Every practice wants more new patients. You need them to grow your production and help maintain your current level of revenue because every year you will lose patients. That’s a fact!
Your practice may have the greatest team in the world and you may be the most beloved dentist in the tristate region, but you’re still going to lose patients because people…
- Move away
- Become sick or incapacitated
There’s nothing you can do about those patients. Then there are those other patients who decide to stop coming in due to a variety of reasons:
- They lost or changed their dental insurance
- They had a bad experience at your practice
- They switched to another dentist
Depending on your customer service and patient outreach, you and your team may be able to persuade some, but not all, of them to return to your practice. But that’s not enough. You’ll always need a steady stream of new patients coming in the door to ensure practice success.
Where Have All the New Patients Gone?
Most practices don’t have enough new patients. There are a lot of reasons why, but based on what we see in new consulting client practices, here are the top 3 reasons why new patients aren’t coming in…
1. Your Team’s Phone Skills are Terrible
Your marketing may be top-notch, but if your front desk team doesn’t know how to talk to prospective patients, it doesn’t matter. If your staff isn’t enthusiastic… isn’t building value for your skills, your team and your practice… isn’t motivating callers to schedule and show up for their appointments, then all the money you’re investing in marketing campaigns is going to waste.
Solution: Give your front desk the scripting and training they need to excel at what they do.
2. Your Website is Older than Betty White (and Far Less Interesting)
Does your website make people flashback to the days of AOL, Geocities and dial-up? If so, it’s like you posted a giant neon NO TRESPASSING sign on the internet, warning prospective patients not to visit your practice. If you don’t care enough to keep your website current, what does that say about the care and treatment patients can expect to receive at your office?
Solution: Work with a web design company to bring your website into the 21st century.
3. Your Customer Service is Worse than the Cable Company’s
In reality, your customer service doesn’t have to be awful to keep new patients from calling… it just has to be less than great. Because if your current patients aren’t singing your praises about the amazing customer service they experienced, you’re sabotaging your new patient outreach activities. You don’t want to be perceived as just another dental practice that “cleans” teeth and fills cavities. You want to stand out in a crowded field, and WOW customer service is one way to do that.
Solution: Review the entire patient experience through the eyes of new patients. Be as critical and thorough as possible, listing deficiencies and opportunities for improvement. Implement customer service upgrades for all noted items within two months.
Many practices are their own worst enemies when it comes to growing their patient base. They send mixed signals to prospective patients. A powerful marketing message is undermined by the front desk’s team poor phone skills, a lackluster website or less-than-stellar customer service. Take a hard look at your practice. If you have any of these issues, correct them now.
Read a free excerpt from Dr. Levin’s popular book The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make by clicking here and then hitting the Read an Excerpt button.
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