Does your dental practice struggle with patient retention? It’s much less expensive to retain a current patient than to attract a new patient. Only with high patient retention rate can you expect your practice to grow. Here are five tips to improve patient retention.
1. Offer an Online Patient Portal
One of the ways that you can keep existing patients is to offer an online patient portal via your website. This portal enables your patients to access their records on their own schedule rather than having to wait until your office opens for business. The online patient portal could also provides the convenience of allowing your patients to find out information about other services you may provide, such as teeth whitening and sealants.
2. Set Appointments Upon Departure
Before your patients leave after an appointment, set their next appointment. This can easily be done as part of the payment process at the end of each visit. When you set the next appointment, most patients will be more likely to attend the appointment, rather than cancel it later. This process will also cement your relationship with the patient as a long-term dentist care provider instead of a once-off dentist visit.
3. Send Greetings Between Visits
Instead of only contacting patients when they have an upcoming appointment, send out greetings at multiple times during the year. You already have their birthdate, so sending a birthday card on the occasion would be easy to manage. You can also send out seasonal emails with the latest news updates on the practice. These greetings will keep you in the minds of your patients throughout the year.
4. Offer Discounts and Promotional Items
Your patients already benefit from your practices’ expertise. But discounts and free promotional items make them feel that they are getting even more benefits by keeping you as their primary dental care provider. Within your postcard and email greetings, you can offer discounts such as a percentage off their next service. You can also give away free promotional items after each visit, such as a wall calendar, pen or small stuffed animal for your patients who are children.
5. Exceed Their Expectations
Your dentist practice can increase patient retention by exceeding expectations on every visit. Make each visit pleasant by implementing things like playing relaxing music, offering free bottled water and giving patients a pillow to hold onto. You can help to ensure that expectations were exceeded by providing a visit comment card at the reception desk. Patients can drop in their card, and personnel can go over them later to evaluate performance.
These are all great ways to improve dental retention in your practice. You and your staff can easily put these tips into place without a lot of extra expense. For more great ideas about improving your practice, please contact us.