Most patients aren’t going to leave your practice when you raise your fees – unless they were thinking about leaving anyway. To help ensure they don’t use a small price bump as an excuse to find a new dental home, start focusing on really building connections with your patients. Here’s how:
1. Offer superior customer service. If you can make patients feel welcome from the moment they walk through the door, they’re much more likely to stay loyal to your office. Train team members to greet every patient with a smile. Offer them water as they wait, and make sure your reception area has a homey, relaxed atmosphere that puts patients at ease. When patients feel comfortable in a practice, they won’t mind paying a little extra for the services they receive.
2. Provide top-notch education. Take the time to explain to patients why it’s important to maintain their oral health. Talk with them about their condition and show them radiographs and images taken with the intraoral camera. Answer any questions they have and address their concerns. This will make patients feel like you really care about their well-being and that you’re not just trying to sell them on dentistry. In turn, patients will feel connected to your practice and continue to remain loyal even after fee increases.
3. Get to know them. Most dentists are great at the clinical side of being a practice owner, but not so great at relationship building. They just don’t think about the importance of developing a rapport with patients, and what that can mean for patient retention. If you don’t already, start asking patients about their families. Talk with them about their oral health goals, and the services you provide that can help them reach those goals. These conversations will go a long way in creating connections, and fostering patient loyalty.
Raising fees is an important part of growing a practice, but most dentists opt to hold their prices steady because they’re worried about losing patients. If you take the time to build strong patient relationships, you won’t have to worry. They’ll stay loyal and you’ll bring in the money you need to live the life you want and to invest in technology for your practice.