More than ever, the saying “if you’re not growing, you’re dying” is the truth in the dental industry. Building and maintaining a thriving dental practice in today’s competitive landscape is becoming increasingly difficult.
Acquiring new patients in this environment requires equal parts strategy and persistence. You’ll want to have a plan in place for both digital and traditional marketing while ensuring you’re providing a consistently exceptional customer experience.
Here are some ideas to get you on the path to acquire new patients this month.
#1 – Reviews
I know – asking for reviews can be uncomfortable. However, it’s essential for dental practices to build a foundation of good reviews. Research shows that 91% of consumers read reviews and 84% trust them as much as a personal recommendation (BrightLocal). Additionally, having 50 or more reviews can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rate (Reevoo).
If you don’t have a system in place to generate reviews from your patients, you’re missing out on a key piece of social proof and losing patients to your dental competitors who are actively building their reputation online.
#2 – Facebook marketing
On average, Facebook sees a jaw-dropping average of 1.13 billion daily active users (Hootsuite). Of the internet users in the United States, 82% of 18-29 year-olds, 79% of 30-49 year-olds and 56% of 65+ year-olds are on facebook (Hootsuite).
Statistically, that means that your practice can reach a good chunk of potential patients directly through the social media platform. Facebook offers tons of unique demographic filters, making it simple and cost-effective to target potential new patients in your area.
Pro tip: Implement real-time, online scheduling and give patients the ability to schedule directly from your Facebook ads. LocalMed closes the loop on the patient acquisition process, giving your marketing ROI a boost.
#3 – Answer your phone
LocalMed surveyed their users asking why they chose to schedule online instead of calling the office. Of those who mentioned they had attempted to call, an astonishing 53.6% of their calls went unanswered.
Bottom line: Make sure your phone is answered during office hours! Bonus points if you can prevent putting them on hold. If not, you’re losing potential patients.
#4 – Promote your patient referral program
As mentioned earlier, online reviews are incredibly important, but so is good old-fashioned word of mouth. 83% of people in 60 countries trust recommendations from their friends and family, making it the most credible form of advertisement available (Nielsen Company).
Focus on ensuring your patient’s experience is stellar from start-to-finish, then promote your (amazing!) patient referral program.
Not only do referrals increase the effectiveness of your marketing up to 54%, but happy patients’ referrals have a 37% higher retention rate compared to other acquisition channels (Deloitte). Talk about a win-win!
#5 – Implement real-time, online scheduling
It’s 2017, and your patients are texting, Facebooking and Uber-ing. Do you really think they want to call your office and spend 8.1 minutes scheduling an appointment (Accenture 2013 consumer survey)?
81% of patients would prefer to schedule their appointment online, and 59% of Millennials would switch healthcare providers for one with better online access (Decipher Research / Intuit Health).
When you sign up for real-time, online scheduling, you provide patients the convenience they’re looking for, while also closing the loop on the patient acquisition process. Potential patients can schedule an appointment instantly, wherever they find you, 24/7.
And there you have it.
Five digital and traditional marketing methods you can try out to win new patients this month and increase your competitiveness in the rapidly-evolving dental industry. Which one will you try?
Mandy Fischer, Marketing Coordinator at Local Med.
Thank you to LocalMed for the guest blog this week! Should you wish for patients to have the ability to schedule appointments without a phone call to your office, LocalMed has a scheduling system you want to check out. Our clients use their widget and get a higher number of new patients scheduling from their website and much more.
Want To Know What’s New in 2018 for ADA CDT Codes?
Join us on November 30th in Los Alamitos
“How Do We Bill it and Get Reimbursed?” From Gingivitis to Peri-Implantitis
Do you have rejected claims?
If you have challenges with reimbursement of perio and gingivitis patients; how do you code the service when the patient doesn’t have radiogrpahic bone loss?
What is the most efficient process for reimbursement of crowns, implants, fixed or removable prosthetics?
We will also address new changes in the ADA CDT Coding coming in 2018.
If you have questions, then you must attend this very informative, Q & A Session with your dental colleagues.
We have put together a fun CE with answers to your billing and coding questions. Light dinner will be served but seating is very limited so you must pre-register. $40 for CE, Food & Drinks
2 CE’s, Food, Drinks, Fun and Lots of Learning.
Check-in and dinner: 6:00 – 6:30
Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, CEO of Dental Practice
JoAnn Leon, Certified Quality Assurance Procedural Auditor
Member of California Association of Dental Plans
Front Office Procedure Consultant at Dental Practice Solutions