There is no denying dentistry is a competitive industry. Around every corner, there seems to be a new office opening and seeking new patients. Forbes had a recent article by Larry Myler profiling how hard it can be for a dentist to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Myler quoted Colorado Springs, CO dentist Dr. Fred Guerra who said:
“Dental services are basically commoditized and consumers often conclude that one dentist is pretty much the same as the next.”
Reasonable minds may differ on this point, but if that is a patient’s perception, the truth can be irrelevant. To fight this, Myler shows how Dr. Guerra attempted to make sure his patients know how important they are to him.
“In every aspect of service, I try to demonstrate how much I value my patients. I want them to feel our appreciation and think, ‘Man, I’m important!'”
The article then goes on to outline several innovative ways an office can differentiate itself from a competitor such as fancy chairs, no waiting guarantees, aromatherapy, and other inventive perks.
I would also add another, albeit simple solution – make sure your office answers the phone and provides service at the patient’s convenience, not yours. Don’t just tell your patients their call is important to you in a voice message – prove it to them by answering!
If you need help answering calls and becoming more available, UIC Dental is a great solution, but no matter what, make sure you are answering your phone. If not, someone else most assuredly will!
Ask yourself simple question – are you providing Five-Star Service? Otherwise, as described by Jay Geier in the October 2015 edition of Dental Town, you will not “stand out from the crowd” and “get you that boatload of referrals you dream about”.
According to Geier:
“99 percent of all businesses – including yours – are based around the comfort of the person or people who run the business. Plain and simple.
The only way you will become truly patient-centric is if you intentionally shift the focus from yourself and your team to what is most convenient for the patient, even when it’s inconvenient for you.”
One of the ways you can become more convenient to your patients is by being available when they call the practice. This will not always be during open hours as many patients call on nights, weekends, off days, lunch hours, or even when you are already on the phone with other patient.
Of course, this level of service can be both costly to the practice by having to staff extra hours and also burdensome on your staff by having to stay late and work weekends. With UIC Dental, you can have the best of both worlds – convenience and availability for your patients while still providing a great work/life balance for you and your staff.
Provide Five-Star Service today and make your practice more available by answering your patient’s calls on their terms with the help of UIC Dental. Click here to learn more.
UIC Dental is designed to make sure new patients have their phone calls answered and are able to get scheduled as soon as possible. As for what they decide to do on the waiting room, that is up to them!
15. When Andy (from Parks and Recreation) thought he nailed it at the dentist’s office.
Getting patients scheduled as a dental practice is difficult enough and can be even more problematic when you have cancellations or no-shows. Dentistry IQ has an article discussing reducing the cost of cancellations in your dental practice. According to Ryan Long, DDS:
“Dental practices are faced with many different challenges and expenses. One of the most frustrating and costly of these challenges is frequent broken appointments and no shows.”
Frequent broken appointments and no-shows not only will leave open spots in your schedule, but also affects your gross profit. Dr. Long lists ways his office combats this challenge:
“One of the best ways to reduce broken appoints is to use appointment reminders.”
“Of the techniques we use, the most successful are text messaging, email, and personal rather than automated confirmation calls.”
Automated tools are available and can certainly help with the appointment reminder and confirmation process, but some patrons are not used to the technology or ignore automated requests. In times like these, confirmation phone calls can also be a very valuable tool as Dr. Long indicated in his article. You want to contact your patrons how they are most comfortable.
If confirming upcoming appointments is too time consuming or not realistic for your office staff, UIC Dental is here to help. In addition to increasing availability by handing incoming patient calls, UIC Dental also offers a service calling your patients to confirm appointments as if we were right in your office creating less frequent broken appointments and increasing daily office productivity.