The end of the year is always busy for dentists – between patients having more time off to get the necessities done around the holidays and everyone wanting to up their FSA/HSA accounts before the year ends. Then January hits and things typically slow down.
Here’s a few ideas on how to keep your appointment books full throughout the slower seasons:
1. Reduce no-shows. We all know that life gets busy, especially this time of year when people are back to work, doing returns from the holidays, focusing on resolutions and more. So how do you ensure patients’ bi-annual cleanings don’t get bumped out by the never-ending to-do list? Hello patient reminders.
Don’t want to task your front desk staff with making endless reminder phone calls? Good – that’s not what your patients want either. In a recent study, 80% of patients said they preferred text or email reminders over calls. How do you accommodate this preference? It’s easier than you might think. Using an automated patient communication system is a great way to deliver consistent communications that align with patient preferences, reinforce your practice’s high-tech image, and reduce no-shows.
2. Patient reactivation is another way to keep your schedule sufficiently packed. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and before you know it we’ve taken another trip around the sun. Make it easy for inactive patients to find their way back to your practice! Opt for an automated patient communication system that uses reactivation campaigns specifically designed to get lapsed patients back onto your schedule. Trust us – a properly timed reactivation campaign will get those patients back in your door faster than you can snap a holiday card photo that has everyone looking in the same general direction.
3. Patient acquisition. At the risk of throwing out the obvious, new patient acquisition is next up on the list. Trying to run a successful practice without a patient acquisition strategy is like trying to swap out butter for a heart-healthy alternative at Christmas dinner – it’s not going to end well.
Thanks to the Internet, today there are more ways to get in front of new patients than there are swallowed emotions at your holiday table – think dental practice website, search engine optimization, social media, and pay-per-click advertising to name a few. Harness the power of the Internet to stand out from competitors and convey a strong first impression online.
4. Build your online reputation. One of the most powerful ways to attract new patients is by leveraging the ones you already have.
According to Dentistry IQ1, 70% of dental patients said that online ratings and reviews influenced their choice of dentist. Assuming your patients are satisfied, getting those reviews isn’t as difficult as you might think. Our advice? Ask and make it easy.
It’s not that your satisfied patients don’t want to leave a review, it’s just that they probably don’t think about it. People are busy and as soon as they set their next appointment, they’re out the door and onto the next thing on the list (refer to previously noted merry-making). You’ll be surprised at what a simple ask can do.
Send follow-up emails with a link to your website’s reviews page and/or other review sites like Yelp and Google+ is a gentle way to let patients know you value their feedback. Now, before you get nervous about asking the front desk staff to do more, add it to the outreach campaigns handled by your automated patient communications system. Unlike humans, automated systems LOVE to take on more any time of the year.
To learn more about how to get a great value for effective patient communications, reach out to a PracticeMojo at 800-556-2580 today!