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Practice Marketing

25 Things Patients Really Want from Their Dentist

In today’s highly-competitive dental market, standing out from other dental offices is key. We searched the Internet, social forums, asked our peers, and used our own personal experiences to list the top 25 things patients really want from their dentist to help you succeed with a flawless dental marketing strategy.

Patients want their dentists to…

1. Be honest about insurance accepted

It may seem like a no-brainer, but this is a top consideration for patients. The easier your dental office can make things, the better – so list the various insurances you accept on your dental website, talk to patients on the phone about their insurance while making an appointment, and help them get an accurate quote for dental treatment.

2. Offer financing options

A lot of patients want to invest in their oral health but aren’t financially in a spot to pay a lot upfront. If you work with a provider like CareCredit, make it known on your dental website and help patients understand what the steps look like to get approved for financial options. Learn how to simplify patient payments for your dental practice

3. Provide flexible dentist appointments

It may not be the dental marketing strategy you were hoping for, but it could make a difference of a patient choosing your dental practice over another. Find out what hours work best for your patients and do what you can to accommodate; even if this means doing weekends or after hours. Be the dentist that is available 24/7 and easily attract new patients!

4. Offer same-day dentist appointments

If you have a last-minute cancellation from a patient and want to fill the spot, look into using an automated patient communications provider like PracticeMojo where you can send a text to specific groups of patients to let them know you have an opening. Someone who may be scheduled to come in a week or two out may find the last-minute opening a bit more convenient, allowing you to quickly re-arrange and fill any gaps in your schedule.

5. Have excellent online reviews

Potential patients aren’t the only ones looking at your reviews. Current patients will see them too! If they see that you aren’t rated that well on Google or Facebook,  it may make them question their own loyalty to your dental office. Make sure your dental marketing strategy is focused towards generating positive reviews and ask happy patients to share their experience online too! Discover how Prosites can help you with your Social Media Management

6. Respond to online reviews

If a loyal patient takes time to write a positive review, be sure to thank them for their kind words. You don’t have to go over board, but a simple dental marketing practice like this one will gain you more followers. Just send them a note thanking them for their kind online feedback can go a long way! Learn the value of online reviews for dentists.

7. Send appointment reminders

Whether it’s via email, text message, or phone call – make sure to keep your no-show rate low and profitability high with effective patient appointment reminders. Find a provider that can give you flexibility in how you contact patients and the frequency in which you send a reminder before an upcoming appointment for an ideal customer experience. Learn more about how to automate your patient communications with Prosites.

8. Send Newsletters with tips and recommendations

To stay top-of-mind throughout the year, go above and beyond by providing patients helpful recommendations for their dental health. A quarterly or monthly eNewsletter with tips and tricks on how to minimize grinding, teeth stains, and how to keep healthy gums is a great way to build long-term relationships with patients. Learn more about other patient communication methods.

9. Provide incentives for patient referrals

It’s a HUGE compliment if a patient sends their friend and/or family member to your dental practice, and a little token of appreciation can make all the difference! Give patients a small gift card to Starbucks or a dental kit as a way of thanking them for their support.

10. Offer a personalized patient experience

When a patient comes into your dental office, have a sign in their room that says “Welcome, {patient name}” and a small gift-bag with sample size floss and toothpaste to take home. This little extra piece of personalization can mean a lot to a patient and shows that your dental practice goes the extra mile to make patients feel comfortable.

11. Delight patient with appreciation days

Consider holding a day once a month a “surprise patient appreciation day” where you give all patients that day an extra gift; maybe a full-size toothpaste or mouthwash.

12. Have friendly staff

Again, one that seems like a no-brainer, but must be mentioned! Going to the dentist can be a feared experience for many, so the more gentle, personable, and friendly your front-staff can be, the better! Use video marketing as a strategy to highlight your friendly staff and beautiful office so patients feel welcome. 

13. Send follow-up emails with dental treatment plans

A lot of patients won’t remember exactly what was discussed at their appointment, so a friendly follow-up email that recaps everything you discussed can be very helpful in ensuring patients follow-through with their dental treatment. Keep communicating with your patients on a regular basis!

14. Create online forms

Gone are the days where people have a printer easily accessible and remember to bring in their forms before their first appointment. Instead, have a patient portal on your dental website where patients can fill forms out and submit them online before their appointment. Discover how to streamline Patient Onboarding with Prosites Online Forms that are tailored to your dental practice.

15. Run on-time

Everyone has a busy schedule, and no one likes to wait. If you’re running behind, call patients that are scheduled in the day and let them know you’re running ~X minutes behind schedule. Or, make a policy that if a patient is X minutes late, then you’ll need to reschedule. It’s important to be flexible while keeping other patients in mind.

16. Explain procedures to patients 

The more you can describe what a patient is about to experience before a dental procedure, the more at ease they’ll feel with you.

17. Have good entertainment in the waiting area

Yes, most people in your waiting room may probably be on their cell phone. But, for the rare instances, having a few magazines, a TV or a kids room may be a fun change of pace for patients.

18. Build a mobile-friendly website

Most of your website traffic is probably coming from a mobile-device, so make sure the user experience is flawless. This means fast load times, thumb-friendly buttons, and easy to navigate. Learn how Prosites will help you deliver the best website experience to your patients

19. Be confident. You are the expert!

Speak from a place of authority. You’re the dentist so your advice should be clear, easy-to-understand, assertive, yet approachable.

20. Thoughtfully answer any dental questions

While it’s more than easy to be in a rush, make sure your schedule isn’t so packed that patients feel like they don’t have time to ask their dentist any questions. You want to make sure patients are at ease and feel like you care!

21. Build a powerful medical website

Many patients will visit your dental website to learn more about a procedure, so make sure your medical website has enough details on it! Look for a dental marketing company that provides a gorgeous web design with pre-written and/or customizable content so you can easily showcase the plethora of services that you offer. Discover Prosites Dental Website Design Portfolio

22. Provide the best customer service

Whether a patient reaches out on your social media page, leaves a review, sends an email through your medical website, or leaves a voicemail, make sure that your dental office is monitoring all customer contact points to ensure no leads fall through the cracks.

23. Keep contact information up-to-date

One that may seem obvious – but a small miss of changing a phone number or updating an address on your dental website can cause a lot of confusion and frustration among patients.

24. Branding is key!

As technology and automation advance, as do a patient’s expectations of brands and businesses remembering the small things – like their birthday. As a dentist, you should send a postcard, write an email, or provide a simple text message with a birthday greeting with a small incentive. But always remember, branding is key! Discover a wide range of practice dental marketing materials, designed to match your company identity. 

25. Gain patients trust & loyalty

Patients are loyal when they feel their trusted dentist truly cares about them and their dental health and puts their needs first. The more you can continue to create great experiences – before, during, and after – the patient’s appointment, the greater their loyalty will be to your dental office. Learn more about patient loyalty and retention!

Practice Marketing

5 Scary Dental Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

To avoid patients ghosting you in October – or any month for that matter – you should first make sure you’re not making these scary (but common) dental marketing mistakes.

  1. Being too informal on social media. There’s a delicate balance of showing your personality and being transparent on social media while maintaining a level of professionalism. Create posts that resonate and engage with your patients in a conversational manner, but steer clear of rants, profanity, and anything that is overly opinionated.
  1. Having a non-responsive website. In today’s digital world, having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly is just as scary (and painful to patients) as getting a cavity filled sans Novocain. Most of your website visitors are likely checking it out on their smartphone – so make sure your website loads quickly, has enlarged text, simplified navigation, and thumb-friendly buttons. Otherwise, 8 in 10 people will stop engaging with content on your website.1
  1. All-to-frequent appointment reminders. While patients do want and need appointment reminders – there’s a fine line between being helpful vs. irritating. It’s important to reach patients in the right way at the right time – in the ways that they prefer. Look for a patient communications solution that helps you reach 100% of patients with timely and automated reminders including dental appointment reminder texts, emails and phone calls.
  1. You don’t have any reviews. This simply screams red flag. Today, 91% of people regularly read online reviews and 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.2 If there’s little to nothing about your practice from other patients – it leaves potential patients quieting wondering “why?” To combat this fear – ask happy patients to leave reviews on your Facebook, Yelp, Website, and/or Google My Business pages to put your best foot forward. Make sure to respond to all comments with gratitude to show patients and viewers you care!
  1. You try to DIY to save money with little to no experience. While it may sound like a good idea in theory, sometimes leaving it to the professionals in the space may deliver a greater return on investment for your practice than attempting to do it yourself. For example, running a pay-per-click campaign for your dental practice could be an extremely profitable strategy for your practice – when you know what you’re doing. There’s also the risk of overspending – or not using your budget wisely. Do your research before investing too much time or money into an effort on your own that you’re not familiar with. In the ever-changing world of Internet technology, it may behoove your practice to stick with an online marketing company.

To learn more about how to accelerate growth and avoid these scary dental marketing mistakes, call ProSites at (888) 932-3644 to talk with an Internet Marketing Advisor.




1. Sweor


Search Marketing

How Dental Practices Can Utilize Google Analytics

As a dentist, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t working when it comes to your dental practice marketing. Knowing this type of data helps you continually make improvements and learn more about your target audience.

Google Analytics (GA) is a FREE online tool that’s easy to install on your website (especially if you’re a ProSites member) and provides quality data needed to evaluate marketing activities. Use the guide below to see all the things you can do once you install Google Analytics on your dental website.

  1. Segment website traffic by acquisition channels to learn which type of traffic is most valuable to your practice. You can use GA to find out how people arrive on your website in one of five ways: direct, referral, social, organic and paid search.
  2. Direct: the number of visitors who entered your website URL directly into the browser
  3. Referral: visits initiated from another website outside of search engines or social media sites (e.g. if your website is listed on the local chamber of commerce website)
  4. Social: visitors who came to your website directly from social media sites (e.g. Facebook or Twitter)
  5. Organic: visitors who came to your website from search engine results like Google or Yahoo
  6. Paid: visitors who came to your website from PPC campaigns (e.g. Google AdWords)

Learning how people get to your website is key and provides insights into which types of campaigns are driving the most traffic to your website. For example, if you’re spending a lot on social media marketing but aren’t seeing any social traffic, it may be a sign that you need to update your strategy. Similarly, if paid traffic is up, but organic traffic is down, it may be wise to consider search engine optimization (SEO) for better rankings.

  1. Understand and document fluctuations in website traffic with annotations. Over time, you’ll likely notice changes in your website traffic patterns. This could be due to intentional changes, like getting a new website design or investing in SEO, or something less obvious, like Google changing an algorithm that greatly impacts your rankings and organic traffic.

As you make changes to your website, online marketing strategy, or learn about new Google updates, use annotations to note these updates. This way, when you go back to analyze your traffic, you can better pinpoint reasons for the fluctuations.

  1. Identify “normal” traffic patterns by comparing date ranges. As traffic fluctuates, you can identify what is “normal” by comparing traffic over periods of time.

For example, if your website averages 100 sessions per month in Q4 of any given year, but this year you saw 50 sessions a month in the same time period, this abnormality may be a clue that something caused a change. Alternatively, if your website saw 200 sessions per month after a year of consistent marketing activities, it’s an indication that those activities are working in your favor.

  1. Use goals to understand if visitors are taking a desired action on your website. The purpose of most websites is to gain business and initiate contact from visitors. Creating goals in GA helps you understand if visitors are taking desired actions on your website, such as filling out a form for more information. Once you set-up a goal (e.g. completing a form) and a visitor takes this action, GA will trigger a goal completion which can be interpreted as a lead.

This data is helpful in understanding how effective your website is at converting visitors to new patients. You’ll learn how many times a form is completed and the percentage of traffic that takes action on your site, all while segmenting these actions by acquisition channel. A low percentage of people acting on your website may signal the need for more calls-to-action, additional content, or different offers.

  1. Access data easily and regularly by creating reports to reference and monitor your overall performance.

For example, say you want to compare traffic at the end of each month to the previous month to understand how recent traffic is trending. To create the report, select the date range you wish to analyze (current month), and then select previous period. Once you get the view you wished to see, hit save (on the tool bar) and name the report.

You will then be able to find the saved report under customization in the left hand column.

Implementing GA into your marketing toolkit is a must, as these detailed analytics will help you understand your accountant marketing ROI. As you learn more about your website and its performance, you can make smarter, more informed decisions about your practice’s overall marketing strategy and priorities.

For more information on accountant marketing, download the free guide, How to Increase Retention and Lifetime Value of Patients, by filling out the form below.

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Search Marketing

3 Ways to Leverage Your Marketing this Winter

When it comes to marketing your dental practice, there are countless options available. Here are three things that you can do to improve your marketing and make an impact on your practice:

1. Update your website design. When was the last time you updated your website design? If you’re like most small business owners, it’s probably been several years. However, design trends are constantly changing and it’s important to keep up with the times. Even little things, like not having a mobile-friendly website, can make your practice appear outdated – making potential patients question if you really are the dentist they should trust.

Ask your website provider if they have recently released new designs or features that you can add to your website. And, if you’re a ProSites member, you can easily update your website design at any time. Pick a design that reflects your practice’s brand, provides a thoughtful user experience, and is mobile-friendly (since most of your web traffic is likely coming from a smartphone).

2. Write a blog post one time a week. Blogging can play a pivotal role in how you interact with current and prospective patients. Your practice’s blog can be both be used as a controlled news outlet and act as the voice of the company in a less formal, relatable manner.

Plus, by adding useful and interesting content, it can help improve your ranking on search engines. This is because search engines love fresh, relevant content that’s updated frequently.

Use blogging as a platform to educate prospective patients on new dental technology and bolster your practice’s relationship with the community. It’s also an excellent way to encourage engagement on your social media profiles such as Facebook or Twitter. By sharing your blog posts on social media, you are creating a dialog between you and your followers (or potential patients).

Finally, blogging encourages search engines to visit your website more frequently because it’s fresh content on your site. Ensure to include search phrases prospects are likely to use when searching for your services when creating new posts.

3. Reach out to your most loyal patients. Write a thank you note, give them a call, or send them an email. Attracting new patients is much more costly than retaining loyal patients, so be sure to take the opportunity to go the extra mile – provide recommendations, touch base and let them know you value their business.

To get more ideas on what you should be doing to market your practice online, get 25 other ideas on this free infographic here. Or, request a free demonstration of our online marketing services by filling out the form below.

Search Marketing

3 Dental Marketing Tactics that Should Stay Dead

We all know the story; a doctor develops a cure for cancer, but a deadly side effect of the treatment causes the brain to function at its more primitive level, the heart stops, and the patient develops a taste for humans. Next thing you know, the protagonist is flash-mobbing in a graveyard alongside zombies!

Like the doctor attempting to make the world a better place by eliminating cancer, you may find yourself wanting to improve your marketing by bringing back some classic marketing methods. However, you may find those strategies are only a husk of their former selves.

Avoid having your marketing strategy eaten alive by these scary tactics:

  1. Advertising in YellowPages – Ask anyone born before 1995 what YellowPages are and they’ll probably point you to Google. Truth is, YellowPages aren’t being seen my many. Instead, maximize visibility among potential patients with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. SEO helps your website get found higher on search results when potential patients search for the services that you offer. The higher you rank, the more likely a visitor will find your website and click your name to see what your practice is about.
  1. TV Advertising – While traditional marketing still has its perks, TV advertising is expensive, difficult to measure, and likely won’t be seen by your target audience. Instead of wasting precious advertising dollars on ad space that potential patients likely will not see (or simply tune out), consider pay-per-click advertising; a digital marketing method that allows you to target specific audiences in various locations, set your own budget, and only pay when someone clicks your ad. Make sure your PPC campaigns direct visitors to a special landing page about your practice and its services for optimal performance and ROI.
  1. Newspaper Ads – The world is long past the point where people pick up a physical newspaper to get information. Instead of searching through ads, prospective patients rely on their social networks for recommendations because they know they’ll be able to pull from a broad audience they trust. That’s why it’s crucial for you to create and maintain an online social media presence by updating your profiles and collecting reviews that give prospective patients an inside look at your practice. Additionally, you can incentivize your existing patients with a referral program so they’re more likely to recommend you the next time their Facebook friend reaches out.

Don’t make a bad first impression or waste your marketing dollars with scary and ineffective marketing strategies. If you need help bringing your marketing strategy back to life, download the free whitepaper, The Definitive Guide to Online Marketing for Dentists by filling out the form below or call (888) 932-3644 for a free demo.

Search Marketing

Dental Marketing Trends: Checking In

It seems like just a few weeks ago we were penning our New Year’s resolutions and vowing to eat less processed food, but here we are soaking up the last of summer – hot dog in hand. Before year-end lists dominate the headlines, we thought we would take a moment to dust off our Magic 8 Ball and check-in to see how some of the Top Trends and Recommendations for Dentistry & Marketing in 2017 are tracking.

1. Trust of authority and experts is decreasing. When we asked our Magic 8 Ball if this was still a thing, “Signs point to yes” quickly appeared in its foggy little window. While the prevalence of unsubstantiated news stories is disturbing on its own, it also results in a decrease in general trust of authority and experts which has a different set of ramifications. A great example of this is how the Associated Press article titled, Medical Benefits of Dental Floss Unproven quickly transformed into an anti-floss movement promulgated by headlines such as, Dentists Forgot to Study Flossing For a Century, Recommended It Anyway (published by website, Ars Technica). Now, if that were actually true, we would be all for a full-on dental floss boycott. Of course, that’s not exactly accurate but in the frenzy of Shares and Likes who can be bothered to fact check?

What does this mean for you? While we don’t recommend burning your dental school letters to show the masses you’re not one of those out-of-touch experts, we do suggest demonstrating that you care what patients think. Aside from requesting feedback through satisfaction surveys, try social listening on your practice’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Once you understand what’s on patients’ minds you’ll be able to address concerns and focus on topics of interest – both of which will help to carve out your niche as an expert who can be trusted.

2. Belief in crowds and social networking is increasing. Is this trend still going strong? The Magic 8 Ball says “Without a doubt”. Despite the influx of documented “fake news,” we just can’t stop ourselves from passing along salacious headlines. After all, who has the time to read an entire article? It’s much easier to take your Facebook friend’s word for it – besides, they probably verified it anyway.

What does this mean to you? As belief in crowds and social networking continues to increase, it’s more important than ever for dental practices to find a way to insert themselves into the conversation. This means that having a social media presence isn’t enough; you need to participate. Don’t worry, this isn’t as daunting as it might sound. Simply responding to comments on your practice’s social media pages helps to set you apart and makes users feel like you’re one of their social network friends, and not just another dental clinic.

A great way to expand your social footprint is to provide incentives for your patients to share information online about your practice. Depending on your patient base, this might include raffles or giveaways for Liking your page or referring a friend. Whichever method you choose, the first step is to make sure patients know you’re there. Use your patient newsletter, waiting room signage, and website to announce your social media presence and encourage patients to connect online.

3. Everything is going mobile. Do we even need to consult our trusty Magic 8 Ball for this one? The fact that a Magic 8 Ball app exists should be a good indicator (insert winking emoji here). This trend is one that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, 80% of adult Internet users own a smartphone, and 25% of them can’t remember the last time it wasn’t next to them.

What does this mean for you? This is one trend that’s pretty cut and dry. You need a mobile website – full stop. Without it, you run the risk of alienating over 50% of the prospective patients that visit your website from a mobile device. We don’t think you need to consult the Magic 8 Ball to see if that’s a risk you should take.

4. Video content is becoming necessary to engage your audience. The Magic 8 Ball’s take on this trend? Outlook good. The move towards video content is indisputable; we’ll let you decide if our insatiable appetite for the screen (4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it) is rooted in Netflix or the Disney Junior app.

What does this mean for you? Just as having a Facebook page is no longer enough (remember, participation is key), having a website alone doesn’t guarantee visitor engagement. Video is a great way to raise the bar. Try creating a library of how-to videos that address common concerns (i.e. the fruit of your social listening labor), such as “How to help my child manage braces”. Plus, video has been shown to keep visitors on your site longer, with the average time spent on a website jumping from 42 seconds to 350 seconds when video was present.

Even though Labor Day is on the horizon, you still have time to catch-up with these trends. For help on how to get started, contact ProSites at (888) 932-3644 because before you know it you’ll be revising those New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

Have you read about the other top trends that we predicted? Download the whitepaper using the form below.

Search Marketing

Common Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Questions from Dentists

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be a key component of a dental practice’s online marketing strategy. In our recent webinar on PPC, we heard a lot of great questions from dentists like you.

If you’ve been considering PPC for your practice, or have a simple interest in learning more to see if it’s a right fit, we highlighted these questions here so you can get a better idea of what’s entailed.

Q: How much do clicks cost?

A: While a common question, it’s also the hardest to answer, as there are numerous factors that go into determining bids for certain keywords.

First, it’s important to understand that Google’s AdWords platform runs as an auction. Similar to how you would bid for a product on eBay, with AdWords, you tell the “seller” (Google) what you are willing to pay for the “product” (the keywords/location you want to target).

You’ll typically pay 60-80% of your bid, depending on what others bid and what the competition in the targeted location is. For example, AdWords Keyword Planner shows a suggested bid of $14.56for “dental implants” in San Jose, CA and $9.67in Omaha, NE. Since keywords and competition vary in each market, it’s important to have a somewhat flexible budget when beginning your initial campaigns.

Q: What is a typical PPC budget for a sole-practitioner?

A: As outlined above, it depends on various factors, however, we typically recommend that dentists put at least $400 per month toward AdWords. Distributed evenly throughout the month, this equates to $13 available daily for clicks. Therefore, if one click on your AdWords ad costs $6, you only have enough spend for two clicks (potential new clients) daily. Running out of budget during the day will cause AdWords to stop your ads until more budget is available the following day. This is why dentists in highly-competitive markets can easily hit their maximum daily spend, while those in less competitive areas may only reach the max once or twice a week.

While expanding your budget is one way to obtain more leads, optimizing your campaign can help you stretch your budget even further by analyzing metrics such as impressions, click-thru-rate and conversions for targeted keywords and/or locations to learn where your money is best spent and get the best return on your investment.

Q: Do I need another website set up for PPC, in addition to the website I already have?

A: No. But you should create landing pages for your PPC ads. A landing page is different than a normal web page because it is created specifically for an advertisement. When someone clicks your PPC ad about teeth whitening services, you don’t want to send them to your website homepage where they must dig for more information about this topic. Instead, you want to send them to a landing page that is specifically about teeth whitening since this is what they were interested in first. Make sure your landing pages have a strong call-to-action and help the reader understand what they should do next (e.g. fill out a form for a free consultation).

Q: How are web pages set up so that AdWords recognizes when someone want to be contacted?

A: Once a landing page is created, a form is added to the landing page. That form will then gather information submitted by a web visitor on the form so you may contact them about your services. After the web visitor submits their information, they are directed to a “Thank You” page, which should thank them for their interest and let them know what next steps are, such as how long it will be until they hear from you or someone at your firm.

Once the “Thank You” page loads, an AdWords conversion pixel (usually added by your webmaster during your campaign setup process), is triggered. This communicates to AdWords that a “conversion” has occurred. The pixel is will only be triggered if the person lands on your website through search engine advertising.

Tracking conversions from PPC advertising allows you to track your ROI on the channel. It also helps you identify where to improve content to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign. For example, AdWords will show you how many clicks your ad has received, but also how many people contact you once they visit your landing page. If you’re getting a lot of clicks, but not a lot of conversions, you may want to revisit the messaging on your webpage.

Q: When should I add PPC to my online marketing strategy?

A: Now! PPC ads are a quick and super-targeted way to get your firm noticed by new patients. You can get PPC ads up and running within just a couple of days.

Do you still have questions? Download our whitepaper on pay-per-click by filling out the form below.

Or, let ProSites help by reaching out to one of our Internet marketing experts at (888) 932-3644.

Social Media

5 Times You Should Communicate with Patients and How to Get It Done

Instagram showcases what your neighbor had for dinner. Facebook details the life of your 9th grade best friend. Snapchat shares pieces of an evolving story – but only for a second, and texts have all but eliminated the need for actual phone conversation. With all of this, is lack of communication still a “thing”? When it comes to patient communication, it is.

The benefits of patient communication have been extolled time and again, but understanding what you should do and actually doing it are two very different things (refer to that exercise bike turned clothes hanger). Sometimes the very concept of patient communication can be overwhelming. Does your practice need a formal plan? How much is too much? You talk to patients regularly – is that enough? So, like the personal training session you got last Christmas, the idea remains on the peripheral but nothing really comes of it.

The key to implementing anything new, whether it’s an exercise plan or a patient communication strategy, is to break it down into digestible pieces (we’re talking donut hole, not entire cake). To help you in this effort, we’ve highlighted a few opportunities for patient communication that you might not currently be leveraging.

1. Reminders – patients need them. People get busy – there are calendars to be juggled, deadlines to be met and only 24 hours in a day. Given everything vying for your patients’ attention, it’s no wonder that bi-annual hygiene visits fall to the bottom of the list. Enter dental patient reminders. Don’t worry, the passive aggressive type your well-meaning sibling uses (i.e. Did you ever use that training session?) generally isn’t warranted. Often, all a patient needs to stay on track is a quick appointment reminder.

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 Hanover Research study, 80% of patients said they preferred text or email reminders over calls. How do you accommodate this preference? 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.  While we can’t reap the benefits of cardio by pressing a button yet, dental practices can automate the majority of patient outreach.

2. Birthdays – everybody’s got one. Although some patients, like the kid sporting an “I am 7”shirt, are more vocal about them than others, a warm birthday greeting is generally welcome. No need to send a case of protein bars, birthday wishes sent via text, email, or old school greeting card can help strengthen patient relationships and keep you top-of-mind between scheduled appointments. Worried about execution? Unlike maintaining proper form throughout that Body Pump class, an automated patient communication system makes it easy to ensure every patient gets a personalized birthday message.

3. Post-procedure instructions – because no one remembers. According to the National Institute of Health , dentists’ recall of consultations is different than that of patients. In the majority of cases studied, patients were unable to accurately recall dental health advice or recommended actions. Sound familiar? Oh, 30 minutes of exercise daily– I thought you said three.  Providing detailed follow-up care instructions is the best way to ensure patients adhere to post-procedure guidelines, which reduces the risk of complications. Additionally, it shows that you care about your patients’ wellbeing.

4. Information – you’ve got it. When you work hard at something it’s ok to be a little braggadocios (#Down10Pounds), especially when patients reap the benefits (#ExpandedOfficeHours). Let current and prospective patients know that you invest in your practice. Growing your team, accepting new insurance plans, adding new technology, or offering promotions are all opportunities to communicate with current and prospective patients. After all, if you don’t tell them who will?

5. Patient reviews – you want them.  According to Dentistry IQ , 70% of dental patients said that online ratings and reviews influenced their choice of dentist. So, aside from delivering the best patient experience possible, how do you get more positive online reviews? Step 1) Ask. Step 2) 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. You’ll be surprised at what a simple ask can do. Try sending a follow-up email with a link to your website’s Reviews page and/or other review sites like Yelp and Google +.

At this point you might be thinking, “Sure, there are numerous opportunities to communicate with patients – but still only 24 hours in a day. How am I supposed to do this in addition to treating patients?” Many patient communications can be automated, and even those that are handled manually (i.e. announcing new office hours) will soon be routine if you make information sharing standard protocol. Still not sure how to get started? Reach out to an Internet Marketing Advisor at 888-932-3644 for help creating a patient communication strategy and details on ProSites’ PracticeMojo automated patient communication solution. Trust us – it’ll be easier than leg day. 

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