If you have been practicing dentistry for a while now, you are probably using the following ways to get more patients:
Chances are, you were seeing decent returns with this strategies up till 5-10 years ago but nowadays the results you are seeing are minimal.
Here are some reasons why they don’t work that well anymore:
- Every dental office uses them, which increases competition for you
- You or your marketing team isn’t tracking how much you spend on these avenues and how much revenue they are generating for you
- You are targeting the wrong area/people/demographics because you aren’t sure who your ideal patient is
Another issue with using the above mentioned strategies is that they don’t make you seem like an authority in your area.
The first reason is that once again, every single dental office uses them so there is no differentiating factor present.
Secondly, in this day and age your prospects are more tech-savvy and are a lot more informed. They can simply go online to research the best business to deal with.
What this means is that if your dental office doesn’t come across as the #1 authority in your space, you will lose patients.
Who will you lose patients to?
The dental office which oozes authority, respect and professionalism.
Here are some ways your prospects can determine if they should go to your dental office, all from the comfort of their home:
- Check out your Google reviews (if you have negative reviews, most people will go somewhere else – they need a dentist they can trust and will go to clinics with a rating of 4.5 out of 5)
- Check out Yelp reviews (the same dynamic plays out here as well)
- Go to your website and see if it gives them a “good” feel (if your website seems like it was built in 1998, it tells them that you aren’t on top of your game)
- Call in and talk to your front desk (If your front desk is rude, unhelpful or are just not interested in helping them, you will lose patients and get bad reviews)
- See where your dental website ranks in Google to get an idea of how successful you are and how much “influence” you have.
- See if you have a “track record” (case studies, video testimonials, books, magazines) or if you are just another dental office.
In contrast, here’s how the really successful dental offices are coming across to prospects:
- They have a professionally built website which reflects authority and professionalism.
- They have a lot of positive reviews on Google – this alone sells their practice to potential patients.
- They advertise on Facebook but only to the right audience (most likely women since they make 90% of health related decisions in a household).
- They advertise on Google AdWords but track costs and revenue.
- They advertise on Bing Ads (cheaper traffic and a largely unknown goldmine).
- They use retargeting (Retargeting is when you go to Amazon.com to check out a specific product – you then see the product ad follow you around the web, giving you multiple chances to buy).
- They get new patients in through the door at a small cost (free dental checkup, 50% off teeth whitening, free Invisalign consult, free implant consult etc.) and then their systems work 24/7 to keep that patient coming back for years to come
- They have found a way to maximize patient Lifetime Value (LTV) so a good chunk of their patients generate $5,000 to $10,000 (or more) for them over a period of 7-10 years.
- They have an email newsletter which allows them to educate their patients and stay in front of them, increasing their authority, trust factor and building rapport.
- They are able to very accurately track which part of their dental office (front desk, marketing campaigns, patient retention, reviews etc) needs more attention.
- They create case studies (both video and text), showcase testimonials, have interviews with past patients etc.
- Their offers are compelling (but not priced at too much of a discount because doing so will bring the wrong kinds of people in)
- They have a Live Chat widget on their website, allowing visitors to talk directly to the front desk without the need to call in (You would be surprised how effective this is).
Action: Realize that in the new age, you should be using the right marketing strategies and tracking results. If you aren’t, you come across as just another dental office, which is making you lose a lot more business than you might think.