Dental practice marketing: Know your role

Shilla Talati looks at the practice manager’s role in using marketing to generate more income for the practice.

Summary

The practice manager can influence the outcomes of marketing by reviewing the marketing strategy and developing a marketing plan.

You should think of ways that you can support the internal marketing structure of the practice to improve the chances of success of a marketing campaign.

Involve staff in creating a marketing plan by inviting them to come up with ideas, and offering rewards when campaigns are successful.

Effective communication with the public, existing patients and new clients is vital, including communicating the practice’s USPs and developing a brand style so that the practice is easily recognizable in communications.

Q&A: How do I market whitening in my practice?

Q. How do I market whitening in my practice?

A. Social media is a great way to get the message out there that your practice is offering whitening. Any pictures (shown with the patient’s consent) or offers need to be agreed by everyone in the practice. A pre-marketing practice meeting is always a good idea to ensure that all team members know about the campaign and what the practice is offering. Are you perhaps offering whitening at a discount on a particular day of the week? Or is the practice is offering discounted whitening for a limited time only? Is the practice offering whitening goody bags of a certain value, with whitening toothpastes and vouchers in them?

Q&A: How do I make my practice stand out from the local competition?

Q. How do I make my practice stand out from the local competition?

A. Dentistry is a tough market and patients have the freedom to choose where they want to be seen. Why choose you indeed! What does your practice do that sets you apart from the rest? Ask yourself, if you were a patient, why would you want to come to this particular dental practice? You may find that you would not want to go, but this will highlight a list of things that you need to change in your practice. That may be a good starting point. Once these issues have been eliminated, see what sets your practice apart from the local competition. Some questions to ask yourself might be:

Making an impression on patients

This article looks at being welcomed into the premises and first impressions, and the difference a little thought and investment can make.

Summary

The idea of customer service is as important when welcoming visitors into the dental practice.

First impressions are important, and having an entrance that is clean and fresh looking will help to give a good one.

Reception staff should always deal with visitors professionally and politely, however difficut the situation.

When we walk into a dental practice, we want to feel welcome, that the person greeting us is interested in us and in the organisation, and that we are not just a problem to be dealt with.

Marketing your practice: The role of the dental nurse

Shilla Talati looks at the dental nurse’s role in using marketing to generate more income for the practice.

Summary

The dental nurse can influence the outcomes of marketing by implementing the marketing strategy and advertising it with the patients, whilst holding a simple conversation with the patients.

The nurse should remember to liaise with any other staff, if they have discussed any current marketing proposal with the patients, so that the next person who sees the patient can reinforce the idea and explain the pros and cons and its suitability for the patients. This may be with the receptionist, a treatment co-ordinator, or a dentist, etc.

Emphasising effective communication for the nurse with the public, existing patients and new patients is vital.

Marketing the practice: The role of the receptionist

Shilla Talati looks at the dental practice receptionist’s role in using marketing to generate more income for the practice.

Summary

The practice receptionist can influence the outcomes of marketing by implementing the marketing strategy and advertising it to patients.

If the receptionist has discussed any current marketing proposal with any of the patients, they should communicate with other staff so that the next person who see’s the patient can reinforce the idea and explain the suitability for the patient.

Effective communication with the public, existing patients and new patients is vital, including communicating the practice’s USPs.

Successful patient retention

Vikki Searle offers some advice on the best way to retain your patients.

Summary

The practice needs to emphasise the importance of regular dental appointments and arrange recall appointments in advance.

An effective patient journey involving every member of the dental team is vital to patient retention.

If the journey is good, patients will return again and again and are more likely to recommend the practice to their family and friends.

Promotional messages such as posters, leaflets or educational videos in the waiting area with details of selected treatments to generate interest from patients, have the potential to increase visits.

For specialist dental treatment centres offering endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics or implants for example, referrals come from other dental practices. This involves building trusting, working relationships with other professionals to offer patients the best care possible.

Q&A: How do I introduce a new concept into practice

Q: How do I introduce a new concept to the practice? ​

A: As with the forever changing world of dentistry, it is imperative that we are continuously introducing new concepts to our practices to stay at the forefront of our competitors.  A good word to remember is ‘LEAD’.  This can help you to remember a four-step process to successfully introduce a new idea, system or protocol into your practice.