Typically, dentists only see emergency patients once. Even though they leave the office feeling much better than when they arrived, chances are these emergency patients have no intention of ever coming back.
That’s usually because dentists and their team members don’t do much, if anything, to earn their loyalty. Educating emergency patients and helping them feel comfortable would help, and might even make them want to call your practice their new dental home.
Whether you’re treating emergency patients or new patients who are there for a routine exam, you can’t take for granted that they’ll make their next appointment at your practice. They have a lot of options, so you have to earn their business. How? Start by following these tips:
Offer exceptional customer service and a relaxing atmosphere. Patients want to go to a dental office that has a comfortable environment and friendly staff. Train team members to greet every patient with a smile and to do what they can to put them at ease. Invest in comfortable furniture for the waiting area; you want the space to feel more like a living room than a dental office.
Add services to your practice. If you don’t offer the procedures patients want or if the technology you use seems out of date, patients might start thinking about looking for a more leading-edge practice. Make time for CE classes and commit to incorporating a variety of services into your office. This will not only help keep current patients happy, it will attract new patients to your practice as well.
Show them you care. Earning patient loyalty is all about creating connections with your patients—and that starts by showing them you care. Ask them about their families, their jobs and their oral heath goals. Let them know how you can help them reach those goals, and spend time educating them about the importance of maintaining their oral health. Stay connected by making follow-up calls, sending educational materials via snail mail and emailing newsletters with information about practice promotions and services. Trust me, this is how you build relationships and win patients over.
You want every patient who comes to your practice to turn into a loyal patient. It might take a little work on your part to get there, but trust me, it’s well worth the effort.