What are the key ingredients in attracting more new patients to your practice and at the same time significantly increasing practice profitability?
After several years of working successfully with dental practices throughout North America in increasing their new fee-for-service (and other) patient flow, we have found several key ingredients, the first of which we will review here.
1: Quality of Product and Service
Without your product and service quality being high, there can be no lasting increase in the health of the practice. It will always be a struggle to maintain an increase in new patients, and patient retention and patient referrals will also be very low. It is a marketing maxim that no marketing can really succeed on the back of a poor product, and that word of mouth itself is an important part of the marketing mix.
What do we (from a marketing point-of-view) mean by “Quality of product and service”? After extensive research and surveying of patients of dental practices we have found many hot buttons that patients consider quality of service and product. These cover the staff, practice, doctor(s) and treatments.
Amongst these are such universal buttons as being friendly and helpful and, of course, doing a good job for the patient, which is a major factor for any success in marketing over the long term. If you want to find out what your patients’ and prospective patients’ hot buttons are, you can pull out your clipboard and survey them to find out what’s important to them!
Marketing specific dental services, such as Invisalign®, dental implants, veneers, etc., also comes into play under quality of service, as people have the perception that the dentist is more expert and experienced as a result. Of course, the more trained and experienced the dentist is in the specific service, the more a) word of mouth will be generated, and b) the more marketable the dentist is. It looks very good on a website to show a lot of continuing education in prestigious institutes, for example!