Setting your dental practice apart from the competition aids the growth of your practice, as well as in case acceptance and recall.
You may be a healthcare provider, but you are not a medical office. Don’t act like one. People hate going to the doctor, and if your office feels like a doctor’s office, they’re not going to enjoy coming to see you either.
Here are some things you can do today to make your office culture more attractive:
Personalize your office:
You and your team are unique, so why not shape your office to reflect this. This will help give your patients a better idea of who you are as you also learn about them.
Reduce your stress:
It’s not all about the employees. A stressed owner makes for an equally stressed team, so make sure you’re managing your stress level effectively and get help if you’re having trouble.
Embrace social media:
You may have a website, but you should be on Facebook and Twitter too. Create a Facebook page and Twitter feed for your practice and encourage all of your patients to become fans and follow you.
If you receive a referral from a patient, send them a personalized thank you note. Send out cards for holidays, or when one of your patients reaches a milestone in their life.
Tell jokes or stories:
Dental operatories can be frightening places, particularly for anxious patients. Most of them would be happy for a little levity to ease the tension. Don’t be afraid to tell jokes or to engage your patients in fun conversations.
Put some excitement back into your career:
Consider ways to put enjoyment back into dentistry for you. Maybe it’s dentistry on the road, or making Sunday house calls to octogenarians. People can tell when you are passionate about something. When you exude happiness, people want to be a part of it.
If there’s something you love to do, consider mixing it with your business. Like sports? Run a football pool at your practice or sponsor a local sports team and give discounts to patients who go see them play. Mash-ups immediately communicate the message that your practice is not like other dental practices.
Host oral health seminars:
The average person doesn’t know much about oral health. You could really help change that for your patients by hosting occasional oral health seminars. But who says education has to be boring? Why not turn them into wine-and-learns for your adult patients, or serve cake and play games (with prizes for the winners) for your younger ones?
Make the end of the experience memorable:
Remember the concept of primacy and recency. People remember first impressions and final moments most. Yet think about how dental appointments usually end: with a bill, and frequently with confusion over how much the patient is actually expected to pay. This is one area where a prepaid savings plan can do wonders; because payment is received in advance, patients can walk away with a positive interaction with you and the team fresh in their minds.