We’ve worked with a lot of clients and over the years we’ve heard a number of horror stories about other marketing companies. In today’s blog, we would like to discuss a few red flags you should watch for, such as contracts that last more than 30 days, pressure to sign up right away, or attempts to gain ownership of your domain. Don’t let extended contracts and other poor practices impact your online marketing plan!
Category: Customer Service
Sometimes, as dentists you spend so much time and resources attracting new patients, you end up neglecting your current ones. If you spend so much in advertising and online marketing to get them in the door, why not keep them engaged? Often, the best way to keep your practice strong and growing is to focus on your current patients. After all, they’re a source of personal recommendations to their friends and family. We can help you improve patient retention in 2018!
When creating an online marketing strategy, many dentists and dental professionals have a singular focus: attract new patients. While leads and new patients are essential for a practice’s growth, you shouldn’t neglect your current patients. After all, current patients will return for checkups and care, and will also refer friends and family! You need to maintain a serious focus on maintenance marketing, which means nurturing a connection to your current patients.
We’ve written before about common scam tactics targeted towards dentists. Recently, a client emailed us after receiving a physical bill for their domain listing. Fortunately, instead of simply paying it they contacted us. We want to make our other clients and anyone else reading this blog is aware of this new scam!
When we talk about SEO, we often talk about going local: Targeting your community with online marketing techniques that address their needs and questions, making you one of the first results for a local search. While organic keyword placement, linking building, and other local techniques are valuable, what about face-to-face SEO? Of course, we don’t mean that you can directly impact rankings in person the same way keywords or link building can, but we do believe that poor customer service can end up having a negative impact on your rankings, even if you have solid SEO practices.
Because at MDPM Consulting we care about our clients, our entire team works hard to provide quality service for all of them. As a result, we like to put a face to our team members and recognize their hard work. Today, we’re featuring an interview with our newest intern, Kevin VanHorn. He is a Terry Scholar at University of Texas at Dallas, where he maintains a 4.0 GPA. He is also the roommate and BFF of one of our beloved former interns, Tyler Meyers. Kevin is a man of many talents, he plays banjo, writes fiction, creates original concept art, and is even programming a game with Unreal Engine. He’s also a big fan of League of Legends, No Man’s Sky, and the dangerous and unpredictable sport of disc golf. Kevin tackles a lot during his days here, assisting our clients and our team in a variety of tasks as our tech support.
The Importance of Capitalizing on General Referrals
Back in April, we answered a very important question in our monthly newsletter: What do you have that other dentists don’t?
The answer: your patients!
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be discussing how your relationship with your valued patients can work for you when it comes to growing your practice. This week, we’re focusing on the importance of capitalizing on general referrals.
As a dentist, referrals can make up a large portion of your patient base. When you receive a referral, you should follow up quickly to take advantage of the patient’s interest. Capitalizing on general referrals accomplishes two things: (1) brings new patients into your practice and (2) encourages current patients to express and share what they like about the care and service they receive with both your office and their network of friends, family, and acquaintances.
When someone is referred to you, don’t take a passive approach. After all, a referral doesn’t become a patient until he or she is in your dental chair. Once a referral rolls in, the potential patient should be contacted by your team within 48 hours. If possible, find out what services the potential patient is looking for and, better yet, schedule an appointment for as soon as both your schedule and the patient’s schedule allows. This prompt, friendly phone call gives the potential new patient the impression that you and your team are very eager to help him or her achieve improved oral health and that you value the business. Remember, this call is the patient’s first official interaction with your office, so show him or her that you are a friendly, welcoming, and professional practice that has the best interests of your patients in mind. Read More
The Star of the South Dental Meeting will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, on January 22-24.
Here at MDPM Consulting, we love conferences. We think they’re a great way to stay on the cutting edge of what’s new in dentistry while building relationships within the dental community. In fact, the mission of the Star of the South Dental Meeting is to “provide the opportunity for all dental professionals to gather for continuing education, to experience the latest innovations in dental equipment and delivery systems, and for camaraderie and social events.” That’s definitely a mission we support!
Why? Because MDPM Consulting strives to do the same thing for our valued clients, but in a slightly different way.
By offering complete SEO and content marketing strategies designed exclusively with dentists and dental practices in mind, we provide the opportunity for dental professionals to reach their target audiences (aka new patients) by increasing their visibility and accessibility online. To do this, we utilize the latest industry standards in SEO, content marketing, web development and design, and IT support. Ultimately, it’s our goal to increase the traffic to a dental practice’s website to draw in new patients and — as a result — help our clients become staples in their communities.
Tech Support knows nothing until you communicate with them. Let’s face the carbonation in the soda and the reflection in the mirror. You will need to process information, regurgitate it, and mold your message to achieve issue resolution. Like any healthy relationship, solving an issue with your email, website, or social media page involves a two way street marked with yellow lines, white lines, and possibly some cautionary street signs. It’s called communicating. In most customer service situations, the helper is blind, in the dark, or unaware of your predicament until you transmit what you know to them, so that they can process this and begin searching for a solution. Read More
According to a recent poll, 70% of Americans believe the economy is still in a recession. Dental practices nationwide report decreases in production, most notably in the number of new patients. Clients come to us with concerns about losing patients to rival practices, but dentistry in a recession isn’t always about competition among dentists. As patients tighten their purse strings, you’re far more likely to find yourself competing against rent, groceries, and debt. The solution? Internal marketing.
What Is Internal Marketing?
Internal marketing capitalizes on two of your most valuable assets, your staff and your current patients. Its main objectives are:
- Retain existing patients
- Increase per-patient value
- Generate referrals
Basically, it’s your dental practice’s calm in the storm, a marketing function that focuses on aspects over which you have a good degree of control. You can’t change the economy, you can’t change minimum wage, and you can’t give every patient a job. What you can give them is information, kindness, value, and dental health solutions.
A Satisfied Patient Is a Loyal Patient
On what factors do consumers base their buying decisions? If we’re talking about tangible goods, the answer is usually price. Dentistry, on the other hand, is a service. A practice that caters primarily to insured patients cannot effectively compete on the basis of price alone. All things being equal, a patient with dental coverage will pay the same copay at your practice that he will at the office up the street. It’s up to your team to create a patient experience that goes above and beyond the typical dental experience. Consider developing your practice’s personal signature, something your patients can look forward to. For example, we have a client who offers scented neck wraps, and another who eases patients’ anxiety with guided imagery and chairside meditation. There’s little margin for error here, which explains why so many practices are now investing in staff development and training. The economy will improve, and your patients will know exactly who to call when the time comes.
Convert More Patients With Stellar Case Presentations
When money is tight, patients reassess their ideas of what constitutes an elective procedure. For a financially secure patient, preventive and restorative dentistry are non-negotiable. Unfortunately, stability isn’t par for the course these days. Dentists are finding that many patients think of preventive as the new elective. In other words, if it isn’t causing excruciating pain, it’s elective. Practices nationwide report a larger number of fix-it and single-tooth treatments, many for patients who disappear forever after—no checkups, no professional cleanings. Nothing.
Money talks, but value explains. During your case presentation, a cash-strapped patient will focus primarily on the price tag. It’s up to you to present the value of the proposed solution in terms of their health. Touch on the basics of the procedure, but spend more time communicating the nature of the problem and the benefits of the treatment. Because money matters are now the crux of many patients’ healthcare spending decisions, your patient will be more protective of his finances. If a patient perceives that you are selling a solution for a problem that he doesn’t really have, you can be certain that he won’t return under more favorable economic conditions.
Leverage Existing Patients’ Connections With Referral Programs
Referral programs are a win-win solution. Your practice wins by gaining direct access to prospective patients, who receive the recommendation from someone they already know and trust. Patients win because they get an opportunity to enjoy “something for nothing,” so to speak. Making recommendations to friends takes five seconds on social media, and social media analytics make building awareness, monitoring success, and measuring engagement a no-brainer. However, referral programs are not an option in some states, which forbid remuneration for soliciting referrals. Check with Jill or myself before implementing a program.
Example 1: Each time a patient refers someone to the practice, both patients’ names are entered into a drawing for gift cards, an electric toothbrush, complimentary teeth whitening, etc.
Example 2: For every X number of new patients referred, the referring patient receives a reward or credit toward future dental work.
As always, you are welcome to contact either myself or Jill with questions about program design and social media.
New patients are hard to come by these days, but things are looking up. Internal marketing presents incredible opportunities to grow your practice at a time when most are desperately marketing to patients
About the Author: Jill Nastasia, CEO and Director of Business Development, is unsure of which type of recession is worse, economic or gingival. To learn more about our dental marketing solutions, contact Jill at 972-781-8861, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.