The American Dental Association is releasing guidelines on how to reopen your dental practice safely, so take the time to evaluate how your business will change in the coming weeks. Though you will have to take extra precautions to keep your staff and patients healthy, handling the COVID-19 situation well presents the opportunity to strengthen your patient relationships and expand your practice. Here are some tips to help jumpstart your dental practice.
Communicate Your Hours and New Procedures
After the stay-at-home order is lifted, you should enact new procedures to protect both patients and staff. The American Dental Association will release recommendations based on conditions in your area, including safety measures like having patients wait in the car until their appointment time, reducing contact at all touchpoints, and even temperature checks for everyone entering your practice.
To help your practice plan your reopening, we’ve outlined some recommended communications that you can send:
- Email on plans for rescheduling appointments
Reach out to every patient who had their appointments postponed or cancelled. Update them on your expected reopening date and ask when they’d be available for an appointment. If you don’t hear back within a week, you should follow up with a phone call. If it’s feasible, you may want to consider adding after-hours and weekend appointments to make up for lost time and provide additional patient support.
- Email about updated office hours
Once your reopening date is confirmed, send all clients an email about your opening date and updated office hours.
- Reminder of your safety protocol and visit requirements
A few days before each patients’ appointment, email them about your updated health and safety protocol. The American Dental Association recommends that you conduct contactless temperature screenings before allowing patients into your office, so advise patients of this new measure. You may also want to implement a system where patients wait in their cars, instead of the waiting room. If you use an automated texting service, it’s extremely easy to send out a text when you’re ready to meet with your next patient. This limits contact between patients and minimizes the amount of time that patients spend in your office. To boost patient confidence, also share your updated cleaning regimens and any additional safety protocols your practice has implemented.
Update Hours and Procedures Your Website
Before you reopen, you should also incorporate your revised hours and procedures into your website. A pop-up or banner across the top of your homepage is a simple solution to update your patient base, and it allows you to quickly make changes based on the situation in your area. If you have a website through ProSites, our Member Services team can help you implement this page on your site, or you can set it up within your website editor.
Update Your Hours Across All Online Listings
As you reopen, eliminate confusion for your patients by ensuring that your new hours are correct across Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and your website. While you’re there, check to ensure that your contact information is correct as well.
Provide Valuable Info on Social Media
Posting on social media is an easy way to communicate with your patients, so once you have a confirmed plan for reopening, launch a series of posts with these updates. Be sure to cover your new hours, updated safety procedures, and how to reschedule appointments that were cancelled due to COVID-19. And as always, encourage engagement by responding to comments quickly!
Consider Stepping Up Your Marketing Efforts
As you ramp up your business, consider whether it’s the right time to step up your marketing efforts to get your practice revenue back. Due to the COVID-19 situation, many of your competitors may have reduced their marketing efforts, allowing you to jump in and fill the gaps.
One of the best avenues for marketing right now will be Pay-Per-Click advertising. How much you spend on each click is largely determined by the competition going after the same keywords, so you may see a decrease in cost in your area. The keywords you target will largely depend on your location, but some key phrases to explore will be “open now” and “emergency dental.” To maximize the impact of your campaigns, consider partnering with ProSites over the next few months. Our team of marketing experts specializes in Pay-Per-Click for dental practices, and we provide constant testing of new keyword groups to help you stay on top of the competition.
For a long-term marketing strategy, nothing beats Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The goal of SEO is to rank on the first page of Google for dental terms in your area, bringing in a constant stream of new leads. To achieve perfectly executed SEO across your website you may want to hire an SEO Team like the one at ProSites. Since it can take a while to start seeing huge impacts, starting now will bring in new leads and position your practice for success!
As you reopen your practice, you have the opportunity to delight your existing patients and attract new ones. To learn more about how a comprehensive marketing strategy can position your practice for success, call us at (888) 932-3644 or request a free consultation