Still Searching for the Most Effective Way To Retain Patients and Increase Referrals? This ‘NEW’ Social Media Strategy May Be Exactly What You've Been Looking for. Only 4% of patients trust Dentist advertisements as their primary source of information when searching for a new Doctor, so can the time, money and effort you invest in creating and managing amazing experiences help seal the deal with patients?
In 2014 practicing Dentists will surpass $1.2 Billion dollars in advertising spending, yet the “advertising trust factor is at an all-time low” as 96% of your patient base no longer see your ads and promotions as credible and persuasive.
Word-of-mouth carries a big, heavy stick when it comes to your reputation; the reputation of your practice and every employee, product and service you offer. As I point out in the Dental Marketing Assistant University Module #1: Social Media Marketing Success, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Yelp, Google Reviews and other social media and reviews sites help to amplify to voice of the patient. With the power that a single bad and/or negative patient service experience can have your ability to generate quality new patients in the future, it’s critical that you focus your efforts on creating and managing consistently awesome experiences for each and every patient that you have… whether they decide to start treatment or not.
Why should you invest effort, resources and time to create and manage a consistently great experience for your patients?
You can thank Al Gore for the fact that news can now travel around the world (or your town) at the click of a mouse… this includes negative comments about you and your practice. There are a variety of customer service management tools (not to be confused with Dental software and/or dental practice management software) that will help you stay on top of managing your patient experience and ensuring that your patients are getting great customer service from your staff, all of the time.
I put together an infographic (below) that outlines just how important the experiences your patients have in/with your practice… the impact that it has on your new patient traffic and your ability to retain your existing patients.
Here’s Why Patient Experience Matters:
40% of patients polled admitted to leaving their Dentist and going to a COMPETITOR because they heard that the new doctor’s customer service experience was superb. Reputation for great patient service alone can create the incentive for patients to give you a try.
When a patient has a great experience in your practice it grabs them and your customer service program can be a vehicle for generating super high quality new patients and increasing your production. Once you acquire a new patient as the result of your reputation for having awesome service, it becomes imperative that interactions with her along every touch point in the Dynamic Patient Journey is only “incredible.”
Are you listening to your patients?
When one of your patients ends up having a bad experience, you have an opportunity to make things right. Some of your most loyal patients will be those who have seen you (or one of your employees) drop the ball… and then quickly pick it up and make things right in a meaningful way.
But a troubling trend with patients today is that many feel like their Dentists don’t care enough to make things right, so fewer patients today are trusting you to resolve issues. The result? When a patient has a negative experience in your practice they take their frustrations and share them in their social networks.
A full 85% of patients who had a bad patient service experience wanted to warn others about patronizing that Dentist’s practice. 66% of patients wanted to discourage others from doing business with that Dentist. 55% of patients wanted to vent their anger. But only 24% of patients actually tried to contact their Dentist to get the issue resolved which serves as a clear wakeup call for you:
Investing in the creation and management of a superb customer service program that consistently delivers awesome (and unexpected) experiences for you existing (and new) patients will pay huge dividends for you in the long run… greatly improving patient retention and creating significant increases in quality referral traffic.
What steps have you taken to create and manage consistently "great" experiences for your patients?