How do you ensure your dental practice is not overwhelmed by the competition? While this should go without saying, you should be striving to deliver the very best customer service for your patients. Your staff should be comfortable building a rapport with patients and your practice should be decorated and furnished to a high standard, including comfortable seating, entertainment and refreshments in the waiting area. Patients should feel that you value their dental health and general wellbeing and that they are not just a source of income for your business.
Once you have established excellent quality of service, you need to let people know about it through your marketing. If you are running a dental practice in a saturated area, here are some handy tips to help your dental practice stand out from the crowd this year.
Shout about what makes you unique
What makes your dental practice a cut above the rest? Whether it’s your commitment to personalised service, offering the latest cosmetic procedures or only working with the very best dental supply companies, your marketing should be focused on what you offer that your competitors do not. If you are not using social media yet, make a point of finding a platform which is popular with your target customers and create a profile. Then you will be able to communicate with patients (existing and potential) and share content on a regular basis which is engaging and informative to build awareness and increase brand visibility.
Manage your online reviews
You need to have a process for managing reviews left about your practice online whether they are positive or negative. Negative reviews can have a significant influence on your reputation and whether or not a new patient chooses your service. Rather than pretending negative reviews don’t exist and hoping others won’t see them, address them directly to try and resolve the issue and show you are committed to improving. When you receive a positive review, try to incorporate it into your marketing either via social media or on your website.
Run a customer referral program
Customer referral programs can be very effective when it comes to attracting new patients. Offer your existing customers a reward (such as a discount off their next visit, free dental products or a gift card) when they refer a new patient to your practice. You should set milestones for your program and ensure that your staff are promoting it when patients visit.
Conduct regular patient surveys
Your patients are your most valuable resource when it comes to discovering what you do well, why they return and what you could be doing better. With regular and short customer surveys which ask open-ended questions as well as asking customers to rate you using a scale, you can find out what they really think. With the results you can take action where necessary to improve your practice and can learn which aspects of the practice are most highly valued by customers. You may also want to use some of the more positive comments and statistics in your marketing campaigns.