Breaking Down the Hurdles
In our experience working with hundreds of dental professionals, we often see offices struggle with getting new patients. You could be the best dentist in the industry and have the best, most effective marketing. The new patient calls are constantly coming in, but why are you not seeing an increase in new patients?
In current times, the average person must work to live. With most families, both parents must work to make ends meet. This leaves little time for a parent to make a doctor or dentist appointment for themselves or their children. This is one of the hurdles we see when a potential patient calls a dentist to make an appointment when they get off in the evening and there is no availability after 5:00 PM because the office is closed. If your office closes the same time others are just getting off work, they will have to schedule time off from work to come see you at an earlier time. This is an inconvenience for most people. Consider having at least one day a week that you are open later than usual. This will leave more time for busy patients to come in for an appointment.
Most people will also do tons of online research before going somewhere new. Wouldn’t you? When looking for a new dentist specifically, we look for one that stands out from the others. A lot of people are terrified of the dentist office and dread going to one. Advertise comfort on your website! This will catch the attention of potential patients. Let your website visitors know that you offer anesthesia, you have top of the line chairs with optimum comfort, or that you have soft, relaxing music playing in the background while you are with the hygienist or dentist. Add pictures of your happy, smiling staff to your site along with personal descriptions about them. My dentist offers cold water in bottles, comfortable couches and a TV in the waiting room. They even have the Wi-Fi password posted on a wall so that everyone has free access to the internet. When my son is old enough for a dentist, he will have a dedicated area in the waiting room where he can play with toys or color in a coloring book. Offer these types of things and add those pictures to your website as well.
One big hurdle we see way too often is availability for a new patient appointment. I recently spoke to a doctor that is having trouble getting new patients scheduled within a few days of their call. I told her that’s because the new patient appointment is 90 minutes long. Sure, this is fine for someone looking to become established with a new dentist and understand that the appointment will be longer because they have never been there. But what if it were someone that has never been to your office having a dental issue or an emergency that could potentially become an established patient? If they are having an emergency, they want to be seen as soon as possible. If the new patient appointment is 90 minutes, it is almost impossible to find the time on the schedule in 48 hours. Consider having 30-minute time slots available for new patient emergencies. The important thing is to get them in, address the issue, devise a game plan for treatment and schedule a follow up appointment.
In their consulting days, John and Lynette Ross witnessed far too many opportunities being missed. That is how Concierge Contact Center came into the picture. They wanted to help practices with these issues improve, grow and succeed.
Guest Blogger: Shea Davis