Dentists are always looking for the best ways to grow their dental practice.
According to one recent report, 40% of private practice dentists would like their offices to be busier than they currently are. Does this include you?
Whether you’ve just opened your doors or have been in business for years, there’s always room for growth. With the right steps, you can attract new patients to your office, retain the ones you already have, and build a solid reputation within your local community.
Ready to get started? Today we’re sharing 10 ways you can grow your dental practice from the inside out.
1. Start with your current patients.
Did you know that the cost associated with acquiring a new dental patient can be up to 25 times higher than the cost of retaining one? As you look for ways to increase your clientele, don’t forget to invest in your current patients too.
A simple customer satisfaction survey can help you gauge what your office is doing right and where you can improve. Once you create the survey, post a link on your social media pages and include it in other outreach channels, such as your e-newsletter. Then take the feedback to heart and make adjustments where possible.
2. Request reviews.
More than 85% of prospective dental patients check online reviews before visiting a practice. If they search for the name of your practice online, what will they find?
If you don’t have many reviews attached to your name, consider running a campaign or promotion. Follow up with current and new patients while they’re still in the office and ask them to share their experience online. Make the process quick and simple with a QR code they can scan or a link they can click.
3. Follow up with current and new patients about their recommended care.
Often, a patient will visit for a routine cleaning and receive a recommended treatment plan. This could range from one simple filling to more-involved restorative dentistry, such as a bridge or implant.
While many patients will heed these suggestions and schedule a follow-up visit, others will not. One way to encourage more traffic to your office is to reach out to those patients again whether they are current or new patients.
Create campaigns just for this target audience, with communication pieces designed to promote each type of care. Try email or text campaigns to reach them quickly and effectively, and cater your messages appropriately.
For instance, you may have one campaign that fosters relationships with prospective Invisalign patients and another for those considering traditional orthodontics.
When you do reach them again, ask if they have any questions or concerns about the suggested treatment and offer assistance when possible. Some may be concerned about the financial aspect of the service(s), so mention financing options if those are available. Sometimes gentle reassurance is all that’s required for them to take the next step.
4. Update your digital presence.
How active is your practice on the internet? If your only foray into the digital world is a basic website, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new patients.
Finding dental practice success requires embracing the tools at your fingertips, and the digital realm is full of untapped advertising potential. There are many online tools that can help you promote your office, and many of them are free or low-cost.
Start by optimizing your profile on Google My Business. In a nutshell, this is an online profile for your business. It’s the first thing that people will see when they search your practice name on Google, and it houses lots of important information, including:
- Your street address
- Your business hours
- Your online reviews
- Your contact information
Take the time to make your website as dynamic as possible. Make sure the content is fresh and relevant, and optimize the graphics and videos displayed. In addition, your site should be mobile-friendly, especially considering that more than half of all searches now come from mobile devices!
5. Embrace social media marketing.
Is your office active on Facebook? What about YouTube or Twitter? There are a myriad of different platforms to choose from, so be selective but be somewhere.
Then once you’re up and running, keep your social media presence active and up to date. Be sure to respond to patient comments and messages. You can even use your page to run promotions and contests that motivate your followers!
6. Increase your dental offerings to current and new patients.
Want another way to encourage new patients to give your office a try? Pursue ongoing education that can expand the types of services you provide and the number of current and new patients you can help.
Specializing in a form of advanced dentistry, such as orthodontics or pediatric dentistry, can open new doors at your office and enrich the lives of your current and future new patients. Search for the best continuing education courses online and in your community to learn more about where you can plug in and what you can study.
Interested in expanding into the orthodontics space? Our AOS courses can help you grow your skill set and meet those goals.
You can also find continuing education courses through the American Dental Association (ADA) and other reputable sources. The CERP Provider Course Listing is open to both ADA members and nonmembers and includes information on a range of continuing dental education courses.
7. Get involved in your community.
A great way to attract more new patients to your dental office is to become involved in your local community!
While you don’t have to sponsor every event or Little League team, it helps to find a few key places where you can invest your time and money.
Look for ways your team can give back, such as participating in local fundraisers and food drives. You can also provide food, money, or resources to nearby shelters (e.g., a personal-care kit including dental hygiene items) and donate to community centers as needed.
You can even host your own events at your office, such as education days or a customer appreciation lunch!
8. Create a patient referral program.
Word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the most effective forms of advertising out there in garnering new patients. A glowing review from someone they trust can encourage a prospective patient to give your office a try. To encourage your current patients to reach out to others about your team, establish a simple referral program that rewards them for their efforts.
From a free cleaning to service discounts, there are several different promotions you can use. Create a simple card that explains how your referral process works and distribute it before a patient leaves your office.
9. Address common concerns of both current and new patients.
Among people who avoid the dentist, there are two concerns that appear the most frequently: cost of treatment and anxiety over potential pain. If you can address these hesitations up front, then you can encourage more new patients to visit your office.
First, let’s talk cost. While you can’t exactly offer your services for free, there are ways you can help alleviate the financial burden. When a patient visits your office for the first time, speak to them about their financing options, including any membership plans that are available. Discuss their plan of care and ways to make it more affordable.
If a patient is worried about experiencing discomfort, ease those concerns by explaining how your office makes dental care as comfortable as possible. From nitrous oxide and sedation to advanced laser dentistry, there are many treatments that can minimize anxiety and help your current and new patients feel more at ease.
10. Create a blog.
A blog is an easy and effective way to connect with your target audience. Unsure what to write about? Start by answering common questions that you field in your office, such as why a particular treatment is necessary or how it helps an issue.
From there, look for trending topics in your industry using tools such as Google Trends. You can also reach out to your social media followers to see what topics they want to learn more about, or ask for feedback through your other digital marketing channels.
Grow your dental practice from the ground up.
As you look for more ways to grow your dental practice, remember to keep your current and new patients top of mind. As you do, you’ll organically attract more attention to your office. From print marketing to social media, look for ways to reach out to your audience and stand out in your space. You can also pursue continuing education to grow your skill set and elevate your career. To learn more about the courses we offer, join us today!
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.