Patient Communication – The key to client loyalty and retention

What if we said there was a way to retain more patients with less work? Before you click the “back” button, or write us off as delusional, give us one more minute of your time.

Communication is the foundation on which all relationships are built, including patient relationships. Successful dentists know that it takes more than travel-sized floss and a branded toothbrush at the end of a visit to create strong relationships and build loyalty.

In today’s consumer-centric market, dentists compete not only with other practices, but with everything that vies for patient wallet share and time. So, how do you ensure dental care remains a priority when stacked up against an overloaded calendar, new Louis Vuitton tote, or Callaway golf club? It comes back to the patient relationship, which is built on effective communication.

You might be thinking, “Ok, so I’m supposed to communicate with each patient before they even get in my chair?” Yup – that’s exactly what we’re saying. Next thought – “How is my front desk team supposed to reach every patient in our practice management system?” The answer is by automating patient communication. No, we weren’t part of the Psychic Friends Network; we just know dentists.

In addition to saving time, automating patient communications helps you maximize the lifetime value of a patient and is less expensive than adding additional front desk staff. And furthermore, it’s what patients want!

Patients want to hear from you, but how? The answer isn’t one size fits all. It depends on a number of factors, including individual patient preferences and what you need to communicate. From phone calls and direct mail to text messages, email, and even social media, each method has pros and cons. We’ve highlighted a few below, but for an in-depth look at the various methods, download our complimentary whitepaper, Automated Dental Practice Communication: How to Keep More Patients with Less Work.

Phone calls– This old-standby is great for discussing personal dental health related issues or personally scheduling a follow-up visit. While you risk being seen as an interruption, there is a certain patient segment that prefers this personal touch.

Text messages – For appointment reminders and confirmation requests, an easy to read text can’t be beat. In fact, 30% of dental patients prefer to receive appointment reminders via text.

Email – This outreach method is perfect for longer patient communications, such as newsletters or personalized post-treatment instructions.

Direct mail – While mailboxes once overflowed with paper, technology and the eco-conscious movement have left many barren. This means postcard appointment reminders, as well as birthday and holiday cards, have a better chance of sticking out and hanging around.

Social media – With the average person spending 90 minutes a day on social media, this outreach method is a direct inroad to patients. Social media is a great way to share general practice updates like holiday hours, or the addition of new team members, but remember that it is an open public forum and should not be used for sharing individual patient information.

While it’s not a magic bullet, automating patient communication is key to retaining patients, building loyalty and reducing no-shows. For more information on how ProSites’ PracticeMojo solution can help your practice reap the benefits of communication automation, contact an Internet Marketing Advisor at 888-932-3644.