Running a dental practice is not easy. Professionally you might have all the required qualifications and experience to be clubbed with the best in this field, but business wise, you have to initiate steps to ensure that you stay ahead in the race. Dentistry today is a severely competitive environment and success is not dependent only on individual skills, it has got more to do with how patients perceive your worth and how well you can project your total business to them. This will in turn impact patient retention rates and business growth.
Here are some basic ideas that you can implement to improve your dental business.
- Patient retention – While getting new patients is the backbone of any dental practice, it is equally important to retain regular patients. Trust and loyalty counts a lot and you can be sure that word of mouth referrals of satisfied clients will pay rich dividends in the long run. Additionally, this is the least expensive way to grow your business. Think and implement unique ideas to cater to your existing client base. Reach out to your patients on a regular basis the digital way. Use social media platforms and a mix of direct marketing and email marketing to keep in constant touch with them.
- Have trained staff – The overall clinic experience for your patient begins with contact with your staff – not you. The behaviour of your front desk staff and their efficiency has a lot to do with the reputation of your clinic. Have well trained staff to man key customer service points at your clinic – reception, initial consultation and scheduling. All of them should be trained for heightened patient interaction from greeting the patient in person or while talking over phone. You can even depute them for short term front desk training programs to acquaint them with optimised client handling techniques.
- Have excellent support services – Your dental business rests largely on the quality of services that you offer your patients and it does not depend on your expertise only. You should have excellent support services to complement what you have to offer at your clinic.
For example, you will need to have dental technicians working with you. These are people who are trained in repairing and constructing crowns, bridges, dentures and partial dentures. They also deal with maxillofacial surgical devices and orthodontic appliances. Now, these are a crucial part of your practice and you should have the best in business working on these for you. It is advisable to choose a dental technician who has gone through a diploma of dental technology from a leading institute such as ACFE. You can then be sure of the standards of the appliances and dentures supplied to you.
- Flexible payment options – Dental care today is a very expensive proposition and the more easy payment options you can offer your patients, the higher will be your business turnover. Insurance coverage is something over which you have no control since plans are fixed by the insurer. What you can do is to provide a range of payment options such as debit and credit cards, cash and personal check and special financing channels. It is to make sure that your patients are at ease and that personal financial constraints do not come in the way of receiving dental care at your clinic.
These are some of the basic ideas that you can implement to improve your dental business, being recommendations only and not standardisations. Methods you choose to adopt will depend solely on the unique nature of your dental practice.