If you own a dental office, you’re probably wondering how you can get more patients to come in so that your dental practice will flourish. Yes, everyone needs a dentist, but for personal reasons, some people are reluctant to visit a dentist.
As a dentist, your task is to improve your services so that business will increase and you stay financially viable.
Here are some tips on how you can do that:
1. Maintain a Feedback Mechanism For Your Practice
Some people are shy by nature so you won’t hear from them if they have any complaints about your dental practice. But, you should reach out to those patients so that you’ll know if there are any problems.
For example, you could have a form on your website labeled “click here” for the benefit of anyone who wants to know who they can approach about their recent consultation in your clinic. Or, you could have printed forms handed out to patients after a dental session that they can fill out.
Doing so enables you to come up with solutions to problems that might derail your smoothly-progressing dental practice, which you can then quickly address.
2. Get Yourself Certified
As a dentist, you definitely need the right credentials before you can even set up a dental clinic. This means studying at a university with a great academic reputation and continuing your education through the years so that you keep adding to your credentials.
Yes, all those framed diplomas on dental clinic walls have a purpose. They reassure your patients and their families that you’re definitely talented and skilled as a dentist. This way, they can entrust their teeth to your capable hands.
Proper advertising doesn’t automatically mean you’ll take out full-page ads in local newspapers and magazines.
You may start small by having a tarpaulin ad made with your clinic’s name and contact details on it to hang outside your clinic door. Make sure the ad also lists down the range of services you’re offering and your clinic hours.
It’s usually the case for potential patients to simply call your clinic and ask for your rates for the services you offer, so there’s no need to add rates on the tarp ad.
4. Volunteer at Medical Missions
This is a good way to get exposure in the community because people will see you at work among the indigent. Not only will this build your relationships with potential patients, but you’ll also develop a good reputation in charity work as well.
It’s advisable to go for the worst cases so that your clinical knowledge improves. This will prove useful when one of your future paying patients will come in with bad dental problems and you know you can help them regain their smiles.
5. Join Reputable Dentist Associations
Aside from graduating from a great university, a dentist may benefit from joining dentist associations in the community and/or country. This helps build the dentist’s reputation among peers, which is always a good step forward.
The association might also have a newsletter or trade journal in which new dentists can be featured, even briefly. The key is to be an active member so that people will see who you are, even among a host of other dentists.
6. Hire Someone To Make a Website For You
This is not a traditional route for a dentist to take, but it has value because, nowadays, many people take their search for medical professionals online.
One of the nice things about having your own website is that you’ll be advertising in a low-key manner. Potential patients will get an additional service too, especially if you feature articles about dental care, dental procedures (such as is explained in this guide here), and even dental prostheses, like dentures. Many clients like to take their time deciding on who to consult about dental problems so your website is like a patient-nurse who can answer all their questions without even stepping into a clinic at all.
If you do make a website, you might want to approach previous patients and ask them if they could make testimonials about your skills as a dentist. In addition to the testimonials, ask them if they’re open to place their pictures on the website. Some patients might even be confident enough to agree to star in a video testimonial, which is a nice touch for a dental care website.
Your website developer should put in a form where potential patients can sign in and make inquiries about your services. In addition, your website will need some maintenance so be sure to spend time looking through it and checking if anyone makes an inquiry. You can check which articles seem to have a following and which ones are not that appealing to the online world.
You should also include a page where your background, especially your academic and professional certifications, is laid out for everyone to see.
7. Hire a Competent Receptionist
Some dentists like to run their practice as a one-man show, which is alright. But, as your practice grows, you’re going to notice that it’s a hassle to answer the clinic phone just when you’re doing an oral procedure on a patient. And, patients like their dentist to be focused on treating them, not on entertaining callers.
Having a receptionist is good so that someone will be ready to answer questions of callers regarding dental services and rates for dental procedures. Be sure to pick someone who’s pleasant, knowledgeable, and a quick learner.
8. Ask Previous Patients for Referrals
Even if you already have a sizable practice, this is a good step to take. If the dental practice is to survive for the long term, all dentists need a steady stream of patients to treat. Thus, you can ask the patients to fill out a referral card after every visit. This is where you’ll ask for at least two referrals per patient.
If your patient is satisfied with your services, most likely, they’ll be glad to fill out your referral card.
A dental practice is a business that needs support if it is to last the long term. As a dentist, you should get yourself accredited with the right certifications. You can advertise so that people will know who you are in the community. Try joining medical missions to build a credible reputation in charity work. You can join reputable dentist associations so your peers get to welcome you as a member. Try hiring a web developer to make your own website for you. Be sure to hire a great receptionist so that you can focus on treating patients. Don’t neglect to ask previous patients for at least two referrals per visit. And of course, maintain a feedback system so that patients can inform you if they noticed anything that needs improvement in your dental practice.