Your Dental Practice’s Most Valuable Asset

Most Practice Transition Consultants will tell you that a dental practice’s most valuable asset is its roster of patients. When purchasing a dental practice, you are essentially buying future cash flows, and nothing is more closely tied to those cash flows than active patients. Therefore, maintaining and growing your patient base is crucial to your dental practice’s long-term success and value. Here’s how to keep your patient base strong and continuously growing.

Attracting New Patients

Attracting new patients is essential to keeping your practice thriving. This requires a multifaceted approach that includes a robust and ROI-driven marketing plan, a referral program, the right brand messaging, an online reputation strategy, and advanced dental technology.

1. ROI-Driven Marketing Plan: Invest in a comprehensive marketing strategy focusing on return on investment (ROI). This should include digital marketing efforts such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and content marketing. Track your campaigns’ performance to ensure they efficiently generate new patient leads.

2. Referral Program: Implement a referral program to encourage your existing patients to refer their friends and family. Offer incentives such as discounts on future services or free dental products. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful and can significantly boost your patient numbers.

3. Brand Messaging: Develop clear and consistent brand messaging that resonates with your target audience. Your brand should communicate your practice’s values, quality of care, and unique selling points. This helps in creating a solid identity that attracts new patients.

4. Online Reputation Strategy: Manage your online reputation by encouraging satisfied patients to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, professionally. A solid online reputation can significantly influence potential patients’ decisions.

5. Advanced Dental Technology: Invest in the latest dental technology to provide high-quality care and improve patient experiences. Advanced technology enhances your services and positions your practice as a modern, cutting-edge provider, attracting tech-savvy patients.

Engaging New and Existing Patients

Once you’ve attracted new patients, engaging them to ensure they feel valued and satisfied with their care is essential. This requires a well-thought-out patient experience plan, a modern and patient-friendly office, and a friendly, patient-focused team.

1. Patient Experience Plan: Create a comprehensive plan that outlines how you will engage with patients at every touchpoint. This includes the initial contact, appointment scheduling, in-office experience, and follow-up communications. Ensure that every interaction is positive and professional.

2. Modern and Patient-Friendly Office: Design your office to be welcoming and comfortable. Consider modern décor, comfortable seating, and amenities like Wi-Fi and refreshments. A pleasant environment can significantly enhance the patient experience.

3. Patient-Focused Team: Train your team to be friendly, empathetic, and patient-focused. Every team member, from the receptionist to the hygienist, should contribute to a positive patient experience. Patient satisfaction is often linked to how well the staff treats them.

Retaining Existing Patients

Retaining your existing patients is just as important as attracting new ones. Loyal patients are more likely to refer others and continue utilizing your services. Maintaining patients, implementing effective patient recall systems, making goods for lousy service, and developing an internal marketing plan are also essential.

1. Patient Recall Systems: Automated systems remind patients of their upcoming appointments and encourage regular check-ups. Consistent communication helps ensure that patients return for their routine visits.

2. Make-Goods for Bad Service: If a patient has a negative experience, address it promptly and offer a make-good, such as a discount on their next visit or a complimentary service. This shows that you value their business and are committed to making things right.

3. Internal Marketing Plan: Develop an internal marketing plan that includes regular newsletters, special promotions, and personalized communications. Keeping your patients informed and engaged helps build long-term relationships.

Maintaining an Active Preventive Medicine/Hygiene Program

An active preventive medicine and hygiene program is vital for the health of your patient base and your practice’s financial stability. While high-fee services like implants are essential, focusing on preventive and hygiene patients ensures a steady flow of future considerable casework.

1. Preventive Focus: Emphasize the importance of regular cleanings, check-ups, and preventive treatments. Educate your patients on the benefits of maintaining oral health and the potential risks of neglecting it.

2. Future Revenue: A buyer is more interested in a practice’s future potential than its past performance. A strong base of preventive and hygiene patients indicates a reliable source of future revenue.