Keeping patients in your practice is an important part of being successful. It gets overlooked with the prospect of getting New Patient's. Most often the focus of how may new patients are coming in the practice a month, how to advertise, where to advertise, getting existing patients to refer friends and family. Some practices offer a special for New Patient exams, x-rays and cleaning or coupons for a discount off treatment. But what happens after they come in for their first appointment? What do you do to follow up with them? Don't get me wrong, having New Patients is important, but retaining patients is important as well.
For General Practices and Pediatric Practices, you need to have a healthy active patient data base. Without it, your relying on New Patients to bring in production and that can lead to an inadequate schedule and trying to fill "holes" a day or two out. Here are some keys to keep patients coming back.
- Spend time with your patient's. Find out their concerns and address them. Patient's will often put up with a tooth that's sensitive or that is a little discolored or a little out of place because they don't know that treatment can be done to fix it. Talk to them, validate their concerns.
- Educate! Explain to your patient's why they have deep pockets or why they have decay or why they now need a root canal. Patient's want to be involved in their treatment process. Often times we get busy with our day and we forget that our patients don't have the same "dental knowledge" that we do. We tell them they need treatment and expect them to schedule and have the treatment done. Take an extra 5 minutes and show them their x-rays, intra-oral photos, discuss the process of periodontal disease. They will feel empowered and valued and you will increase their trust and they will keep coming back.
- Schedule their next hygiene appointment. Everyone needs to be checking each patient that they schedule, talk to and treat to be sure they have their next hygiene appointment. By making this a habit, you will instill in the patient the importance of coming in for their routine cleanings, keep you hygiene schedule full and keep your patient's coming back.
- Follow up with your patient. With technology now days its so easy to contact patient's now. We have several software companies to help with confirmation and appointment reminders, email patient's when they are due for their recalls or if they are past due, education email blasts and so much more. Why not use it? Its easy to set up and patients appreciate it.
These are some very simple changes you can make to your daily routine and have a huge impact on your practice. For more information go to dentalconceptsandsolutions.com