As a dental practice, how do you differentiate yourself from your peers? The latest gadget or certification? Well, those are pretty useful, for a while. What happens though when the office down the street catches up to you, buys the newer version of that gadget and gets the next level certification that trumps yours? Is he now more marketable and a better dentist than you? It’s possible but not probable.
Why Retaining Patients Should be at the Top of Your Practice Priorities
Retaining patients is one of the most important metrics when it comes to practice growth. This article on Dentistry IQ about patient retention explains why. The best dentists and dental practices use patient retention rate as one of the main metrics for measuring success. It’s logical, the more patients you retain, the more revenue you generate as a practice. What is the secret sauce then, to retaining more patients: rolling out the red carpet.
The Red Carpet Treatment is taking the patient experience to the next level. It is the process by which you create a large, loyal base of patients that refer to you as “their” dentist as opposed to “the” dentist. If you simply provide excellent customer/patient service then that’s not enough. Again, your peers are also trying to do that. The Red Carpet Treatment is remembering details about each patient and family member which makes them feel special and shows you care. It’s about being creative to stand out from the crowd: x-box or wii in the waiting room for kids, iPhone charging station, office iPads (attached to a table), communicating with them on their terms (text, email, phone call), flexible payment plans etc.
You probably already think that you’re doing enough. The reality is, unless your patient retention rate is in the 80-85% range, you’re probably not. Try to experiment every couple of months to see if there are certain, creative ideas that can elevate the patient experience. Your peers might have newer technology, but your patients appreciate and value how you treat them. They won’t go doctor shopping if they know they feel comfortable and cared for in your office.
How Can You Measure Retention in Your Practice
You can find numbers in your practice management software that should give you an accurate representation of your patients with future appointments and your total active patients, but this number is incorrect more often than not, plus, it doesn’t show you any information about how you are trending. The best way to get these numbers is through and analytics tool like the one Weave offers. You can find out how many patients scheduled and dropped off the schedule in a given time frame. This gives you a clear picture of your practice growth.
Here at Weave, we practice what we preach! We mean it when we say we’re the best at taking care of your needs. The Red Carpet Treatment means you’re going to feel important, taken care of and special. What can seem like a big ordeal, changing phones and phone companies, will be seamless, painless, and simple (and well worth the investment). We will work with your internet provider to ensure that the right technology is in place from the start. We’ll call your current phone company and work through the “porting” process, and with your IT Specialist to ensure that once the system reaches your office, all you have to do is plug the phones in and you’re up and running. We are prompt to resolve any and all problems or questions.