In the traditional business setting, most customers would typically go to the outlet that is nearest to their place of work or residence because of convenience. This way, they would need to spend less time on traffic along the way, they do not have to head out hours in advance, and they even get to save on gas or transportation costs. However, in today’s competitive landscape, dental marketing is crucial. The modern patient looks up reviews and consults with several different clinics before they make a decision on where to go.
In a study conducted by Healthgrades, 62% of patients cited “convenient location” as the main reason for their choice of physician, while 58% mentioned the same reason for choosing a hospital. Other major factors were the friendliness of the office staff, the credibility of the doctor or the hospital, insurance accreditation, and ease of setting appointments.
However, the increasing popularity of social media has blurred the lines of real estate. As businesses and consumers become increasingly active and engaged online, discussions about healthcare choices have evolved into more than just choosing for convenience.
In a more recent study that focused on dental care, researchers have observed that the factors determining patients’ healthcare decisions have changed. Now, the topmost reason for a patient’s choice is the doctor’s competence, as mentioned by 22% of the respondents.
But what is more surprising is a new factor that was not in consideration before, and that is the recommendation of someone they know. It was even rated as the second most important factor, chosen by more than 20% of the respondents. This was followed by quality service, and the patience and respect that they felt during the treatment.
As the competitive landscape has changed over these past few years, you also need to adjust the way you do business in order to cope with the new demands and expectations from your patients. With that in mind, here’s how you can increase the number of patients for your dental clinic:
How to attract more patients to your clinic
Patients behave differently now as they have integrated their schedules, preferences, and even their opinions with information that they see online. Make your clinic accessible to these patients by making these simple adjustments :
Prioritise customer service
Give your patients a reason to recommend you by first letting them have an excellent experience with you. Remember that they are the most important component of your practice, and they should be treated as such.
Excellent customer service does not even need to cost you anything, but it will not happen if you do not pay attention to every little detail of the patient’s journey. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what you would have wanted if you were in their position. You can also talk to your patients and openly ask for their recommendations.
When people feel gratified and respected, they will naturally want to reciprocate, and the best way to do that is to talk positively about you. If you are able to maintain a good relationship with them, you can even directly request for a review or recommendation and they would be glad to comply.
Be more accessible
Communication comes fast and easy in this digital age. Make it convenient for patients to reach you and book a schedule by offering several communication channels that they can choose from based on their preferences.
Aside from the usual telephone number and email address, add a mobile number, social media pages, and a few messenger apps as well.
Improve your website
Think of your website like a storefront window display because it should function as such. When a passerby looks at the window, it has enough information and looks attractive enough to make that person want to know more. As a result, they will get in touch with you, and this means you will generate new leads for your clinic.
Make your website work for you by adding relevant content such as actual photos of you and your clinic, certifications and other information that would support your credibility, and helpful information about your services. It would also be better if you say or offer something that sets you apart from other dental clinics out there because it will make it much easier for the patient to choose you.
Optimise your digital assets
There could be many patients who are going online to look for you, but your information have been buried under layers of internet search results. Lead them directly to you by employing an effective SEO strategy.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and works to generate revenue for a business by improving your online presence and generating more targeted leads. Find out what strategy would best work for your practice by working closely with a professional who can give you advice and recommendations based on what you need.
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