Is your dental practice growing — or shrinking? According to research from Henry Schein, the average dental practice loses between 10% and 17% of its patients to attrition each year. That means they have to replace 10% to 17% of their patients annually just to avoid falling behind.
The top 10% of dental practices, in contrast, have an attrition rate of just 3% a year, Dentistry Today reports. To reduce attrition and help your practice join the ranks of the top 10%, follow these tips to make a great impression on new dental patients.
Make a good impression on new patients before they arrive
Communicate clearly and frequently with the patient. Once a new patient has made an appointment, send a dental appointment confirmation and welcome message via email, text, phone or whatever method the new patient prefers. As the appointment date gets closer, be sure to send a dental appointment reminder. Lighthouse 360 automates confirmations and reminders, so communicating with new patients is fast and easy. That's a big factor in building good patient relationships.
Maintain good online reviews. Some 97% of all consumers regularly look online for local businesses, according to a survey by BrightLocal. When new patients check out your practice online, what will they find? You can boost your practice’s overall online ratings by encouraging satisfied patients to review your practice online. Lighthouse 360 automatically reaches out to patients after their appointments to ask for a review, then automatically posts positive reviews to all the top online review sites.
Make a good impression on new patients in the office
Create a pleasant waiting room experience. Your practice’s waiting area is the first "real world" impression you make on a new patient. Make sure it's a good one by greeting patients with a friendly smile. Keep the waiting area clean and fresh smelling. Use music and water features, such as aquariums or fountains, to create a calming environment. If your office waiting room decor is becoming outdated, freshen it up to make your practice look more modern.
Show that you value the patient's time. Help your patients stay on schedule by managing your time and theirs throughout their visit. For new patients, filling out registration forms on a clipboard can eat up unnecessary time and put them behind schedule. Lighthouse 360’s Patient FastTrack feature offers a super simple registration process by enabling patients to answer quick intake questions right on their smartphone. There's nothing to download, print or scan; patients can even sign forms directly on their smartphone screen. When treatment is over, make sure your front desk staff is prepared to accept payment and make a return appointment so the patient can get on their way. With Lighthouse 360’s front desk task list, your front desk staff will always be operating at peak efficiency. (Here's some more advice to make your dental practice more efficient.)
By following these four steps, your dental practice is sure to make a positive impression on new patients — one that keeps them coming back. (Try these ideas to show dental patients you appreciate them.)