What you’ve got that corporate dentistry never will.
Yes, they are popping up all over and scooping up private practices left and right, but, here’s the good news: not every person on this planet wants a cookie-cutter, impersonal, sell-me-all-the-dentistry-you-have-in-your-dental-clinic dental experience. Thank God for that, because those are exactly the types of patients you want to attract.
Here’s what you’ve got, and what you need to be doing to separate yourself from the pack and become the dentist-of-choice in your town.
You’ve got the means to be personal and patient-centered.
Private dentists have the advantage of actually doing what is right for the patient. There is no corporate entity telling you how to do what you do, how much time you need to spend, what suppliers to use, or anything else that might take the human quotient out of the dental care equation. Take advantage of this. You don’t want to have to compete on price or offer an even lower discount. Let the corporate chains do that.
Instead of cutting corners and shaving costs, do the opposite and spend money creating a WOW experience for your patients.
You want your patients’ experience to be so fantastic that they leave your office and tell everyone they run into about you. You want your patients giving you grand five-star reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Scores of these reviews online will attract new patients to your office who want to experience the same high-class service.
Where to start?
- Take stock of the appearance of your office. Has it been updated in the past five years? If not, then it probably needs to be.
- What kind of amenities are available to your patients? WiFi? Keurig station? Cookies? Blankets? Headphones and music? Massage chairs? Do you offer any type of new patient and existing patient gifts? These gifts might be coffee mugs, water bottles, umbrellas, etc.
- What does your website look like? Is it personal and compelling for a prospective patient to want to call and schedule an appointment with you, or is it a canned, impersonal website, just like the corporate dental websites?
- How do you show up online? Are you on the first page of search results? Do you have lots of 5-star reviews? Is your social media up-to-date and are you posting engaging content?
- Are you known in the community? Do you actively participate in local events, schools, and other activities?
You can choose the way you want to practice and let your philosophy be known.
There are a multitude of ways to make your philosophy known to your patients. This can be done during in-office visits as well as in regular, on-going communication with them via e-newsletters or printed newsletters. For prospective patients, direct mail, community newspapers, your website, social media, online advertising, and many other advertising mediums are great ways to get your message out there and attract the right patients.
You have most likely acquired a variety of excellent clinical skills and knowledge over the years.
Your practice philosophy comes from extensive training at Dawson Academy, Pankey Institute, Academy of General Dentistry, etc. In a corporate environment, they dictate the protocol. They are also highly staffed with inexperienced dentists who are right out of dental school. You also may use cutting-edge technology and the best suppliers in the market. These are things you need to be educating your patients on.
When patients understand all the things you offer that differ from corporate chains, and why you are the best choice for their oral healthcare, they will become raving, loyal patients and stay right where they are!