptional service, so they want to recommend your dental practice to friends or family. Another great way to generate referrals is to create an incentive program for existing clients, such as offering a gift card to a local coffee shop for each referral that books an appointment with you.
– Answer your phones effectively
Answering phone calls from potential new patients and converting them to actual new patients by successfully booking appointments are two different things. The latter requires specific team training on how to handle the call to the patient’s satisfaction and in a way that’s also beneficial for the business. Such training is one of the easiest and highest return investments you can make.
– Other marketing techniques
While there are plenty of ways to get more patients to walk into your dental office, it always comes back to marketing.
In a previous blog I provided eight dental practice marketing techniques that you can start today to grow your dental practice.
At the top of that list is creating a detailed business plan that includes a long-term marketing strategy built on integrity and honesty, a unique selling proposition, and a digital marketing strategy.
If you create a business plan that incorporates these three marketing strategies, you will be on your way from turning prospective patients into valued customers.
To learn more about dental practice growth, make sure to take a look at my new book, DentalEase: The Essential Guide to Building the Stress-Free and Profitable Dental Practice of Your Dreams. The first chapter is free to download and will give you even more insight into how to grow your dental practice.