When dental practices take on the investment of savvy, effective marketing, rarely does the vision go beyond the goal of getting more new patients. The problem with this is if you are not prepared for the influx of new patients your marketing is going to bring, you risk those patients walking from the front door straight through the back door because your internal systems failed to reflect the external marketing you were sending out to the community.
So, how do you successfully bring these new patients into your practice and retain them in your patient family? Here are a few steps to start working on NOW to prepare for the wave of business your marketing efforts are going to bring.
1. Have an effective New Patient Experience in place
The New Patient Experience is multifold. It involves several systems in your practice: excellent telephone technique, gathering of necessary data, scheduling the new patient appointment, sending out a beautiful and accurate new patient packet, and executing a good new patient appointment and a successful case presentation. This may take hours of time, practice and preparation on the part of you and your team members. But, remember, all of this work will protect the investment you have made in your marketing. Otherwise, you risk losing your investment the moment you answer the telephone.
2. Get your schedule in order
Make sure you have a schedule that is organized and ready to take on new patients in an expedient manner. If you are offering a special on whitening, for example, make sure you have places blocked off in your schedule to hold those appointments. If a prospective patient calls in and you can’t see them for three months, chances are it doesn’t matter what you’re offering, they will look elsewhere for someone that can see them in a more convenient fashion.
3. Put an efficient follow-up system in place
In the introductory calls, make sure you gather the prospective new patient’s contact information. This way you can follow- up on a regular basis through marketing and you can also place these people on a call list when you have cancellations.
Above all, make sure your business systems are streamlined and your customer service skills are sharp so that you make a great first impression. All the marketing dollars in the world won’t get you that final goal of a patient saying yes to treatment. The YES comes when the care and the service match the image. Here’s to successful marketing – and ultimately – successful case acceptance!
What have you done within your practice to handle the aftermath of successful marketing efforts?