Marketing and customer loyalty are two of the biggest hurdles businesses face.
Gaining new clients and keeping them can seem like capturing the elusive unicorn or spotting Bigfoot.
But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. With a little strategic planning and innovative marketing efforts, any business can attract new clients with ease.
The health industry is no different. Doctors and dental offices need to bring in new clientele regularly.
Are you struggling to obtain new dental patients? Or have a sufficient customer base but lack loyalty?
Keep reading to discover 10 ways your clinic can attract new dental patients who stick around.
1. Be Unique
According to the ADA (American Dental Association), there are approximately 200,000 dentists in the US. That means competition for new clients is fierce.
The best way to stand out in the crowd is to offer something other dentists in your area don’t. Things like oral sleep appliances, veneers, and sedation dentistry are all unique services that could attract new clients.
Another approach is advertising luxury dentistry, which doesn’t mean luxury in the traditional sense. In the world of dentistry, it simply means comfort and pleasure.
And with nearly 75 percent of adults suffering from a dental phobia, comfort is key.
2. Create a Strong Online Presence
The internet rules the world, regardless of your line of work. That means you need to craft a well-designed functional website for your dental practice. And you don’t need to be a computer whiz to do it.
All you need is a simple design that displays important information and is easy to navigate. Update the content regularly to showcase your newest services and pricing. Every website should have a blog filled with useful, well-crafted content.
But beyond website design, you need to focus on SEO (search engine optimization). Basic SEO tips can help get you started. But for real success, you need to look past just using relevant keywords.
Your goal is to convert website visitors to patients. Your success is measured using a conversion rate. If you want visitors to take the desired action (book an appointment), include a few key elements on your webpage:
- Customer testimonials
- Action verbs
- Clearly stated benefits of your service
- A guarantee
Register your website with Google Analytics to help track which marketing efforts are working best. Check out these dental marketing ideas to get started.
3. Don’t Forget Your Community Presence
While internet presence is important, don’t discount good old community involvement. Nothing beats shaking hands, meeting people, and pounding the pavement.
This is especially important if you’re appealing to families with children in the local area. Volunteer at B2B events in the community or send out a weekly newsletter.
Sponsoring local sports teams or donating to school fundraisers are other ways to make your dental practice visible within the community.
4. Focus on Customer Service
According to Microsoft, 96 percent of customers said that customer service is an important factor in brand loyalty. As a dental practice, you’re in the business of giving your dental patients a positive experience.
They should feel welcomed and comfortable from start to finish. Start by hiring friendly and knowledgeable office staff. Next, create a warm and welcoming office space.
As the dentist, you should be available to speak with your dental patients and put their minds at ease. Quality customer service is the first step in achieving customer retention.
5. Use Directory Listings
Most dental patients choose a practice near their home. That’s why using local directory listings is so important. This is usually the first place people turn when searching for a new dentist.
Sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Health Grades, and the Better Business Bureau can help you attract local clientele. But that’s not the only reason to use this marketing approach.
Google pays close attention to how your business is listed on the web. Be consistent with your citations (name, address, and phone number). This helps with higher rankings in local searches.
6. Social Media
Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Social media outlets aren’t just for celebrities and teens.
More than ever, businesses are upping their social media game. And if you want to keep up with other dentists in your area, you need a social media presence.
Not only are you gaining access to 196 million users through social media, but you’re adding a human element to your business. Add photos of happy patients following a cleaning, glamorous white smiles, and upcoming events and specials.
Referrals are almost as valuable as positive online reviews. When clients love your dental practice, they’ll refer their friends and family.
Offer incentives or discounts for every client referral you get. A free cleaning, discount off their next dental service, or even restaurant gift cards make great freebies to show your gratitude.
After all, having a trusted, happy client recommend you will convert to a new patient much faster than your advertising efforts can do.
8. Offer New Patient Incentives
Don’t reserve incentives just for clients who refer a friend. You can also offer new patient incentives.
Set a timeline — all patients who sign up in the month of March receive a free cleaning or teeth-whitening consultation. You can even give a discount if multiple people from one family sign up together.
9. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising
A recent report showed that 45 percent of small businesses are using pay-per-click advertising. Another 74 percent of businesses with 50 or more employees are also using this profitable marketing strategy.
You already know that Google runs the internet. Which is why Google Ads is the most popular PPC platform. Your paid advertisement appears above all organic search results.
Your dental practice can target a specific audience searching specific terms. If you’re working on a budget, PPC ads are the way to go since you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
We’ve all been there. You’re browsing online for a new pair of shoes or gadget with no real intention to buy.
Until ads for those killer boots or wireless headphones keep popping up in your feed. After the third time you see them, you can’t help but order them up.
This advertising technique is called retargeting. And it’s internet gold. You can use this same method for your dental practice.
Once visitors leave your site, ads for your clinic will show up other places on the web, encouraging them to join your mailing list or book an appointment.
The two most popular platforms for retargeting are Facebook and Google Display Network.
Starting Gaining New Dental Patients Today
If you’re already running a professional, accommodating dental practice, you’re halfway to acquiring new dental patients. Now all you need is to get the word out!
A healthy mix of online marketing, customer relations, and incentives can help take your dental practice to the next level.
Want to learn more about how to make money doing what you love? Check out this page for money saving (and making) tips!