When building a dental implant practice, match your marketing campaigns to the buying journey of your ideal patient. This helps you focus your time, effort, and ad spend into the places where your ideal patient will see.
If you don’t understand the journey your patient goes on to get to you, then you run the risk of turning them away through poorly-focused messaging. Make sure everything you do is tuned to the unique journey of your ideal patient.
This post discusses the six main steps on the buyer’s journey for a dental implant patient. Take some time to study the journey, and then adapt your marketing efforts to match. In order to maximize your impact, score high-value patients, and then turn them into brand advocates, you want to win at every single step.
What is an Implant Patient Buyer’s Journey?
A buying journey is the process by which someone goes from a person in your target market to a committed customer. Treating their experience as though you are guiding them on a journey will make them feel heard and valued. They will become more likely to buy into the transformation your dental implant practice offers.
Before your next dental implant marketing campaign goes out, evaluate the following six steps of the buyer’s journey.
1. Catalyst: Becoming Aware and Motivated to Make a Change
Becoming aware and motivated to make a change is an important triggering event in the implant patient journey because it’s these moments that cause people to start a search for an implant doctor. For example, the patient might lose a tooth or begin to wonder whether it’s time to do something about their missing teeth while preparing for an event and looking at themselves in the mirror.
One of the most memorable catalysts for us was the case of an elderly grandmother who decided to go skydiving. She took the brave step off the plane with her instructor and enjoyed an amazing dive back to earth. However, the celebration was short-lived when she realized that she lost her dentures in the middle of the dive (Yes, this really happened!). It’s moments like these when people become aware and motivated to make a change.
A more mundane example could be preparing for a high school reunion or family wedding. Others might be embarrassed because their grandchildren are uncomfortable around them. And many people might finally want to get back to eating their favorite foods. After the catalyst leads to them becoming aware of their desire to make a change, the patient begins to ask themselves, “Is it time to consider dental implants?”
2. Click: Looking Up Dental Implant Services
After the patient becomes aware and motivated to make a change, the patient goes online to learn more about dental implant treatment and search for the right dentist. Most new patients use the internet to search for dental care. This means that having a strong web presence, social media strategy, and ad campaigns make all the difference for your practice.
As the patient clicks around, they ask themselves, “What are my options? Which provider stands out to me?”
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3. Consume: Gathering Information
Once they find you, they will consume the information on your website. They peruse your landing page, the staff pages, and any content that you have. Many practices fail here by not providing clear and authoritative information about their dental implant services. They may not have a landing page for implants, or their web content may be too barebones to convince the patient their practice is competent and friendly.
During this step, the patient asks themselves, “Can I trust these people?”
4. Connect: Inquiring About Dental Implants
The connection point happens when the patient reaches out to inquire about dental implants for the first time. While many practices think of this as the “first impression,” the truth is that the first impression occurred when the patient saw you on Google or social media. This part of the patient journey should really be thought of as a continuation of the message and tone of your previous steps.
Your first interaction with a dental implant lead, whether over the phone or in a consultation, should be consistent with your online presence. This assures your potential patient that they can trust you to deliver on your promises. Make sure you and your team have a guiding script for these conversations that are aligned with the rest of your marketing.
During this connection point, the patient asks, “Should I commit my time, money, and fears to these people?”
5. Commit: Committing to Treatment
If the answer is yes, they accept your treatment plan. However, the journey does not end once they say “yes.” The patient forms a conclusion of whether they made the right choice by going with you. They also decide whether they would recommend you, and if so, how?
Continuing the experience they have enjoyed throughout the first four parts of the journey is critical to getting them to commit to you. Do you present the treatment plan in plain language? Do you help them fit implants into their budget? And do you treat them the way you promised to treat them during the first four steps?
All of these questions will be critical to determining whether the patient commits to treatment at your practice.
6. Conclude: Becoming a Long Term Advocate
The best way to ensure that a patient becomes an advocate is to consistently deliver on every step of their journey, perform a high-quality procedure, and follow up with them. Treat them well even after their treatment is complete. Follow-up with them to make sure they are doing well. Show them you value them as a person and don’t consider them a number, a transaction.
Doing so will help you continue to build the goodwill you built during the first five steps of the patient journey. And showing patients you care about them after they agreed to your treatment plan will cause them to become a long-term advocate of your practice.
At this point, you will have built tremendous goodwill. Ask them if you can share their “before” and “after” images and testimony, and whether they would be willing to share about their experience. If they had a consistently positive experience, they are far more likely to agree.
Partnering with a marketing company that understands the ins and outs of the dental implant buyer’s journey can set you up for success. They can help craft your implant marketing campaign to match these six steps of the patient journey so you can see better and more consistent results. If you’d like to talk with us about how we help practices do exactly that, schedule a free strategy call with us today.