It seems like dental offices are a dime dozen these days. Most dentists want to establish their own practice, be their own boss, determine their own hours, etc. All of those things are great perks for you as a dental professional — but you cannot just assume that growing a dental practice is easy or automatic. A major key to having a successful, long-term business is having qualities that make your practice stand out as unique. Let’s discuss some things you may be able to do to make your practice a true standout amongst its contemporaries.
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
Patients expect the experience in any dental office to be practically the same, but you can pleasantly surprise them with little extras. For example, you might decide to:
- Offer a coffee gift card if a patient has to wait more than five minutes past their scheduled appointment time
- Let patients borrow noise-cancelling headphones during their treatment
- Keep an orderly selection of up-to-date periodicals in your waiting room
- Personally welcome new patients at the beginning of their first appointment
THINK LIKE A PATIENT
The media often propagates misconceptions about dentistry. Popular movies and TV shows equate visiting the dentist to spending time in a torture chamber. It is your job to help nervous patients realize that you are not a bad guy and that you truly care about what they think. Rendering comfortable treatment is one way you can do that. Further suggestions include:
- Take time to talk with patients, even about things that do not relate directly to dentistry
- Call patients after a procedure to see how they are doing
- Train your staff to show genuine personal interest
- Show that you respect patients by patiently answering their questions and making genuine efforts to accommodate their preferences
- Offer weekend appointments if possible
To find out what things are of biggest concern to patients in your area, you might read reviews of your practice and other local practices. What do patients love? What would they like to see done differently?
MARKET YOUR STRONG POINTS
Certainly, word of mouth will help you acquire some new patients, but you should also not be afraid to boast about yourself on social media and other advertising platforms. Build your ads around your practice’s strong points so patients in your area have a clear idea of what they can expect when they step into your office. And boast about anything that makes you unique. For example, you can say that you are open on some evenings, show photographs of your community involvement, or tell a story of how you went above and beyond to help a particular patient.
There are billions of stars in the sky, and you have to make sure that your star shines brighter than the rest. Use the above tips to let patients know why they should choose you as their go-to dental professional.