You may be a pro at giving patients beautiful smiles, but when it comes to marketing your business I bet you have your doubts. As a dental practice owner you can’t afford to have those, which is why you’ll find these marketing ideas a great way to supercharge your strategy. And before you wave it off, let’s be clear: your practice is your business so it’s important that you give it some tender loving care (aka marketing) to grow it.
Create a Brand, Not a Practice
One of the most important things that dental practice owners forget is that, not everyone is interested in using your service initially. You have to dress up to impress, and in business that means branding.
A brand according to the American Marketing Association is, “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Creating a brand will help distinguish your practice from your competitors. Brand building can start as simply with getting a logo design, and can go as complex as branding your office décor, billboards, signage, brand identity, apparel, and more. The idea is to psychologically train your patients to associate your service quality with visual stimulation. Wherever they see the colors, symbol, or mark, they’ll immediately recognize your brand.
Build Fan-Following Not Clients
When you’re so focused on securing clients, you often only see how much revenue you’re generating. That is good business sense. But when you concentrate on wowing your customers, chances are, you make great impressions on them, enough to keep them gushing about you all day, week, or month long. I know I do when I visit a great dentist!
The next time you treat a patient, make the effort of being a bit more friendly; pay attention to their preferences; play along with their pain points (literally); and there’s no harm adding some wackiness to the process. After all you want them to remember you, and create a fan out of them. Their word of mouth will pay off long after their visit. This leads us to our next point.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
What is dentistry about if not skilled service? According to D. Scott Trettenero, while every dentist tries their utmost to give quality service, all dentists are not the same, and likewise their services. From the perspective of patients, quality means these four factors: empathy, responsiveness, reliability, and capability.
Take time to review your practice’s process right from when a potential patient calls for an appointment to the point when they have completed treatment and left your office. Where can you improve? What can be minimized to deliver faster service? What to add to better the service? Focus on processes that would improve quality.
Be Tech Savvy, Not Tech Addicted
We understand that as a dentist you have to keep up with your profession by attending numerous workshops and conferences, as well as attaining certifications. But while all those pertain to your skills as a dentist, you have to also be tech savvy in the business sense.
Get online. The world today operates online, and offers plenty of opportunities that you’d find extremely useful to be tech savvy. Some of the ways that you could use technology for your business includes setting up a website about your dental practice as described here:
Business Directories – List your dental practice in directories like Yellow Pages, Vitals, Wellness, and Zocdoc so that potential customers can easily locate you when they are looking for a dentist. Be sure to give complete contact information.
Review Sites – Reviews help give your potential patients an unbiased view of your service, and most help ranking for your website, too. Try to get five star reviews on sites like Yelp, Trustpilot, and Better Business Bureau, etc.
Social Media – This one you may have used for friends and family before but it’s time to give some serious thoughts about building your personal brand through social media. Build a community, be responsive, and be there for your past and potential patients.
e-Newsletter – How do you show your expertise to Millennials and young adults who are always glued to their phones? Shoot an e-newsletter to your existing clients to tell them about your new and improved services, and while you’re at it, there’s no harm requesting that they share in their circles.
Dental Apps – If there is a service in this world, there is an app for it. If you’re not convinced then the reasons listed here will.
Communicate, Not Sell
In the end, I would like to advise dental practice owners to communicate, not sell. When you start selling, you are concentrating on what YOU will gain out of it. When you communicate you will focus more on what you can give to benefit your patients, and that’s what would interest THEM. If you’re too busy, then create channels of communication and make yourself reachable. Remember, the nearer the patients are to you, the more comfortable they will be in reaching out when they’re in need of your service.