Not only did COVID-19 cause many practices to temporarily shut their doors last spring, it has also led to a sustained reduction in patient volume for many practices across the country. So what should you do to attract new patients to your dental practice? Here are five possible approaches.
1. Identify your most valued patients
Like any business, some of your patients bring more value to your practice than others. These patients are those who return for regular treatment, who don’t skip appointments and who recommend your practice to their friends and family members. These are also exactly the age groups and demographics you should focus your outreach towards.
What do your most valued patients have in common? What do they look for in a practice, and where do they go for information? When you have those answers, you’ll have a much better idea of where to reach them, and what messages to use.
2. Embrace the internet
Your advertising and outreach should reach potential patients where they are, whether it’s in their temporary home office or from the device in their pocket.
Take the time to make sure your practice has a website, and brush up on the basics of SEO optimization. The easier it is for a search engine to read your page, the more likely you’ll show up higher in their results.
Ensure you have a social media presence, and keep your practice’s details up to date, including your address and office hours.
3. Be visible in your community
None of us are separate from the communities we live in, especially in times of crisis. If you don’t already, consider taking the time to volunteer for a local organization or provide your services to community members in need. You can invest in your community by delivering a meal, offering free treatment to low-income veterans or volunteering for a local nonprofit.
4. Take first place in first impressions
The first time a patient visits your practice, whether it’s through a teledentistry exam or an in-person visit, will set the tone for how this person view you and your practice. Attentive staff, visible safety features and a few small office adjustments can be the difference between repeat business and an angry Yelp review. With a positive experience, you can turn a single cleaning into a lifelong patient.
5. Join more networks
When you’re part of a dentist network, you’re more likely to attract patients whose insurance favors — or requires — visiting a dentist from that network. If you haven’t already, consider joining Delta Dental PPO™, DeltaCare® USA or Delta Dental’s Medicare Advantage networks.
If the pandemic has taken a toll on your patient volume, following the steps above can help you rebuild your business. They may also give you extra tools and strategies to weather the next crisis, whatever it may be.