How to Attract New Dental Patients and Maximize Patient Retention and Growth

Relationships are everything when it comes to running a successful dental practice. And successful relationships are based on making every interaction count. Here’s how your practice can optimize every patient interaction to attract new patients, delight your existing patients, and improve outcomes for your patients and your practice.

1. Drive new patients to your practice.

With the digital world we live in, many of us “shop” for new services online before  heading out to a new store, or in this case, a dental practice. Your website is the first place that most prospective patients will go to learn more about your practice, and it is important to make a good first impression.A 2020 survey found that nearly half of all respondents stated that they would choose a new dentist based on online reviews, while 18% choose based on the top-ranking practices that appear in their search results. 5% of individuals even stated they would choose their new dentist based on the one with the best-looking website.When it comes to websites appearances matter, and how your practice is presented online can be the difference between acquiring a new patient or sending them searching elsewhere.There are a few must-haves that can help improve the image of your dental practice online. A mobile-friendly website is essential as it helps users who prefer to search by phone to easily access your site. In addition, soliciting reviews from your current patients (and sharing them online) builds your practice’s rapport to potential patients.For SEO purposes, investing in a Google My Business listing can make important information about your practice, such as location and hours, easier to find. A listing with photos produces 35% more clicks to your website than a listing with no photos.Learn how RevenueWell Website and SEO can give you a competitive edge.

2. Investigate your competition.

You may feel you are doing everything right with your practice, or you may feel a bit lost and unsure of how to improve upon your discoverability. An important way to gauge where your practice stands includes a bit of research.Check in with other practices in your area by viewing their websites, online, and social media presence. Pay attention to what seems to be working for them, whether they have plenty of online reviews, or the type of content they are posting on social media is driving engagement and boosting their awareness. Industry trade shows are another outlet that can help you to learn about cutting edge operations that you can implement in your own office.Try out the methods that resonate with you and your practice. If it’s working for others, it’s worth taking action to determine if it will help your practice draw in new patients, too.If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, other approaches are certainly valid. Utilizing the skills and tools you have available between the staff at your practice is essential, but don’t be afraid to reach out for help when needed. Maybe your practice is struggling with developing an updated website, or ranking highly on search engines. Outsourcing these tasks can help your practice to reach a new audience while optimizing the abilities of the staff you have on board.You can use this easy online tool to analyze your search rankings and compare them to your competitors.

3. Embrace and engage new patients.

Gaining new patients is exciting. It means they see the value in your practice and trust you to do an excellent job helping to care for their oral health.But a great onboarding experience can seal the deal and start the practice-patient relationship off on the right foot. A smooth onboarding process saves time and unnecessary stress when the patient arrives for their first appointment.Consider sending new patients a welcome email. This can include links to electronic forms to complete, a description of what patients can expect from your practice, even a short video tour of your office will help new patients to feel more at ease before they come in. Combined, these resources signal to new patients that your practice is aptly prepared, and excited, for their arrival.Once the new patient walks in, their first interactions with office staff can set the tone for their experience throughout the remainder of the appointment. Greeting patients with a warm welcome when they walk through the door will ensure patients feel appreciated.After the onboarding process, it’s important to keep in touch with patients in a way that works for them. Understanding their communication preferences, such as whether they prefer to be contacted by text or email, can be useful for setting reminders, keeping patients happy, and reducing the risk of no-shows, late arrivals, or missed pre-operative medication.Further engagement can happen by encouraging patients to find your practice on social media platforms, or sending out email campaigns and special offers. Gauging the right balance of outbound communication will prevent you from overwhelming your patients and make what you do send out more meaningful.

4. Retain your current patients, reactivate your existing ones.

Retaining patients is a top priority for just about every practice. While some attrition is unavoidable, mastering the ability to reactivate patients will bring your practice back to the forefront of your patients’ minds while saving money.Drawing patients back to your practice after some time away can be as simple as reaching out. Email campaigns that include special offers, texts or phone calls can get a patient’s attention if it has been a while since they’ve visited the office. Personalization of these messages can increase their effectiveness and prompt patients to get scheduled.With RevenueWell Marketing Platform, it’s easy to target patients based on their re-care status and open treatment plans, then create automated campaigns to engage them. When Dr. Claudia Anderson of Family Dental in Park Ridge, Ill., began using RevenueWell Campaigns, her first campaign brought in eight new visits and $1,753 in incremental production. Their second, another eight visits and $1,134.

5. Delighting patients pays dividends.  

patient acquisition and retention

Timing is always an important factor to keep in mind while reaching out to patients. Bombarding a patient with messages or calls can leave them feeling buried by notifications from your practice.Patients can often feel apprehensive about dental appointments, meaning part of your role is to set them at ease. Delighting your patients means going the extra mile. While birthday messages are thoughtful, you want to create an environment and relationship with your patients that stands out.Small touches can make a significant difference in elevating your patients’ experiences from average to excellent. Consider your practice demographic and implement additions that will make a positive impact, whether it is at the individual level or for the community.Practices who see large numbers of children may set up a kids’ corner, others may create a beverage station. Incorporating these features into your practice can make patient experiences more memorable. Genuine, thoughtful consideration for your patients is sure to be noticed.

6. RevenueWell aids practices in driving growth and maintaining patient retention.

Managing the front office of your dental practice can be challenging on its own. Additional efforts to attract new patients, as well as the hours spent going above and beyond to make an excellent first impression, retain current patients and reactivate previous patients can be exhausting.RevenueWell solutions assist your front office in retaining current patients while staying on top of their social media and outreach game. With the patient communication and management system, staff can easily generate timely email campaigns promoting special offers, or social media posts to keep patients engaged and draw attention to your practice.Automated systems take the pressure off staff and help to ensure patients have a positive experience with your practice that will keep them coming back.Schedule a demo today to learn more about how RevenueWell can increase practice growth and retention with less effort.