Is your dental practice seeing as many millennial patients as you'd like? Young adults aged 18 to 34 make up a huge demographic nationwide — but not so much in dental offices. In fact, young adults are the least likely of all age groups to actually visit the dentist, according to an ADA report.
While 80% of young adults in the report say they plan to visit the dentist within the next 12 months, only 30% have actually visited a dentist in the previous 12 months. Whether it's a lack of dental insurance, fear of the dentist or other reasons, many millennials don’t get regular dental care. As a result, 35% of young adults say they have difficulty biting and chewing; the same percentage admit they’re embarrassed by the condition of their mouth and teeth.
Clearly, there’s a huge need for dental care for the millennial market. Want to get your share of millennial dental patients? Try these tips.
Tap into technology. The number-one tip for appealing to millennials: take advantage of technology. Millennials live on their phones, so offering appointment reminders and confirmations via text message, the ability to text back and forth with patients, and options for email and phone reminders too is sure to appeal to them. Lighthouse® 360 makes it easy to manage all of this and automates the process on your end, too.
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Have a mobile-optimized website. An outdated website won't inspire confidence among millennials. If your website isn't attractive or functional on a smartphone, millennials may write you off as hopelessly behind the times. Optimize your website for mobile use and add features such as click-to-call and online appointment scheduling to make it even more functional.
Address their concerns. Appearance is a huge issue for millennials. According to the ADA, 33% of millennials avoid smiling, 22% avoid participating in social activities, and 28% say it's difficult to interview for jobs because of the appearance of their teeth. Use social media marketing channels to show prospective millennial patients how easy it is to achieve that smile they've always dreamed of.
Related Article: How to Market Cosmetic Dentistry to Job Seekers
Provide creative financing options. Regardless of age, income or health insurance benefits, cost is the number-one reason people don't visit the dentist.
Especially for millennial patients, who may not have much disposable income or good dental insurance, the cost of dental treatment can be prohibitive. You can increase the odds of treatment plan acceptance by educating millennial patients about various financing options that can help them pay for dental care over time.
Show and tell. Millennials love images, so get their attention with before-and-after photos, videos of tooth whitening procedures, or educational videos that show them how to care for their teeth in a fun and entertaining way. Share these on social media as well as on your website. With Lighthouse® 360, it's easy to upload photos to your website, create photo galleries, and share photos on Facebook directly from the Lighthouse® portal.
Related Article: How to Take Your Social Media Marketing to the Next Level
Reach out to millennial parents. Fully half of all U. S. children have millennial parents, and more than 1 million millennial women have children each year. Even millennial parents who skimp on their own dental care are unlikely to cut back on their kids' cleanings or x-rays. Create special introductory offers for children to get millennial parents into your office. Once you have their permission to send them emails, send email newsletters targeted to parents to educate them about the importance of their children's dental care.
Listen to their opinions. Whether it's social media or online review sites, millennials love to share their thoughts. When you have a happy millennial patient, encourage him or her to write a review. Lighthouse® 360 automatically collects reviews from satisfied patients, and post them to popular review sites as well as Facebook.
Make it convenient. Whether they’re students with busy schedules, young adults just starting out in their careers, or young parents with their hands full, millennials are busy people. Lighthouse® 360 lets you offer the convenience millennial patients want and need. For example, you can register new patients right on their smartphones in just minutes, saving time and paper (something environmentally conscious millennials will appreciate). You can also send family messages to confirm the entire family’s appointment at one time.