Attracting new patients to a dental practice can be a difficult task. First of all, few people think of advertising as being an important part of any medical field. However, patients must be informed of the services you offer and how you can meet their needs at your facility. Therefore, spreading the word about your organization through advertising and promotions are great ways to attract new patients. New patients are what keeps an office thriving and growing, and without them, the facility has no future. When deciding how to grow your clinic with new patients, consider the patient experience from start to finish. Your patient should feel that he or she is taken care of every step of the way, from creating the appointment to receiving personalized care at that appointment.
Make Creating an Appointment Easy
One of the first strategies for getting new patients is to create a seamless appointment making process. Patients feel frustrated if they have to wait on the phone for several minutes or call multiple times with no answer. Phone calls are the first introduction to your practice, so be sure that the introduction is a favorable one. Have staff trained on how to create appointments with more efficiency; another great tool is online appointment scheduling. With busy schedules, patients appreciate the convenience that online scheduling offers. A patient may be more likely to visit your clinic rather than another if you have online scheduling available and the other facility does not.
Offer a New Patient Special
Patients are more likely to try out a new place if there is an enticing offer attached to it. If you offer discounts for new patients or a new patient special, you may attract more customers than if you charge full price for the first visit. The introductory price can include a consultation and necessary baseline tests. When there is a new patient special in place, patients feel that they can go ahead and make the appointment because they know exactly how much it will cost. This marketing strategy can pay for itself in the long run.
Advertise Your Services
Advertise, advertise, advertise! New patients cannot come to your office if they do not know that it exists. Be sure that you are marketing to all potential patients in your area. This marketing could take the form of radio advertisements, television commercial, Internet ads, mail flyers or billboards. Participate in any health fairs in your area, and promote your office by sponsoring community events. Patients will learn to associate your practice with a sense of community and friendliness. Do not use just one method of advertising, but also be sure that you track what is working and what is not effective. You can ask new patients how they heard about your office as a way to gauge what your best marketing strategy is.
Provide a Consistently Positive Experience
While attracting new patients to your office should be a priority, if you are not providing a consistently positive experience, your retention of those clients will be low. Patients must be able to depend on your services each and every time they visit your office, not just at the first visit. Furthermore, a bad Internet review from an existing patient could make a potential client stay away, making your lose a new patient. Keeping current patients happy is just as important as getting new patients in the building.
Getting new patients into your practice is the fundamental step in growing your office. By involving your facility in community events, advertising effectively and creating a great new patient experience, you can create a reputation for yourself that will make new patients seek out your services. By making the experience one to remember, patients can leave your office spreading the word and encouraging their friends to go as well. In this way, you have a constant influx of new patients that will continue to grow and thrive.