Although we all agree it is important to attract new patients to your practice, how about waking up the sleeping database of patients you already have? You worked hard to get them in the door, and you’re already provided them some of your services. But you can also let them know you are there for all their dental needs.
These patients may be in the following situations:
- Those who have had a consultation, but never started treatment.
- Those that abandoned their treatment mid process.
- Entire families that just seem to have disappeared.
- And most importantly…your tried-and-true, loyal patients who may not realize all the services you offer. There is nothing more frustrating than finding out a patient went elsewhere because she did not want to “bother you” with her husband’s sleep apnea issues or did not think you did full mouth reconstructions.
For your existing patients you see regularly, consider asking about the rest of the family. They may not be bringing their children in because they did not know you handle pediatric dentistry. Seeing a lot of kids, but you do not treat their parents? Be sure your office staff asks if they would like to make an appointment for themselves. Keep track of all the family members in your computer system so you can spot who you are not treating.
Broadcast the niche areas you work in, such as sleep apnea or cosmetic dentistry. In addition to marketing pieces, email blasts, blogs and facebook posts, have some props in your office that will provoke patients to ask about your various services. I know I can’t help but play with the Invisalign displays when I visit my dentist’s office.
Depending on your staff availability and your schedule this fall, you can start a calling campaign, even if it’s just to leave a message. Some of your patients that have gone missing may be embarrassed to come back and just need a warm invitation to get them back in the door. Be sure to remind them that now is the time to take advantage of their unused insurance benefits before the year ends.
Make it your mission to touch base with all your existing patients between now and the end of the year. Keep track of your success rate so you can see the fruit of your labors. As with all marketing efforts, include your staff in the plan and reward them as a group with lunch or some other perk for all their hard work. I am convinced that a solid 90 day outreach program will give you such positive results that you will incorporate it into your 2011 marketing plan.
– Jill Nastasia