Providing Emergency Services And Other Ways To Increase Your Dental Practice
The dental industry is becoming more competitive as bigger dental services are attempting to take over smaller practices. Like the “doc in the box” urgent-care centers around the nation that are overtaking the smaller physician offices, corporate-run dental corporations like Aspen Dental are attempting to make going to the dentist easier, quicker, and not leave dental patients waiting months for care.
To run a successful dental practice isn’t just about location anymore. In the past, it was all about where you were located. It is no longer about smaller dental offices having a share in a town simply due to where they are located; competition insists that dentists begin to market and advertise their practice online and any other way that they can.
So how can dental practices set themselves apart from others to increase their client base and bottom line?
The only way to grow a practice is not just through new patient acquisition, but also through being able to retain your patient base. That means that it isn’t good enough anymore just to be an excellent dentist; now you must have a practice that is run like a corporation, and a business manager who understands that while patient care is at the heart of the practice, it is also about finding your place or niche within the marketplace.
The new trend for dentists is “Entrepreneurial dentistry.” This is an entirely new approach to dentistry that isn’t just about cleaning and exams, but also involves finding a way to incorporate new things that other nearby dentists might not. It takes additional work like keeping on top of the latest trends, attending conferences and constantly researching new technology as well as investing in it, to have the most state-of-the-art practice. Staying on top of your game and offering the most services is key to a successful dentistry.
There are several ways that you can increase your client base. Whichever one you choose, make sure that you focus on one aspect and do it well. An office that offers too much but doesn’t offer quality is no better than someone who offers only one service well.
- Find your “high-end” niche
People like to feel pampered. White-glove dentistry is a way to make patients feel as if they belong to a higher class and that they are getting the very best in the dental industry. Offering services that cater to the affluent, like cosmetic dentistry, house calls, or even having a membership program that allows the patient to receive a break for regular exams and visits, are all ways to cater to your clientele.
Currently, dentists have the mindset that if they charge more they will make more money, but there is very little to show that charging more makes you more profit. In fact, obtaining higher volume by making your practice more accessible is way more profitable than gouging people and being okay with a lower number of clients. If you treat your client base well, you will create customer loyalty that will increase your overall appointment load and lead to higher profits.
- Make each client feel important
Customization is the key to any successful dental practice. People don't want to feel like cattle, being shuffled through a revolving door. If you want to increase your client base, then make your customers feel valued by spending time on making ways to ensure they have a good experience. Reminders via cell phone text or sending them customer surveys are as important as having an office that runs on time and always has a smile for the client when they walk in. Making sure to hire the right personnel and to greet and make everyone feel valued when they walk in, is an excellent way to keep them returning.
- Offer special services
Many dental practices refer their clients out when they have a dental emergency. If you run your practice so that you are there when people need you most, you will increase your customer loyalty. That might mean taking on more dental professionals to cover shifts, but it will ensure that your clients won’t go elsewhere for their care and decide to switch to another dentist. Not forcing them to meet someone for a emergency dental appointment, is an excellent way to hold on to them and make them feel like they are an important component of your individual practice.
Dentists are no longer exempt from marketing and advertising. With the rise of corporate-owned dental clinics springing up everywhere, to have a successful dental practice you have to go the extra mile and find your niche among the growing sea of dental professionals looking to set themselves and their practices apart from the rest.