For dental practices seeking to increase the amount of high-value procedures they perform, patient loyalty could be the deciding factor. Besides your website, social media, and marketing campaigns, sometimes the absolute best sales boost is a satisfied patient who tells others all about your practice.
Whether it’s implants, airway, or sleep dentistry, many patients will only need one or two procedures throughout their lifetime. However, you can still retain them for routine dentistry and turn them into advocates for your practice.
We recommend that practices start simple in this endeavor. There may be plenty of gamey business tactics to try, but instead, practices should employ a simple, tried-and-true method: to build a loyal base of patients, practices should focus on exceeding expectations, gathering feedback, and incentivizing referrals.
Deliver a Great Patient Experience
The best way to gain a loyal patient is by exceeding their expectations for working with you. While there are specific marketing strategies to boost reviews and referrals, they all depend on the quality of your care. Focus on how you and your team can over-deliver at every step of the patient’s journey.
Dental practices often fight an uphill battle, especially when they offer high-value procedures. There are multiple obstacles to accepting your treatment plan, including dental anxiety and financial concerns.
Make sure you understand what goes through your patient’s minds, how to answer their concerns, and work with their specific needs. Additionally, make sure you know how to deliver exceptional service. This will form the foundation for the next two steps.
Once you have a foundation of quality care, you can begin asking for feedback. If you’re not in the habit of asking for and incentivizing feedback for all your patients, now is the time to start.
You should develop a survey to give to all of your patients. This will help you understand how you are really doing as a practice and the areas that need improvement. Make sure to follow up on any critiques that are mentioned. It can be difficult to hear when you or your team didn’t meet the standard expected by the patient, but you have to understand and acknowledge the problem in order to solve it.
Besides feedback for improvement, you should also offer rewards for leaving your dental practice a review online. Many businesses offer a discount on future services for those who take the time to leave an honest review. However, many dental practices lack the reviews they want simply because they aren’t in the habit of asking.
Making sure you gather feedback and invite reviews will boost your practice’s reputation. People will see the glowing reviews online, and hear about you from their friends and family who underwent treatment.
As your quality of care increases and your reputation grows, now it’s time to invite patients to refer other patients to you. A happy patient will naturally recommend you to others whenever the topic comes up. But not everyone discusses dental treatment on a frequent basis.
To expedite the process, offer rewards and incentives for referrals. This could look like a rebate for the current patient and a discount for the new patient. Every prospective patient introduced to you in this method is known as a “warm lead”: they already know something about you and hear positive things from others.
Additionally, you can invite patients who went through high-value treatment to post about their journey on social media. This will attract people within their social network to your practice while showing them a real-life example of the work you do.
Hire A Virtual Patient Advocate (VPA)
Another way to gain loyal patients is to gain pre-qualified dental leads who are already prepared to move forward with treatment. Virtual Patient Advocates (VPAs) are organizations who screen and qualify leads for implants, airway, and sleep dentistry and send them directly to you. These patients are far more likely to become loyal advocates for your practice due to the process by which VPAs identify them. At Driven Dental, we operate on a simple philosophy: we want to give our clients patients, not just leads. If you’re interested in working for a results-driven marketing agency or VPA, book a free strategy call with us today.