Dear Dentist, From a Millennial
I’m one of the 75.4 million Millennials in the United States. Since we’re the largest living generation, I’m guessing you probably are trying to get me and my peers to become your patients (Pew Research).
A lot of businesses simply scratch their heads in confusion when it comes to Millennials, so I’m here today to let you in on three (not-so-secret) secrets that can help you attract Millennials to your dental practice.
If you’re not online, you don’t exist.
In my adult life, I have never gone to a healthcare provider that didn’t have an online profile and at least couple positive reviews. Seriously - never.
And I’m not the only one - 97% of 18-34-year-olds read local business reviews, and 89% trust them (BrightLocal).
So… if you’re not online, get online. Build a website, claim your Google My Business page, and check the directory listings on your in-network insurances and larger provider directories like HealthGrades. Your practice’s online presence doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s got to be there for Millennials like me to even consider your practice.
On a similar note, if you don’t currently ask for reviews, start! Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews are the most popular and will be worth the investment - having 50 or more reviews can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rate (Reevoo).
Convenience is everything.
To be honest, I haven’t had a regular dentist (or any healthcare provider) since I moved out of my parent’s house almost a decade ago! Moving several times has certainly been a contributing factor, but no matter where I live, finding a convenient dental practice is always a challenge!
These questions are always in the back of my head as I’m researching a provider in my area. Does your dental office have these things implemented?
- Does the office has convenient hours, or are appointments always going to conflict with work or other responsibilities?
- Can I schedule my appointment online, or am I required to call during business hours?
- Is it easy to get in touch with the office, or do I have to deal with a never-ending phone tree, holds and voicemails?
- Can I pay my bill online, or do I have to dig out my one box of checks and run to the post office for stamps?
Technology is crucial.
Growing up, I remember checking in at the orthodontist and being in awe at the endless shelves of manila folders holding patient records behind the desk!
Today, I would take that same office feature as a sign that offices have not fully-embraced the technology available to them.
I prefer healthcare providers that are embracing technology, including advanced dental technology and up-to-date patient-facing technology like online scheduling and appointment reminders.
This isn’t just my personal preference; it’s a generational value. When asked about different factors in choosing a dental office these were factors Millennials named as “very” important (Lincoln Financial Group):
- 55% - Use of advanced dental technology
- 34% - Appointment reminders
- 30% - Ability to book an appointment online
So, there you have it.
Three “secrets” in attracting Millennials to your dental practice. Have an online presence so I can find you. Do your best to make seeking dental care with your practice convenient - real-time, online scheduling with LocalMed is a good first step! And finally, if you’ve got manila folders lying around, find a new system (or at least keep them out of sight!) :)