Patient retention:

Building Loyalty with your patients

You already have a solid dental marketing strategy in place. The ads are now running on Facebook, patients have started coming in. It all looks promising.

Your dental practice is finally on the up and up!

We hate to be the harbinger of bad news here, but there’s more work to be done. This time, you need to focus your efforts on PATIENT RETENTION — building loyalty so your patients won’t jump ship on the first opportunity.

Here we highlight some of the things that you need to implement in your dental practice to make sure that your patients keep coming back.

Understand The Patient’s Mindset​

When talking to patients, aim to effectively draw them closer to your dental practice as well. This is why it’s important to get into the patient’s mindset even before they arrive at the clinic. 

Start the process of getting to know your patients as soon as they confirm their appointment. Send an email with a survey form that asks a few questions, such as:

  •  How often do you visit your dentist? or Is this your first visit to the dentist?
  • What is/was the reason for the visit?

Questions like these can help you gauge the patient’s healthcare status and priorities.

Most dental patients these days carry a ton of information with them before they even step into the clinic. Technology has made it easier for them to look up symptoms, diseases, and various cures online. They are well-informed. 

These types of patients are often on the lookout for dentists who are approachable and more focused on the patient as an individual. And once they find these qualities, they tend to stick with that dentist for all their restorative and preventive oral health care procedures. 

But not everyone believes regular dental check-ups is a necessary part of oral hygiene. For most people, brushing after every meal is enough to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

This means that a trip to the dentist’s would be postponed for as long as possible, or at least for as long as problem is bearable.

Once they do come in for a check-up, there’s a slim chance that they’d ever come back unless they have a compelling reason to.

As their dentist, it’s your job to give them that reason.

Communicate

It’s easy to talk about anything under the sun when the person you’re talking to can barely respond. This one-sided communication is quite common in dental clinics. 

Let us be the first to tell you this: it’s often not a good communication strategy.

Dentist-patient communication is more than just talking. It encompasses the entire interaction from the moment the patient walks in the door to the time they leave. 

The the time to talk to your patient about the diagnosis, the treatment plan, and the quality of care required after treatment. 

It is also necessary to get the patient’s feedback on the treatment plan. This ensures that they understand the plan and are 100% involved from beginning to end. 

Flip to View a Handy Guide on How to Communicate with Patients

It’s very important to have this dialogue with the patient before you start the procedure. It gives them time to think about their options. It also makes patients feel valued as individuals and not just as paying clients. 

This adds value to the visit.

And remember: communication doesn’t stop once the patient leaves your clinic.  This is where you Email Marketing Strategies come into play. 

The Clincher

During a visit, you can only do so much to encourage your first-time patients to come back for another procedure. 

But once they leave the clinic, this is when you can employ marketing strategies to ensure that you remain at the top of people’s minds. The best way to do this is by sending emails to patients

Personalize the emails according to the procedure. In this regard, it is important that your staff keeps a well-organized record of patients, procedures, frequency of visit, and so on. 

But wouldn’t creating personalized emails take too much time and distract me from my actual dental work?

Good question. 

The simple answer is: YES, it would. Which is why it’s necessary for you to invest in a credible email marketing tool that can help automate the emails for you. There’s a long list of these tools out there. You can also hire people to help you with the email marketing campaign. 

The emails that you send out also have to be scheduled in such a way that they won’t be too intrusive in your patient’s lives. 

Check out our tips and tricks on building an effective email automation sequence to build patient loyalty for your dental practice.