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Five Critical Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Dental Practice


Do you know where your best patients are coming from?


At The Practice Marketers, we like to say: “Birds of a Feather Flock Together.” This may be an English proverb that originated somewhere in the 1600s, but it’s a really useful hint that points to where all your most valuable patients and prospects are located today.


There are specific marketing strategies we use in order to locate patients for our private clients – but the general concept is simple: patients and prospects with commonalities usually stick together.


For example, you’re not going to find an affluent household that can easily support recommended dental care for all three children in the middle of a ghetto. You can find domestic units with comparable incomes, values and lifestyles generally grouped in the same region.


Are you satisfied with the number of new patient inquiries you get each month?


A constant flow of new patients is the lifeblood of any practice. Are you getting the optimal number of calls a month? And are those calls getting converted into appointments by your staff?


If you’re dissatisfied with your numbers, here is just a sampling of some of the factors you could examine in order to put your finger “on the pulse” of the situation:


- Are your campaigns effective? (TIP: 118% more time is spent with Direct Mail than with digital advertising)


- Does your front line staff have a tested and proven script they can follow in order to convert inquiring patients into prospects?


- Are you encouraging patient referrals with personal Thank You cards, perhaps containing a small gift? (Such as a voucher for a coffee at a local coffee shop)


Would your patients say that your practice has a WOW factor?


To rise above your competition, you must plan a WOW experience for your patients on every level, starting with your marketing, leading to how patients feel when they arrive – and ending with how they feel about coming back to your office after they leave.


The WOW factor is why patients respond, why they refer, and why they will continually choose you over someone else – every time.


Being punctual, convenient hours and locations, reasonable payment plans, a fantastically comfortable office with a supreme kids’ play area and refreshment station, as well as patient appreciation gifts for kids (and mom!) are just some examples of great ways to provide an unforgettable experience for your visiting patients.


Do you know how many patients you’re losing each month?


Every practice loses approximately 15-20% of their patients each month due to natural attrition: People move, people die, or they come up against insurance changes… there are so many factors that affect attrition rates!


Generally, a practice with 1500 patients needs to attract 300 new patients a year just to replace the patients they lose, and maintain production levels.


The big question is: how do you know how many patients you need to attract each month, if you don’t know how many you’re losing?


That’s why your attrition rates are so important to know. To get the best return on your marketing investment, you need to keep track of how many patients you’re attracting, losing and keeping.


Do you have programs in place that create lifetime relationships with your patients?


The simplest gestures can earn patient trust and loyalty for life – and execution is everything. For example, taking an hour or so each week to hand write and send birthday cards to your patients each week is a gesture that will boost your retention rates sky-high!


In addition to birthdays, there are many other occasions that give you good reason to personally communicate with your patient-base. Just make sure you’re not constantly selling treatments or appointments. If you want to win patients for life, be genuine and lose the “pitch!”


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