4 ways to exceed patient expectations before they even walk in the door
When it comes to their dental care, your patients have options. Depending on your location, they might have a lot of options.
Case in point: I just moved to a new suburb and consequently, am in the market for a new dentist. Within 3 miles of my new place, Google Maps shows over 40 dental practices for me to choose from.
How can your practice stand out in a (very!) crowded marketplace and win the battle for new patients?
Ultimately, it comes down to how well you’re meeting and exceeding patient expectations. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the dentist of choice in your area.
#1 - Have an informative, modern web presence
If your website feels outdated, your content is generic (think stock images of smiling dentists that aren’t you and bland blog posts stuffed with keywords) and your social media presence is non-existent (or worse, outdated!) you are not representing your practice in a way that will attract patients to choose you. Your web presence is your practice’s digital billboard - it needs to attract and inform to convert!
A modern, mobile-friendly site design with easy navigation, paired with real photos of your office and a short hello from each of your staff members goes a long way. Drop the stiff professionalism and show your practice’s personality through a recorded office tour, a regularly updated blog with relevant and informative topics, and social media that actually engages your followers!
It doesn’t take much to exceed your client’s expectations in the digital realm. Friendly and approachable beat stock photos and fancy welcome letters any day.
#2 - Availability is key
If your dental practice has hours beyond the traditional 9-5, highlight that in every single avenue you use to market your practice. Patients who work similar hours might take off work to come in for an appointment, but others can’t or simply aren’t willing.
If you aren’t highlighting your extended hours in all of your marketing channels (website, social media, print materials, etc.), you’re missing a valuable opportunity to exceed your patient's expectations. Don’t let your accessibility and dedication to working patients go unnoticed!
#3 - Be easy to communicate with
For patients with questions, provide an email address next to your phone number in your online listings. Many times email is simply an easier channel to fit conversations into your patient’s day.
Respond to all emails as soon as humanly possible, and don’t simply use it as a channel where you just direct people to call the office. Actually answer their questions through email.
For patients who do call the office, ensure that the person charged with answering the phone is welcoming, friendly and does their absolute best not to put the patient on hold for more than a few seconds.
When you respect your patient’s limited time and heed their communication preferences, you’ll quickly become their dental practice of choice.
#4 - Be exceptionally easy to schedule with
It’s 2017, and your patients are texting, Facebooking and Uber-ing. They absolutely, 100%, do not want to call your office to schedule an appointment. Nor do they want to fill out an online “request form” that no one from the practice ever responds to.
Real-time, online scheduling from LocalMed will give your patients the instant results they’re looking for without needing to burden your staff with additional software training. When you implement LocalMed, your office will be available to patients looking to schedule an appointment, 24/7. It’s a win in your patient's book, and I’m betting that effortlessly filling empty chairs is a win in yours, too.