In today's patient landscape, your dental practice must find a way to differentiate itself from the competition and create a personal experience with your clientele. But how do you set yourself apart? Whether you want to focus on perfecting your customer experience or incorporating new technology, there are many ways to differentiate your dental practice.
Try focusing on the following solutions to learn how to make your dental practice better.
Provide an Individualized Experience
The key to patient retention and consistent growth is providing your patients with an individualized experience. Every patient that comes to visit you is unique, and it's essential to address their needs as such. By providing a customized experience for each person, you can improve overall client retention and build a genuine bond with your patients.
Some practices take their individualized patient approach even further by catering to specific demographics, such as the following:
- Children: Infants require attention to their dental health as young as six months old. However, many practices don't specialize in taking care of infants and children. If you're looking to expand into this area of expertise, consider redecorating some of your exam rooms and purchasing small toys to use as a reward once your young patients are finished with their treatments. Children's dentists may specialize in fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and cavity filling.
- Teenagers: You can even carve out a market with teenagers by specializing in braces and other cosmetic treatments. When caring for patients of this adolescent age, it's essential to set lifelong oral hygiene standards. Dental practices specializing in teenage clientele usually feature orthodontic services alongside regular cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants.
- Family practice: Many parents are looking for a dentist who can serve everyone in the family. While many family practices specialize in cleanings and services for young children, you can gain a whole family of patients by ensuring you cater to patients' dental health needs at every age.
- Cosmetic dentistry: Cosmetic dentists give patients back their smiles by using everything from teeth whitening to veneers. While your clientele may be more limited, you'll likely make more money per patient.
- Elderly: If you're looking to attract an older clientele, ensure your practice is always up to speed on the newest procedures for implants and dentures. Elderly patients may also be looking for dentists who are adept at treating tooth loss, gum disease, dry mouth, and more.
Focus on Customer Service and Communication
Remember that retaining your existing patients is the most cost-effective way to increase your revenue. Building trust with every individual and creating a personalized dentist-patient relationship is essential to building a clientele that keeps coming back. By focusing on the following, you can make a strong impression on your customers:
- Streamline your scheduling and payment processes: Impress your patients before they even come into the office by opting for streamlined scheduling. Streamlining your offerings using online services is an excellent way to make sure your patients can easily book an appointment to see you. Online patient portals for scheduling and payment improve the customer experience while giving your receptionists more time to focus on patients in person.
- Add thoughtful amenities and entertainment: You can make your patients feel more at ease by offering them quality amenities, including everything from free Wi-Fi and music streaming to blankets and neck pillows during treatment. Also, remember to provide toys and entertainment for children to help keep kids calm and quiet throughout their treatment.
- Listen to and learn from feedback: Never forget that feedback is a chance to grow and deepen your relationship with your patients. Consider setting up a feedback form either in-office or online so that you can learn from your clients and adjust your practice to their needs.
- Incorporate sustained patient outreach: Keep your patients engaged with your practice even after they leave with sustained patient outreach. You can remind them of appointments and inform them of discounts or events through phone calls, texts, emails, and even social media messages.
Encourage Online Engagement
In the 21st century, the need to create a social media and website presence for your practice is undeniable. Online engagement allows you to reach out to your patients and make sure your practice is always in the back of their minds. Your office should have the following online presences to ensure you're reaching as many customers as possible:
- Website: Having an up-to-date website and social media page is necessary to show your patients your practice is trustworthy. Your website is the perfect place to showcase your professional credentials and establish your office's history. You can even use your website to highlight promotions and deals you may have going on.
- Social media: With an effective social media outreach strategy, you can attract younger patients and always keep them in the know about new services and promotions you're offering. Social media is also a great place to showcase reviews from dedicated patients.
- Live chats: Many practices are integrating new online engagement tools such as real-time chat boxes on their websites. If you have reception staff who are very well adept at communicating with patients online, consider setting up a live chat. You can also outsource it to a company that specializes in medical/dental live chats.
- Email campaigns: Even after all this time and with these new technological advancements, email campaigns remain an effective way to get right through to your patients. You can remind them of upcoming appointments and promotions and prompt them to set up more consistent dental cleanings.
Offer Unusual Hours
When your clients work a nine-to-five job, it can be difficult for them to find time to squeeze in an appointment. You can open your practice to a broader range of clients by offering unusual hours in the early morning and evening or even on weekends. Doing so ensures patients with a range of schedules can see you whenever they need to and won't put off dental work due to scheduling conflicts.
Prioritize Education and New Technology
Sometimes, all you need to stay ahead of your competition is to be up to date on the latest procedures. Consider taking classes, attending seminars, or investing in new technology to show your patients you're committed to always becoming a better dentist and offering them innovative treatments. You can improve your patient education by doing the following:
- Set aside time for discussion: The beginning and end of every consultation, cleaning, and procedure you provide should be set aside for educating your patients and allowing them to ask questions. When your patients feel you can cultivate knowledge in an accessible and articulate manner, they'll be more likely to stay engaged with their dental health and schedule regular appointments.
- Give out educational brochures: While physical media is gradually going out of style, older patients can significantly benefit from having access to straightforward educational brochures and pamphlets around your office. Models, diagrams and posters are also great for engaging younger patients and helping them understand and get serious about their dental hygiene practices.
- Write blog posts: Creating a blog for your practice allows you to establish your staff's expertise and professionalism for your patients' well-being. By making dental topics easy to understand, you can forge a bond with clients of all ages and gain their trust.
Redecorate Your Office
Your office is still the most essential element of your first impression. With a sleek new dental office, you can show your patients you're always on the cusp of innovation and help them feel safe and secure with your services. Consider improving your dental practice with the following elements:
- Comfortable seating: With the right seating, you can ensure your patients feel at home and comfortable. Many office furniture companies now make stain- and tear-resistant materials that help your seating stay looking like new for longer.
- Entertainment: Entertainment helps keep your patients calm and comfortable while they wait for their appointment to begin. You can opt for media like television shows, magazines, and music — plus toys to make sure your younger patients are occupied.
- Educational material: Keeping educational material such as posters and brochures around your office can increase engagement and ensure your patients are well informed on your services.
Set up Reminder Services
Reminder services ensure both you and your patients make the best use of appointment time. By setting up a virtual reminder service, your patients can remember their appointments more effectively and stay on top of their dental health.
You can set up reminder services through email, text, or phone calls. New automation technology allows you to contact a large volume of patients while allowing your receptionists and assistants to focus on caring for the people visiting your office. Many new reminder services even enable patients to respond to automated texts, send them right to your practice.
Start a Subscription-Based Dental Membership
While 91.4% of Americans have access to health insurance, only 66.4% of all Americans have dental benefits. This phenomenon leads to a gap where many Americans lack access to regular preventative dental services while dental practices struggle to reach many community members. Subscription-based dental memberships allow patients from all walks of life to receive the dental care they deserve without worrying about paying high bills. Dental membership plans let you reach young professionals, Medicare patients, and retired patients more effectively than ever.
Just like a streaming service, a subscription-based dental membership is an opportunity to build trust in your practice and encourage your patients to stay proactive about their dental health. Subscription-based dental memberships are a win-win for every party involved. Your patients get the care they deserve while you cut out the insurance middleman.
Using a subscription-based dental membership has the following benefits:
- Reach uninsured patients: With a dental membership, you can increase your revenue by cornering the local market on patients without dental insurance. Dental memberships drive two to three times as many uninsured patients, which leads to a 2.1x increase in revenue per patient. Annually, this leads to $640 more in total production revenue.
- Retain emergency patients: Subscription-based memberships allow you to offer a viable dental solution to patients who typically only visit your practice for emergencies. This means you can convert one-time patients into lifelong clients. They'll get access to preventative treatment at an affordable price point and improve their dental health on a more regular basis while you increase your overall revenue.
- Decrease third-party insurance costs: Membership programs take the guesswork out of insurance and make sure your patients never have to opt out of care due to insurance costs.
- Offer a self-service patient experience: In addition to improved care, your patients will be raving about their subscription and billing experience. With membership plans, there are no hidden costs or insurance-related hoops to jump through. Plus, your staff will have more time to focus on what really matters with self-service at your practice.
- Provide flexible plans: With dental membership, your patients don't have to have a family to get coverage. Subscription-based plans work great with non-traditional families and friends who want to share a coverage plan but aren't eligible through traditional insurance.
The Benefits of Using Kleer for Subscription-Based Dental Membership
At Kleer, we know the dental insurance system is broken and often hurts patients and practices. We aim to fix these issues by allowing your business to reach as many patients as possible through implementing affordable dental membership plans without the overhead insurance costs. Our subscription-style dental coverage platform allows your patients to be 100% in control of their subscription and treatments so you can more effectively get them what they need. Kleer comes with the following advantages:
1. Customized Care Plans
Kleer allows you to customize several care plans and control everything from subscription fees and treatment protocols to discounts and exclusions. With Kleer, you can create customized care plans for children, adults, and the elderly so that all your patients get the specialized services they need. Kleer's personalized subscription plans can be set with monthly and annual price points.
2. Easy Membership Launches
Kleer is so straightforward and effective to use that you can launch your patient membership plans in mere days. Our Kleer SmartDesign system allows you to customize your membership instantly and adjust your plans for patient demographics, treatments, and plan goals. With our Kleer SmartPricing formula, you'll get insights into exactly how much similar plans cost and price yours accordingly.
3. Straightforward Plan Management
Our interface allows you to track payments, manage members, invite patients, and edit your practice's plans, all from the same platform. You can instantly make changes to your membership with Kleer Version Control and update your members about modifications in care plans and payment methods. Unlike in-house membership plans, Kleer does the hard work for you and automates renewals, payments, and notifications so you have fewer responsibilities to worry about.
Increase Your Patient Revenue With Kleer
If you're looking to reach and retain more patients, Kleer is the right choice for your office. Differentiate your dental practice from the rest when you request a demo and launch your plan for free with Kleer.