Tips to Keep Your Dental Patients Happy and Loyal
Keeping your dental patients happy is important because it is one way of letting them know that you care for and prioritize them. Once they feel how special they are to you, they will quickly turn to loyal patients. Happy and loyal patients are satisfied clients who will encourage their family and friends to try your services. Also, happy and loyal patients always bring in positive reviews.
Finding ways to keep your patients happy and loyal may seem like a challenge, but it really is not. All it takes is a little extra effort from you and your team. You’ll also have to allot some time into doing this, even during your off-clinic hours. It’s a worthwhile sacrifice, though, as you’re guaranteed to provide your patients the satisfaction they are looking for. Whether they’re visiting your clinic for a regular checkup or a cosmetic dentistry procedure, you have to ensure that you’ll give them the best experience.
If you do not know where or how to start, here are some simple tips to help you out.
1. Make an effort to connect with them.
Let your patients know that they are not just a face and a name to you. Find time to talk to them. Before starting the dental procedure, ask how they are feeling or if they have questions. Listen intently to what they say and interact with them. Once you establish a connection with your patients, they will feel more comfortable and confident. They will also feel important.
2. Call your patients by name.
“Hi, Ms. Laurel” may sound professional, but it can also create a wall between you and your patients. Addressing your patients by their first name will make them feel appreciated, like they were a part of your dental family—like you know them personally. This is another effective way of establishing a connection with your patients.
3. Don’t forget to say thank you.
Just because you’re the dentist doesn’t mean you should forget to be grateful. Thank your patients every time they commend you, or when they give you referrals, when they’ve been loyal to you and your practice, and even when you get to the clinic late. Simple acts like this show how much you appreciate them. Anything that makes them feel good makes them happy. When they’re happy, they’re loyal to you.
4. Make your waiting area pleasing to the senses.
Give your patients a waiting area where they will feel comfortable and welcome. Aside from a couch and some chairs, add simple but aesthetic details such as décor, magazines and other reading materials, a TV and maybe even toys for kiddie patients. Offer free water, tea or coffee as well. You can also add Wi-Fi connectivity to the room’s features, so patients can browse through their social media while waiting for their turn.
Your patients’ comfort and convenience should be your priority.
5. Bring your scheduling and payment services online.
Many of your patients will appreciate it if you create an online scheduling or appointment system for your practice. This will allow them to book their appointments when they’re in the comfort of their home or when they’re on the road. It’s convenient and time efficient. They don’t have to rush to your clinic or call just to finalize their schedule.
Also, a digital payment option is a practical idea. There are several electronic payment and smartphone app options that are proven safe and efficient. This will provide a world of convenience to patients who do not like carrying around too much cash and prefer to pay via online portals.
6. Establish a regular appointment confirmation, reminders and follow-up system.
Many dental clinics now send scheduled text messages to patients to remind them of their dental appointments. You should do this as well, in addition to appointment confirmation and sending out a follow-up message after a procedure or treatment. It doesn’t have to be via SMS only; you can also send emails if it’s easier for you. You can even automate the email messages, so they are sent right on schedule. You and your assistant do not have to run to the computer or laptop to make sure the emails are sent on time.
7. Create a social media account.
Being active in social media is vital. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are ideal venues for connecting with your patients and promoting your brand. If you post on your page every day, you can reach thousands of audiences in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is share interesting and relevant content that will help make people more aware of your clinic.
You can also come up with social media contests from time to time, such as the best dental adventure photo contest or the best dental clinic experience.
Being on social media is a good way of keeping your patients updated and involved in your practice. It’s also a platform for collecting patients’ feedback.
8. Hold special activities for patients.
Come up with patient-centered activities like a patient appreciation day (or week). You don’t have to close the clinic to do this; it can be an ongoing activity. Just arrange and decorate your clinic according to the theme you chose (ex. hanging a banner sign that reads “Thank you, patients!”). Then add some simple activities like free chocolates and flowers, movie viewing, or free tickets to a movie or concert. Any activity that will make your patients feel special (and part of your dental family) is a good idea.
9. Offer a loyalty program.
Reward your patients by offering a loyalty program that allows them to enjoy perks like special discounts on dental services. Come up with a system for monitoring patient progress and loyalty, then use this as the basis for determining program qualifications.
10. Offer a clean, efficient, and organized dental practice.
Even if you have excellent dental credentials, patients will not flock to your clinic if you do not practice your profession well. Give your patients what they expect from a dental professional: clean, organized, patient-friendly, consistent, and efficient service.
The best way to keep your dental patients happy and loyal is to understand who they are, what they need, and what they want.