There’s more to succeeding as an independent dentist than finding new patients. While having a steady stream of incoming patients is essential, it’s also necessary to streamline your operations and invest in patient retention.
There are many ways to appeal to new patients, keep existing clients satisfied with your services and make recurring appointments. If you’re looking for ideas for how to get more dental patients, we’ve assembled these tips to help you revolutionize your business and take it to the next level.
10 Ways to Expand Your Dental Practice
Extending your reach is essential for finding more patients, retaining current ones, and increasing your revenue. Below, you’ll find advice to help with your dental office growth, such as using social media and developing your services.
1. Have a Strong Web Presence and Use SEO
Most patients rely on the internet to search for everything in today’s world. If your website is outdated or lacks essential information, you could miss out on a significant market. Your website should include your credentials, experience, hours of operation, what insurance you accept, services, policies, and contact information at the minimum.
You also don’t want your website-building efforts to go to waste. You could lose prospective patients if you haven’t used search engine optimization. Most people don’t look past the first page of search results, so you want to do everything you can to rank higher. Different ways you can do this include writing original blog content, using keywords for your services, and updating your content regularly. You can also hire a professional SEO company to help you maintain your website.
2. Consider Patient Communication Preferences
Patients have unique communication preferences for appointments and scheduling reminders or promotional content. Some people would rather receive an email or phone call, while others prefer a text. Use various forms of communication to meet your patients’ needs and encourage them to engage with your business.
When new or existing patients come in, you can ask them about their communication preferences and use the data to refine your outreach strategies. Digital communication can make your practice more efficient and improve patient satisfaction.
3. Use Automation
It’s wise to stay abreast of technological advancements in the dental industry. Some examples of automated technology include electronic claims or email encryption, which can help make your business more efficient, allowing staff to focus more on other projects and marketing strategies.
Remember, you can’t revamp your business overnight. It will take time to update everything in your office. Make small, incremental updates and let your patients know what you’ve done on their behalf.
4. Expand Your Services
You’ll want to consider what services you currently offer and how to improve them to attract new patients and stand out among the competition. You have numerous options, so concentrate on what you can realistically do without overextending your practice’s resources. For example, you could focus on implementing emergency dentistry or services for the underinsured or uninsured.
5. Offer Financing Options
Not all patients have full insurance coverage or the ability to pay out of pocket for ongoing treatment plans. Rather than only serving insured people or expecting uninsured patients to pay an expensive bill, you can offer financing options that make dental care more accessible. For example, consider inviting uninsured patients to apply for a line of credit that allows them to pay for their treatment over time.
6. Set a Dental Office Growth Strategy and Goals
Growth results from strategic planning. First, you must identify monthly, quarterly, or annual objectives. These targets will help you define what success looks like for your practice, whether it’s finding new patients, increasing revenue, or improving patient retention.
7. Offer Promotions or Discounts
One way to expand your dental office is by offering patient incentives, such as promotions or discounts. For example, you can advertise a percentage off professional whitening services. You can also provide perks for current patients who refer friends and family members.
8. Claim Online Profiles and Social Media Pages
Another idea for building a thriving practice is to create or claim online profiles. Websites such as Yelp and Google My Business allow users to find local businesses. Set up your profile on these sites and update the information with your services, hours of operation, photos, and other practice information to help people find you and increase appointment requests.
It’s also wise to establish a social media presence for your practice. Platforms like Facebook are an excellent way to reach a broader audience, and you can also create sponsored posts or advertisements on these websites to help you find new patients.
9. Get Involved in the Community
Being active in your community is an excellent way to establish your practice and credibility. You can sponsor a sports team, volunteer at schools to teach children about dental health, or host an open house. Your outreach may not necessarily drive same-day appointment bookings, but it can help generate more leads in the future.
Community involvement also helps build loyalty, since locals will recognize your brand and associate it with your outreach efforts. Improving your reputation is an excellent way to grow your practice, retain your patients, and expand your patient base.
10. Manage Patient Satisfaction and Enhance Experiences
Patient satisfaction is essential to help improve repeat walk-in rates and referrals. The first interaction patients have with your office is often the decision-making factor for many people about whether they’ll return, whether it’s with a medical assistant or receptionist. Train all your staff members to be helpful and respectful, so patients come away feeling like your business is a high-quality practice with valuable services.
You can teach your team to prioritize customer service with tactics like these:
- Answering the phone and returning calls promptly
- Never leaving callers on hold for longer than two minutes when possible
- Answering questions with actionable phrases, such as “Let me find out,” rather than “I don’t know”
- Politely asking patients for feedback and reviews
- Replying to comments on social media
- Staying in touch by sending updates between appointments
- Explaining what patients can expect
Join Synergy Dental Partners to Grow Your Practice
If you’re looking to take your business to new heights, Synergy Dental Partners can help. We are a group purchasing organization that helps private and independent dentists save on services, supplies and products, allowing you to control your spending and earn more revenue.
When you become a member, you’ll have access to all our partners, including those that can help you with marketing, supplies, and practice administration. Contact us today to learn more about how a membership with us can benefit you!