Are You Losing Patients Faster Than Attracting New Ones?

By Candice Martin

In today’s competitive market, delivering quality dentistry alone isn’t enough to have a thriving, successful practice. So how can you set yourself apart from the dentist across the street?
That’s why today I want to talk about the necessity of providing superior patient care. So how do we do that? I have three suggestions for you.

#1. Check your engine…let me explain. I’m often told by dentists, “Candice, we need more new patients!” Well the best type of referral source is word of mouth. So I always advise before a practice shells out thousands of dollars on external marketing, to first focus on what’s going on internally. The analogy that I like to use is if someone goes out and spends a lot of money and gets a brand new paint job on their car with new tires and rims, but you check under the hood and there’s no engine. So first make sure your office is running smoothly and efficiently like a well-oiled machine. Make sure you have systems, protocols and office policies in place so everyone is on the same page. This makes for a seamless office visit for your patients because we want to concentrate on making sure your existing patients have an amazing experience. Otherwise, you spend money on marketing, you get new patients, they don’t have a good experience and they don’t return to your practice. Money invested is unfortunately wasted.

#2. Care…yep just one word.

One of my favorite quotes is by Lewis Howes, “People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”

By showing patients that you care when providing a service from start to finish makes all the difference in the world. And I don’t know about all of you, but I feel good customer service is lacking today, EVERYWHERE and with all of the chatbots and A.I. we feel like we’ve won the lottery when we get a live person until we experience that that person seems disinterested, lacking empathy or is just not helpful.

So, we need to be the opposite. We need to show patients we’re not only interested in their oral health, but their lives in general. Be a great listener and empathetic when they have a toothache, issue or concern. And lastly, we want them to know that we are HERE to help them and that we WANT to help them!

Now I know that this all sounds like a no brainer, but we often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily responsibilities, that we can become guilty of forgetting to give the patient our full attention. And since we are in the business of fixing teeth, we become desensitized. It happens to the best of us. For example, dealing with toothaches is second nature to us, but it could be the patient’s first time having one and we need to remember that they can be scared, in pain and just not feeling well. So let’s not forget to be caring, empathetic and helpful.

#3. Get Creative…In addition to the little reminders that were just covered, we have to be creative and come up with some ways that will exceed your patient’s expectations and ensure they have an amazing experience. I recommend having a team meeting and brainstorm some ideas on how you can get your patients ranting and raving about you and your practice and giving you 5-Star reviews. This can be a really fun exercise and with team participation it gets everyone invested and excited about coming up with new things to try. The next step is to implement a few of the ideas and see what works. If you make it an office goal to WOW your patients, I guarantee that you and your team will be happier that you’re making a difference in people’s lives. At the same time, I bet you will have more new patients, fewer patients leaving your practice, growth and increased revenue.


Contributor:

Efficiency expert Candice Martin simplifies practice systems and protocols making them easy for dental teams to apply. Candice got her start in dentistry as a 16-year old file clerk. In the 30+ years since that time, she has worked in nearly every position in a dental office. The knowledge and skills gained through these hands-on experiences enable Candice to expertly guide dental teams to their next level of success.

View Candice’s full bio