Month: April 2012

Ten Steps for Managing New Patient Surveys

Last week, we discussed the pros and cons of conducting patient surveys. Although Modern Dental Practice Marketing primarily focuses on marketing through blogs, websites, social media, and newsletters, we’re happy to offer you a 10-step plan to help your team manage a dental patient survey.

Step 1: Decide upon your survey’s theme

Your survey should be geared to a specific topic so you can target improvements to a specific area or service of your dental practice.  For example, if you want to discern whether your front office staff is acting professionally, you might want to tailor your survey to patient service oriented questions.

Step 2: Ask questions that illicit useful feedback

Ideally, the answers in a survey should provide as much information as possible in a concise manner. Avoid open-ended questions and simple yes or no answers. Instead employ a scale for each question.

Step 3: Determine how you will conduct your survey

Will you use an Internet service, hand out survey forms to patients in person, or use both of these methods? If you decide to use both methods, you may have more patient feedback.

Step 4: Decide if you need to screen the survey’s audience

Depending on the purpose of your survey, you may need to screen who participates. For example, let’s assume that you’re a general dentist who also provides cosmetic dental procedures. More than likely, a 10 year old’s opinion of porcelain veneers won’t matter much to you.

Step 5: Inform respondents of how long the survey should take

Time is valuable. As a courtesy to your patients, let them know roughly how long the survey should take. Extending this gesture of respect for their time, might secure more responses. Read More

Do Dentists Need to Market with Pinterest?

In light of many recent questions from our clients, I’ve postponed the follow up to “Do Dentists Need a Patient Survey,” and instead, today’s blog will focus on Pinterest.

  • Fact: Pinterest is the third largest social networking platform, behind Facebook and Twitter.
  • Fact: Pinterest is free, just like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Fact: If you don’t post to Facebook and Twitter, you sure won’t post to Pinterest.

What is Pinterest?

Wikipedia has a good definition: “Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”[3] via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing.” Read More

Do Dentists Need a New Patient Survey?

I’m often asked whether a dentist should send a survey to new patients. On one hand, surveys provide information that you can use to improve your customer service. On the other hand, consumers are inundated with surveys.

You’re probably asked to complete a survey at over half of the stores and restaurants you visit…the request is often printed on the bottom of your receipts, along with a promise to enter your name to win a bazillion dollars if you complete the survey. The survey craze is a national problem. Just yesterday, a popular radio station featured the topic of “too many surveys” on their morning show, here in Dallas-Ft. Worth. When is the last time you completed a survey, just to offer constructive advice (not to register a complaint)?

Why to Have a Survey

That said, surveys for new dental patients can be a good tool for improvement and quality control. You’re in and out of your office every day, and you probably think you know the impression you make on new patients. However, you aren’t on the phone when they call, in the front office when they arrive, or at checkout when they leave. You may not know how long they waited to see you, whether they were greeted with a smile or frown, and what the “temperature” is in your office. The kicker is, if you are not going to review survey results and take action toward improvement, surveys are a waste of time for you and the patients who complete them! Read More