March 3, 2019

Effective Tips To Expand Your Dental Practice

Managing a dental practice is not easy. As a professional, you might be excellent at providing the patients with superior oral health care but it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day operations that you sometimes forget an important element of a successful dental practice is an excellent patient experience. The way you manage your dental office will leave a lasting impression on the patients and it will have an impact on your retention rate. It is important that you remain organized to stay at the top of the practice. You need to take effective steps to expand the practice and to ensure that you attract new patients as well as retain the ones you already have.

Make it a unique experience
In order to remain at the top of the industry, you need to ensure that you identify and market the unique competitive advantages. No matter what you offer to your patients, you need to ensure that they are aware of it and it helps attract and retain high number of patients. Whether you offer an array of dental health services or have a specialty in certain areas, you will have to take a distinct perspective and attract patients. You need to carry out dental advertising campaigns and advertise through digital channels to highlight on what sets your practice apart. Build awareness of the practice and what you have to offer in order to promote the business in the region.

Build an office culture
Everything inside your office will play a role in the office culture. Even the physical environment and decor. The culture already exists and you only need to find it. It could be in your personality, your style, your values and expectations. It is how the staff communicates with one another. It is exactly how you run your dental practice. With the right culture, you will be able to enhance productivity, keep patients coming back and attract quality staff. In order to strengthen the culture in your office, you need to gather the staff and have a discussion about the day to day operations keeping the long term goals in mind. When you ensure that every employee is working for the same objective, your dental practice will thrive.

Grow your services
Now is the time to grow your patient base and you need to think of different ways you can expand your services so as to improve the value and strengthen your position in the market. You might be thinking about moving to a bigger place or including additional associates. Whatever the route you might be considering, you should not overextend the practice. You will have to strike the right balance between technology and quality so as to become a successful dentist with loyal clients.

Financial flexibility
A successful dental practitioner will provide the patients with a number of payment options so that they are inclined to accept treatment recommendations and will return for their dental care. In addition to the insurance cover, you should include credit, debit, cash, personal check and special financing options for the patients so that their finances do not hamper with their health care decisions. You can opt for outsourced dental billing in order to reduce clutter and make the cash flow smoother. A lot of patients do not pay their dental bills in full and it could be a pain for you to contact each patient for the outstanding amount. If you outsource the billing aspect, you will be able to focus on the business and take steps to improvise the service instead of spending time asking the patients to make their outstanding bill payment.

One of the most important achievements for a dental practice is to be able to count on a number of patients who regularly visit and would recommend the practice to their friends and family. It is less expensive to retain the current patients as compared to acquiring new ones. However, retaining patients is not an easy task. You will have to offer them convenient hours, easy to access location and excellent services. As an owner of the dental practice, you will have to reach out to them on a personal level and earn their trust. You will have to create long lasting relationships by adding a personal touch to your services. With the advances in technology, you can not only reach out to the patients but you can ensure that you connect with them on a regular basis. This can be done through email marketing and social media. You will have to show the patients that you really care in order to become a successful dentist.

Patient referrals
While you are making efforts of increasing the patient base, there is nothing as good as a word of mouth referral. Any recommendation from a trusted source will be a reason why the patient will walk into your practice as compared to any other. It could be a family member, friend, colleague or even on the internet, word of mouth can do wonders for you. In order to get high patient referrals, you will have to connect with the existing customers and ask them to talk about your services. Alternatively, you could have a referral card at the office or you could offer a referral bonus program to the patients and ask them to provide a quick online review. Think of innovative and creative ways of growing your practice and follow up on whichever method you may choose.

Work on the schedule system
You will have to spend time and money on a quality dental schedule system. It will help you in more than one manner. You will not only be able to book appointments on it but will also be able to manage a better patient flow and maximize productivity. You will be able to decrease stress for yourself, for the patient and for the staff. It will ensure that the customer has a superior experience. You need to ensure that the dental practice has efficient and flexible scheduling software.

Train the staff
When you set everything in place, you would not want the staff to goof up. The experience of a patient will begin at their first point of contact and this is where your staff plays a huge role. They will meet the receptionist at the front door or on a call when they book an appointment. They could meet any other member of the team at the front desk and this is when they will build an impression of your service. You need to ensure that the front desk team is patient with new callers. Their attitude, professionalism and communication skills will leave a lasting impression on the patients and this impression will make or break your practice. They are the patients who will talk about your service to others and if they are unhappy, they will not make you happy. Professional training in addition to education is essential on how to run a dental practice. You will have to train your staff and ensure that they greet every person politely in person or over the phone. They need to know how to make the right patient interaction and be aware that communication can make or break the business. You can organize a front desk training program in order to give them the skills they need to handle patients.

You need to remember that one person cannot make the entire experience. Even if you are an excellent professional, your staff will have a major contribution on the experience of the patients. Thus, it has to be teamwork. You will have to coordinate with every member in your dental practice and talk to them about the ways you can improve the service and retain patients. If you notice that the patients are not returning to you, then there is something wrong in your service. You will have to identify where you are going wrong and look for ways to improve the service and enhance patient experience. Remember, this cannot be achieved overnight. You will need a lot of patience and planning in order to achieve success in the industry.

Every dental practitioner is trying to get maximum patients in one way or the other and only when you offer them something different from the rest, you will be able to leave a mark in the industry. Take small but consistent steps towards improving the services you provide and train your staff from time to time. If you receive any complaints from the patients about the behavior of the staff, you immediately need to take action. If you are hiring new staff, you need to ensure that they are well trained and aware of the ethics and business practices followed by you. If you place the patient at the forefront, your dental practice will definitely thrive. Always look at the overall experience you are giving your patients and this goes beyond the diagnosis or treatment.

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