August Book Review: Create a caring culture to transform patients into advocates for your practice

August 9, 2012
dentalproductsreport.com-2012-08-01, Issue 8

Dental Products Report editors have compiled a list of must-read books with your dental practice in mind. The concepts and ideas conveyed through each book can easily translate into your dental practice, among your staff and even your patients.

Dental Products Report editors have compiled a list of must-read books with your dental practice in mind. The concepts and ideas conveyed through each book can easily translate into your dental practice, among your staff and even your patients.

This month's book, "The Thank You Economy" by Gary Vaynerchuk, is reviewed by Linda Steeves, RDH.

Steeves is a HygieneFusion consultant, coach and mentor. Steeves works as a clinical hygienist and also assists dental offices and dental hygienists to achieve a higher potential.

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Connecting with prospective patients and your existing patient base has evolved to include social media platforms. Traditional marketing is not obsolete, but rather secondary. This author believes you must not sell or push your product through social media, but rather engage in nurturing personal relationships related to your business. "The Thank You Economy" is about taking every opportunity to show that you care about your patients and that they experience your brand in a way that is memorable and unique.

Business leaders, such as dentists, need to start thinking like small town shop owners when connecting through social media. Those small town shop owners of years ago succeeded when relationships were developed, nurtured and maintained. Their customers became loyal because of the newly formed relationships.

Vaynerchuk presented an example of his own business. He began working with his father in a small local wine shop. Their marketing was taken to the internet through social media and instead of offering sales, he offered information on wine. Engaging conversations about wine, and not the sale of wine, was in essence building a relationship. 

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Generally, people decide to like each other when they have conversations, listen to each other and then the relationship forms. His wine shop was transformed when he integrated social media relationship building. Sales increased due to the loyal relationships and a financial windfall began.  Understanding the power that social media was playing and the forming of relationships through that was his key to success.

Relationships nurtured in social media may convert a casual browser into a committed patient and a current patient into an advocate for your practice. Every office/business needs to focus on transforming patients/clients into advocates. Advocates are bred, not born, through developed and maintained relationships. These advocates are so important because they will be marketing your practice for you. Great customer service appears to be the key for this transformation to advocate.

A Customer Experience Impact 2010 report was cited with some interesting statistics:

  • 40% of consumers switched to buying from a competitor because of its reputation for great customer service

  • 55% cite great service, not product or price, as their primary reason for recommending a company

  • 66% said that great customer service was their primary drive for greater spending

Dentistry is not immune to the power of social media. Embrace it! This book is targeted to all businesses. A dentist in San Francisco, Calif., was given as an example. This dentist utilized social media so potential patients could envision a visit to her dental office.

Related: Top 5 social media mistakes small businesses are guilty of

Some of us utilize social media currently to either market or show presence on the internet of our office. Are we actively engaged? Have we positioned ourselves to nurture relationships or are we selling? Some of us have not pursued these platforms. We must embrace the power of the internet and social media or we will be left behind. We will not be able to compete with other dental offices.

Vaynerchuk stated, if competitors are bigger…out care them.  If competitors are cheaper…out care them. If competitors have celebrity status and you do not…out care them.

If you need a renewed sense of excitement for social media marketing or another  platform, I would recommend you read "The Thank You Economy." It is a relatively quick read that will give you suggestions to implement immediately to your marketing campaigns. Engaging your target audience in this manner can only have a positive impact in your financial bottom line.

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