It is really easy to focus on getting new patients. Isn’t that the metric all dentists should care about most? Short answer, not necessarily. While renewing your practice with a steady stream of new patients is vital to your success, keeping your current patients is equally, if not more important. Statistics show that it is six to eight times more expensive to attract new patients than to keep existing patients.
Realize that patient retention is your #1 marketing strategy
As dentists it is easy to get sucked into one scheme after the other to get dozens of new patients every month. Of course you need to be adding new patients to the roster to balance the number of patients you will lose due to unavoidable reasons (moving, death, etc). What about the patients that could be saved? Is there anything you can do? YES! There are many small steps you can take to make a BIG difference; and your efforts should begin well before patients are asking you to transfer their records.
Why do patients choose you (and continue to choose you) for their dental care?
Let’s face it—dentistry is expensive. No one wants to spend money on dental work.
Experience tells us that people choose to spend based on two things: how we make them feel and/or a viable solution to their issue. For dental concerns, we can definitely solve problems, but do we make them feel content and valued in the process? The patient experience is everything—make a great impression from Day 1!
From their first contact, make their experience astonishingly great!
Six tips for keeping patients for life:
- Make your website professional- It’s 2018, there really is no excuse.
- Have a live person answer the phone-how many times have you hung up on a voicemail vortex?
- Know your patient’s names-use whatever trick is necessary. From software that includes patient pictures to the old school version of having an assistant prep you before you enter the operatory, there is no excuse and the effort is definitely noticed by the patient.
- Be prompt. Patients should not have to wait to see the doctor—run your schedule efficiently.
- No surprises at checkout- always inform before you perform.
- Care enough to call- take a few minutes everyday to check in on patients that have had a procedure requiring anesthetic or sedation dentistry.