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Understanding what motivates consumers in the competitive dental industry is a top concern for practice owners, who rely on new and returning patients to survive. With all the options available in states like California, Texas and New York, practicing dentists in areas with high concentrations of dental care providers would be wise to practice some active listening. Continue below to find out how to be the perfect dentist in the eyes of patients.
Futuredontics' survey of dental patients reveals what matters most to your patient base.
When it comes to attracting and retaining patients, there are many unknowns. What causes patients to switch dentists? How do they chose providers? Futuredontics, a dental marketing services and software provider, created an online survey of more than 3,000 participants to answer your most pressing questions.
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Here are the top factors that influence patients’ dental health care decisions and what you can do to satisfy them.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but according to the survey, insurance is the no.1 consideration for 59 percent of patients when choosing a provider. Even if a patient enjoys your practice’s services, staff and location, if you cannot accept their insurance, most have no choice but to head elsewhere.
Try the following to score points in patient satisfaction:
Survey says that patients, especially those between 35 and 54 years old, will not go out of their way to patronize your practice. Location is everything when it comes to business, so if you’re looking to save money by purchasing real estate in an isolated area, you could be hurting your finances. Beyond distance, availability of online appointments, extended workweek hours, weekend hours and a sleek website are of utmost importance.
Try the following to increase convenience:
While online reviews do not always offer truthful reflections of a business, it is true that what people say about you online can determine whether a patient choses you. A recent article from DMD asserts that Google searches can make or break a practice. If you want to know exactly how influential these reviews are, consider that most people search a business before booking an appointment and place search results over experience, service offerings and where a dentist went to school.
Try the following to improve your search results:
Incorporating new technology is not just fun for you — it is important to patients. Busy schedules necessitate the use of advanced devices to save time, reduce discomfort and make dental visits easier overall. In fact, according to Futuredontics, patients say they would discontinue their patronage of a practice if it does not offer the latest technology.
Try following to fit your practice with the latest gadgetry:
Referrals from a trusted source
Some things remain the same, and referrals from friends and family are one of them. While practices should not rely on word-of-mouth entirely, recommendations from patients with positive experiences of your services will always put bodies in the chair.
Try the following to boost referrals:
Dentists used to rely on local papers and publications to get their brands out to the community. In the digital era, this is no longer effective for getting eyes on your practice. Insurance lists, online directories, review sites, online dental referral companies and social media all have a bigger draw than any of the few print sources left.
Try the following to increase your visibility.
Please the people
Retaining patients is a huge piece of the pie when it comes to the success of your practice. If you cannot build patient loyalty, you may find yourself in trouble. Luckily, the factors that influence a patient’s decision to stay or leave for another provider are within your control.
Try the following to keep patients coming back: