After you’ve applied all your marketing and advertising techniques and tactics, you’re no doubt receiving dozens of calls from interested potentials. What now? This is the conversion stage, the most important stage in making sure those new patients become loyal patients. New patients are important to the success of your practice and therefore should be treated like gold. According to Jay Geier, the founder and president of The Scheduling Institute, you could be bringing $1,500 more into your office with each new patient you attain. “In fact, new patient growth not only stimulates success but leads to a great change in the office.” Here are six steps you can follow in order to wow those invaluable assets.
- Take advantage of your website
There is so much you can make easier for your new patients with your website. You can provide them with the forms they need to fill out, making the process simple and fast for them so they don’t have to worry about it when they come into the office. Your website can also be used to emphasize your authority and the authority of the other dental professionals. Post your affiliations with academic centers or their published articles in peer-reviewed journals in the brochure and in patient materials. “Patients perceive a higher ability in dental professionals who do this.”
- Take that all-important first call seriously
“Marketing your practice is an essential tool for practice growth. But if your marketing is generating calls and these calls aren’t being converted into new patients, you’re just wasting that investment.” How do you convert these calls into new patients? Train your team about the basics of proper phone etiquette. Smile, do not convey stress or frustration, focus only on the patient and their wants, and reduce workplace distractions to give that potential patient the attention they deserve. Once your team is properly trained, they will be able to convert that all-important first call into a scheduled appointment.
- Demonstrate availability
It is important to understand and tend to your patients’ needs, even those regarding your own schedule. Depending on your location, try to make your hours of operation more flexible to accommodate those patients who are used to expecting businesses to be open longer or on weekends.
- Make sure everyone in your office is friendly and pleasant
There is a lot of fear when it comes to dental professionals. No one goes to see the dentist, expecting a pleasant experience. Change that perception the minute they walk through the door. Be sure your office staff are willing to smile and greet the new patient in a pleasant and friendly manner. Give your new patient a comfortable and warm experience. Address them by name, engage them in light conversation, and ask them to tell you more about themselves. By doing this, you will reduce the fear and tension they may be feeling.
- Be aware of your office appearance
As has been mentioned before in my previous blog post, your office is your first impression and it is immensely important that you make an excellent first impression with your new patients. Take a look around the office and ask yourself if your office is warm and inviting, or if it’s cold and sterile. Then see what you can do to make it better. Laurena Cummins, author of “How to Market Your Dental Office Using Resources You Already Have” suggests adding homey touches such as updated magazines and books, bright colors, and fresh flowers. Even hanging a painting on the wall has the ability to reduce stress and fear by adding a little creativity to the office.
- Start your patient relationship off right
How do you retain those new patients who come into your office? By doing a little extra to let them know they’re special and that you want to do all you can to form a trusting and long-lasting relationship with them. You can create a personal bond with your new patients by
- Calling those who have set appointments
- Letting them know you’re excited that they chose your practice
- Asking them if they have any questions about the appointment
And most importantly . . .
- Remembering your new patients have lives, thereby making that scheduled appointment as short as possible
For more information and suggestions to help you convert new patients to loyal patients, please feel free to browse the links below.