You may not think of dental customer service as part of your marketing program, but you should. Treating your patients exceptionally well—not only in the form of excellent clinical care but also in terms of friendliness, amenities, comfort and convenience—will set you apart from other practices in your area.
Turning Satisfied Patients into Enthusiastic Referrers
Word-of-mouth advertising works better than any other kind. When someone you trust recommends a product or service, a restaurant or dental practice, you pay attention. When you think about all the people each of your patients knows, you can understand the marketing value of patient satisfaction. The more you please your current patients… the more impressive your commitment to customer service… the higher your new patient potential.
A useful way of coming up with the best customer service systems is to imagine what your patients will be anxious to tell their acquaintances about. From fast wi-fi to free bottled water to seeing them on time, give your patients something good to talk about, in their daily interactions and online. They’ll want to mention how well-treated they are to family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers and others… spreading the good word-of-mouth advertising about your practice. And if you let them know you appreciate referrals, they’ll have everything they need to enthusiastically send new patients your way.
“Selling Points” for Your Marketing Communications
To succeed in today’s more competitive market, you need to differentiate your practice from any others a prospective patient might choose. Ironically, that’s difficult to do on the basis of your clinical skills. You may be more capable than other dentists in your area, but patients will not be able to make that judgement. What they can judge is the quality of customer service you and your staff provide. On your website, show how nice your reception area looks. Mention extras you offer. Talk about your warm and friendly team members. When patients are in the market for a new practice, these are the points that will persuade them to come to you.
By delivering superior customer service to your patients, you can turn them into strong advocates for your practice while developing the strong marketing differentiators you need to achieve the greatest possible success.