Thriving in a Crowded Marketplace: 12 Dental Video Marketing Tips

In today’s competitive dental marketplace, standing out can be a daunting task. However, with the power of dental video marketing, practices can make a unique and lasting impression, particularly with Gen X and younger audiences. Patients seeking both routine and complex procedures are looking for a dental practice they can trust and feel connected to. Dental video marketing offers a dynamic way to showcase your expertise, highlight patient testimonials, and reveal the human side of your practice, ultimately establishing you as a trusted advisor. Here’s a closer look at how you can leverage dental video marketing to captivate your audience and boost your practice.

Dental video marketing is an incredibly effective tool for dental practices. It allows you to engage with your audience in a more personal and memorable way compared to traditional marketing methods. Videos are more likely to be shared on social media, which increases your reach and visibility. Moreover, they cater to the preferences of Gen X and younger patients who are more inclined to consume content in video format. Here are twelve impactful video marketing ideas to help your dental practice stand out and thrive.

1. New Patient Introduction

First impressions matter.

You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. According to Positive Psychology people make an immediate and lasting assessment of you in the time it takes to snap your fingers or blink your eyes.

We spend the rest of our time finding evidence to prove our original impression of that person. Whether it’s true or not.

Creating a welcome video for new patients can help ease their nerves and make them feel more comfortable before their first visit. Introduce them to the practice, outline what they can expect during their appointment, and provide any important information they need to know.

2. Office Tour

A virtual tour of your office is a great way to showcase your facilities and create a sense of familiarity for new and prospective patients. Highlight the different areas of your practice, including the waiting room, treatment rooms, and any special equipment or amenities you offer.

3. Follow-Up Videos

Following up with patients after their appointments or procedures shows that you care about their well-being. A personalized video message can reinforce post-treatment instructions, offer additional tips for care, and remind patients that you are available for any further questions or concerns.

4. Thank You Videos

Expressing gratitude goes a long way in building strong patient relationships. Send personalized thank you videos to patients after their appointments, thanking them for their trust and choosing your practice for their dental care needs.

5. Referral Request

Word of mouth is a powerful tool in attracting new patients. Encourage satisfied patients to refer friends and family to your practice through engaging referral request videos. Highlight any referral programs or incentives you offer to make it even more appealing.

6. Review Request

Positive reviews can significantly impact your practice’s reputation and attract new patients. Requesting reviews through a video can be more engaging and effective than a standard email. Show appreciation for their feedback and explain how it helps you improve your services.

7. Patient Testimonials

Nothing speaks louder than a satisfied patient’s testimonial. Showcase these stories in your video marketing to build credibility and trust. Potential patients are more likely to choose your practice when they see real people sharing positive experiences.

8. Referral Testimonials

In addition to patient testimonials, highlight testimonials from referring doctors or specialists. These endorsements can add an extra layer of credibility and demonstrate the professional relationships your practice has built.

9. Product Recommendations

Patients often look to their dentists for advice on the best dental products to use. Create videos that recommend dental products, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Offer tips on proper usage and explain the benefits of each product. Include mentioning special pricing for any products you have available to patients.

10. Before and After Showcases

Visual proof of your expertise can be incredibly persuasive. Showcase before and after results of various treatments, such as teeth whitening, orthodontics, or cosmetic dentistry. Ensure you have patient consent and respect their privacy in these videos.

11. Team Spotlight

Introduce your team members to create a personal connection with your audience. Highlight their qualifications, roles within the practice, and a bit about their personalities. This helps humanize your practice and makes patients feel more at ease.

12. Discuss Trends

Stay relevant by discussing current trends in dental care. Whether it’s the latest in dental technology, new treatment methods, or oral health tips, sharing this information positions you as an expert and keeps your audience informed.

Implementing these twelve video marketing ideas can help your dental practice stand out in a crowded marketplace. By showcasing your expertise, building trust through patient testimonials, and highlighting the human side of your practice, you can create lasting connections with your patients. Embrace the power of video marketing to enhance your practice’s visibility, credibility, and patient engagement.


Connect with me to collaborate on making your practice memorable through effective video marketing strategies.

Create an Effective One Sheet to Increase Practice Referrals

A One Sheet is a powerful marketing tool for any dental practice, serving as a concise and visually appealing overview of what you offer and why referral partners should choose you. Craft a One Sheet that not only highlights the unique aspects of your practice and providers but also effectively attracts your ideal patients. Make it easy for practices to refer to you.

The layout should be clean and engaging. Use professional graphics, your practice’s color scheme, and high-quality images of your team and office. A One Sheet should not only inform but invite referring practices to visually understand the atmosphere and professionalism of your business.

Begin by showcasing the areas of expertise that distinguish your practice from others. This could be advanced technology you use, specialized services like cosmetic dentistry or orthodontic care, or a unique approach to patient comfort. It’s important to clearly articulate these strengths to resonate with referring offices so they can identify who would benefit from seeing you.

Include notable achievements, certifications, or accolades that your providers have received. This could range from community awards, special certifications in dental specialties, or even high ratings on review sites. Achievements help build trust and credibility with prospective referring offices. As a provider, spotlight one or two standout abilities that set you apart from the competition.

The backside of your One Sheet should focus on your ideal patient. Who benefits most from your services? Specify what type of patients you are looking for based on your practice’s expertise and patient care philosophy. This ensures referrals align well with both practices, leading to improved quality and quantity. For example, if you specialize in pediatric dentistry, your ideal patients are children and their care providers. Describe the characteristics of these patients to ensure that your message reaches the right audience

Testimonials are a powerful tool for building trust and appealing directly to potential referring offices. Choose testimonials that speak to the strengths and benefits in your One Sheet. This not only adds authenticity to your claims but also personalizes the experience for prospective referrals

Examine your business reviews, using AI, and pick three standout comments, especially those that highlight what patients love about your service. This might include your friendly staff, your efficient procedures, or your state-of-the-art facilities. These reviews should reflect the sentiments that are important to your current patients.

Transform these positive comments into an eye-catching infographic. This visual should be easy to read and attractively designed, featuring quotes with star ratings. Place this infographic prominently on your One Sheet to catch the eye of prospective referral practices.

The final product should be a compelling One Sheet that serves as both a promotional and informational tool for your practice. It should effectively communicate the unique qualities of your practice, directly reveal your ideal patient, and leverage positive feedback to attract new referrals. By following this structured approach, your practice can enhance its visibility, attract more ideal patients, and grow in a competitive market.

Once created, distribute the One Sheet to your existing and potential referring practices, on your website, and through social media channels. The goal is to make sure that whenever someone thinks of a specific dental service, your practice comes to mind first.

If you are interested in crafting a practice one-sheet for boosting referrals.

Generational Smiles: Strategies For Successful Treatment And Product Recommendations

Embracing the traditions of my father, a devoted Traditionalist, I continue the endearing practice of tipping with $2 bills.

His unique gesture always elicited smiles and prompted delightful conversations about cherished memories. He created a positive experience with his unique gesture.

As we sorted through his belongings after his passing at the age of 97, we stumbled upon a hidden treasure of… you guessed it, $2 dollar bills!

Tasked with inheriting this collection due to my frequent travels, I’ve adopted the joyful responsibility of perpetuating his legacy. Using these special bills for tips has become a heartwarming and enjoyable means for me to stay connected with him, keeping his spirit alive in the simple act of generosity.

Create a memorable, positive experiences that cater to the diverse needs of every generation

Have you ever found it challenging to connect with a patient or experienced resistance to treatment or product recommendations? The key may lie in understanding and bridging generational gaps in communication styles. Here is a strategic, comprehensive breakdown of four generations that today’s dental practices encounter. Included are insights on how to effectively interact with generational diversity in the dental practice.


Traditionalists (before 1946): Prefer Provider Guidance

Traditionalists appreciate clear and straightforward solutions when receiving recommendations from their healthcare provider. When presenting a treatment plan, aim for uncomplicated explanations that resonate with their preference for simplicity. Emphasize the longevity and durability of suggested solutions, ensuring they align with what suits them best. To bolster their confidence, offer real-life examples of patients within a similar age range who have undergone similar treatments successfully.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964): Valuing Personal Connection

Baby Boomers appreciate thorough explanations and prefer direct communication in person or by phone. They dislike feeling rushed, and taking the time for a relaxed discussion is crucial. Emphasize the benefits of a good smile and sound dental health, aligning their treatment with these values. Given their often-ample resources, schedule their treatments thoughtfully and extend an invitation for further questions.

Generation X (1965-1977): Ideal Plans and Clear Communication

Generation X, characterized by respect for authority and linear thinking, respond well to ideal treatment plans with phased scheduling and payment options. As high achievers, they value dental health for appearance and overall well-being. Follow-up communication, preferably through text or email, is appreciated.

Generation Y/Millennials (1978-1999): Desire Instant Gratification

Millennials are technology-dependent, seeking instant gratification and despising delays. To connect with them, be patient-attentive, provide same-day service, and combine appointments efficiently.

Gen Z (2000-2016): A Future-Focused Approach

Gen Z is future-oriented and prioritizes prevention while being cost-conscious. Deliver explanations and options that emphasize prevention, aligning with their forward-thinking mindset. As advocates for avoiding future expenses, they are an excellent fit for dental practices with a strong focus on preventive care.

Customizing dental product recommendations is equally crucial. Each generation has distinct preferences, needs, and communication styles that should be considered.

Traditionalists (Born before 1946): Simplicity and Reliability

• Keep it simple.
• Emphasize durability and reliability.
• Use respectful, formal language.
• Highlight products with a long history of success.
• Leverage personal testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964): Health, Aesthetics, and Trust

• Focus on health and aesthetics.
• Highlight products that improve or maintain appearance.
• Emphasize value for money and long-term benefits.
• Provide detailed information and studies to build trust.
• Adopt a professional and respectful tone.

Gen X (1965-1977): Convenience and Independence

• Offer convenience and practicality.
• Mention time-saving features or benefits.
• Use a straightforward, informative approach.
• Provide options and flexibility.
• Appeal to their desire for independence and self-care.

Gen Y (1978-1999): Technology and Social Values

• Emphasize technology and innovation.
• Align with environmental and social values.
• Utilize visuals, videos, and online reviews.
• Be concise and address cost-effectiveness and customization potential.

Gen Z (2000-2016): Technology and Sustainability

• Leverage technology and interactivity.
• Appeal to their desire for self-expression and uniqueness.
• Showcase products aligning with sustainability and ethical values.
• Use social media and influencers for recommendations.
• Keep the message short and visually engaging.

Adapting Strategies: Beyond Products to Communication

Customization extends beyond products to communication and marketing strategies. Consider different channels such as social media, email, or in-person consultations based on the preferences of the generation you are targeting. Gathering feedback from each generation can help refine recommendations over time, ensuring your dental practice meets their evolving needs and expectations. Embrace these insights to create a successful, patient-focused practice that caters to the diverse needs of every generation.

3 Reasons Dentists Should Engage With Google Reviews

In today’s digital age, online reviews hold significant sway over consumer decisions. Whether you’re searching for a restaurant, a vacation spot, or even a dentist, it has become second nature to consult Google reviews before making a choice.

As a dentist, your online reputation can make or break your practice. That’s why it’s crucial to actively engage with patient Google reviews, and here are three compelling reasons why you, as a dental practice, should personally respond to them.

Patient trust is the cornerstone of any successful dental practice. When you respond to Google reviews personally, you’re not just acknowledging the feedback; you’re demonstrating a genuine commitment to your patients’ well-being. This personal touch goes a long way in building trust and rapport with your patients. Visit the Google My Business Help Center for detailed information on managing your business’s online presence, including responding to reviews and optimizing your Google My Business listing.

Patient trust is the cornerstone of any successful dental practice. When you respond to Google reviews personally, you’re not just acknowledging the feedback; you’re demonstrating a genuine commitment to your patients’ well-being. This personal touch goes a long way in building trust and rapport with your patients. Visit the Google My Business Help Center for detailed information on managing your business’s online presence, including responding to reviews and optimizing your Google My Business listing.

Imagine this scenario: A patient named Sarah leaves a glowing five-star review, praising your gentle approach and effective treatment. You respond with a heartfelt thank-you message, expressing your gratitude for her kind words and emphasizing your dedication to providing exceptional care. Sarah, in turn, feels valued and appreciated as a patient.

On the flip side, if you receive a negative review, your personal response can turn the situation around. When addressing criticism, it’s essential to remain professional and empathetic. Apologize for any negative experience the patient had and offer to resolve the issue privately. This not only demonstrates your commitment to patient satisfaction but also shows potential patients that you take their concerns and privacy seriously.

In both cases, personalized responses to Google reviews demonstrate your active involvement and genuine concern for your patients’ experiences. This commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction fosters trust, making patients more likely to choose your dental practice over competitors.

Your online reputation can significantly impact your dental practice’s success. According to a BrightLocal survey, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 79% trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With this in mind, your Google review page is essentially your practice’s digital storefront.

By personally responding to reviews, you’re actively managing your online reputation. Positive responses to glowing reviews reinforce the positive image of your practice, while empathetic, professional responses to negative reviews demonstrate your commitment to addressing issues and improving patient experiences.

Additionally, regularly engaging with reviews can boost your practice’s visibility on Google. The search engine algorithm tends to favor businesses that actively engage with their customers. When you respond to reviews, it signals to Google that you’re an active and reputable business, potentially resulting in better search rankings and increased visibility to potential patients.

Patient Google reviews offer valuable insights into your practice’s strengths and areas for improvement. When you read reviews carefully and respond personally, you gain a deeper understanding of what your patients appreciate and what they find lacking in your services.

Positive reviews can highlight aspects of your practice that set you apart from the competition. Suppose multiple patients mention your friendly team, painless procedures, or efficient scheduling. In that case, you know these are key strengths you should continue to emphasize in your marketing efforts.

On the other hand, negative reviews can pinpoint areas where your practice may need improvement or coaching. Perhaps patients mention long wait times, unclear billing processes, or a lack of communication. These criticisms provide an opportunity for you to address these issues, improve your practice, and ultimately enhance the patient’s experience.

By responding to both positive and negative reviews personally, you can also gather more detailed feedback. Engage with patients by asking open-ended questions or inviting them to contact your office directly to discuss their concerns further. This not only shows your dedication to resolving issues but also provides you with direct feedback that can lead to meaningful improvements in your practice.

  • Look for webinars or online courses that focus on online reputation management and responding to reviews. Websites like LinkedIn Learning may have relevant courses.
  • Consider reaching out to professional dental associations and organizations in your region. They may offer guidance or resources specific to managing online reviews in the dental industry.
  • Collaborating with a marketing company can be a game-changer when it comes to enhancing your online presence. In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes.

By responding to patient Google reviews personally is an essential aspect of managing your dental practice’s online reputation. It builds trust, enhances your online image, and provides valuable feedback for continuous improvement.

As you engage with your patients online, remember that every response is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with existing patients and attract new ones. Don’t underestimate the power of a personal response in the world of digital dentistry.

Watch this Live, Recorded Webinar by Lisa Copeland, CEO of Communicate With Influence and Adrian Lefler, CEO of My Social Practice on Mastering Google Business Profiles for Dental Marketing: Reviews, Messaging, and HIPAA Compliance.

Securing Dental Talent in Turbulent Times: Strategies from Leaders

Position Your Practice for Long-term Success

In today’s competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent in the dental industry has become more challenging than ever. As we navigate the “Great Resignation,” it’s crucial for dental practices to rethink their approach to talent management. Drawing inspiration from industry leaders like Chick-fil-A, we can uncover valuable strategies to create a positive workplace culture, hire the right team members, invest in employee growth, and provide exceptional customer service.

Your Employee Experience Is Your Employment Brand

In 2018, Gallup’s workplace analytics team emphasized the importance of the employee experience as the cornerstone of your employment brand. While many companies prioritize business strategy and financial aspects, it’s essential to remember that culture often outranks strategy in shaping your organization’s success. Culture encompasses the tangible actions and beliefs of your team, serving as the pulse of your practice. It’s what happens when the leader (not just the boss) leaves the room, and it continues to gain momentum by inspiring your people to conform to it. A strong culture unites everyone across different departments.

Empower Your Team with Problem-Solving Skills

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Encourage team members to develop SOPs as guides for handling specific situations such as team member conflicts, difficult patients, HIPAA compliance, and OSHA requirements. Assign a leader responsible for updating these guidelines to ensure everyone stays informed.

  1. Diverse Problem-Solving Skills: While it’s impossible to anticipate every issue, you can prepare your team with diverse problem-solving skills. These skills are invaluable when facing unexpected situations, fostering adaptability and resilience.

Build a Team-Centric Culture

  1. Continuous Education: Prioritize team attendance at Continuing Education (CE) courses, whether live or virtual, throughout the year. Set goals for attending conferences and encourage knowledge sharing in team meetings.
  2. Software Updates and Training: Stay up-to-date with software and technology advancements relevant to your practice. Ensure that your team receives the necessary training to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness.
  3. Wellness Officer: Appoint a volunteer “wellness officer” responsible for checking in on employee health and monitoring the practice’s overall well-being. This role helps maintain a healthy work environment and strengthens team bonds.

Be Empathetic, Flexible, and Transparent

Times are stressful, impacting morale, health, wellness, and performance. Being empathetic, flexible, and practicing active listening can alleviate these challenges and strengthen team cohesion.
Transparency is crucial in maintaining trust and fostering a positive work environment. Keep your team informed about the state of the business, the COVID-19 situation, and emotional well-being.

Borrowing Ideas from Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A consistently ranks as a top-rated company for customer service. Their success is built on four strategic pillars that dentistry can adapt:

  1. Positive Culture
    • Your leadership should embody your practice’s core values and mission statement.
    • Ensure that your values influence your hiring decisions.
  2. Hiring Team Members That Fit Your Culture
    • During the hiring process, emphasize your practice’s core values to potential candidates.
    • Avoid hiring just to fill a void, as one negative team member can affect the entire office.
  3. Invest in Growing Team Member’s Skills
    • Provide comprehensive training for new team members, which pays off when they handle their responsibilities confidently.
    • Show your team members that they are valued, offer opportunities for growth, and invest in their development.
  4. Employees Comprehensively Trained in Customer Service
    • Focus on creating a positive work environment and nurturing relationships within your team.
    • Trust and empower your employees to handle customer service situations effectively.

Conclusion

By implementing these strategies, dental practices can not only attract but also retain exceptional talent during the challenging times of the “Great Resignation.” Building a positive culture, hiring the right fit, investing in growth, and prioritizing customer service will not only help you navigate the current talent shortage but also position your practice for long-term success. Your leadership will be the key determinant in achieving a better and more satisfying outcome for your team and your patients alike.

Resources

Bonus

Seeking ways to enhance team communication while enjoying a winter retreat? It’s time to kick off your preparations for the CE In The Mountains all-team event, scheduled for February 23-24, 2024, in the picturesque Park City, UT.

This event will center around improving communication and boosting productivity through engaging activities in the stunning mountain setting.

Watch the short video below for more details.

How Can We Improve Patient Satisfaction And Experience In Our Dental Practice?

Elevating the patient journey requires a comprehensive approach

A key aspect of running a successful dental practice is ensuring patient satisfaction and providing a positive experience. Happy patients are more likely to return for regular wellness visits, refer others, and contribute to the growth of your practice. Several strategies and initiatives can help improve patient satisfaction and elevate their experience during dental visits.

Clear and Effective Communication

Clear communication is essential in building trust and alleviating patient anxiety. Dentists and dental teams should strive to create a warm and welcoming environment where patients feel comfortable expressing their concerns and asking questions.

It’s important to use simple, non-technical language when explaining diagnoses, treatment options, and procedures. Taking the time to listen actively and empathetically to patients helps establish a strong relationship.

Additionally, providing written materials, video links, and generationally appropriate resources can help reinforce important oral health information and promote patient education.

Minimizing Wait Times

Reducing patient wait times demonstrates respect for their time and enhances their overall experience. Implementing efficient appointment scheduling and streamlining administrative processes can help minimize delays. Regularly assessing and optimizing the flow of patients in the office can significantly reduce wait times.

Informing patients in advance about any potential delays or rescheduling changes can also help manage expectations and minimize frustration. Creating a pleasant waiting area with comfortable seating, soothing music, and informative reading material can contribute to a more positive patient experience.

Focus on Patient Comfort

Dental anxiety is a common concern for many patients, which can negatively impact their overall experience. Implementing strategies to enhance patient comfort can go a long way in addressing this issue. It can include practices such as using gentle techniques during treatments, providing pain management options, and regularly checking in with patients to ensure their comfort level.

Offering amenities like blankets, headphones for listening to music, or virtual reality headsets to distract patients during procedures can help alleviate anxiety. A calm and friendly demeanor from the dental team can also contribute to a relaxed atmosphere.

Patient Education and Involvement

Educating patients about oral health and involving them in treatment decisions empowers them to take an active role in their care. Dental professionals can use visual aids, models, and digital presentations to explain diagnoses, treatment plans, and preventive measures.

Encouraging patients to ask questions and seek clarification helps foster a sense of trust and engagement. Providing post-treatment instructions and oral hygiene tips, both verbally and in written form, helps patients maintain their oral health and reinforces the value of their dental visits.

Continual Feedback and Improvement

Actively seeking patient feedback is crucial for identifying areas of improvement and enhancing the patient experience.

Implementing surveys, suggestion boxes, or online feedback forms allows patients to share their thoughts and suggestions. Regularly reviewing and analyzing this feedback enables dental practices to make necessary adjustments to their services, communication, or facilities.

Additionally, creating a culture that values patient feedback and making it a part of ongoing team training and professional development can contribute to continuous improvement in patient satisfaction.

Conclusion

Elevating patient satisfaction and experience in your dental practice requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses clear communication, minimal wait times, patient comfort, education, and continual improvement. By focusing on these aspects, dental practices can create an environment that fosters trust, reduces anxiety, and enhances overall patient satisfaction. A positive patient experience not only contributes to the success of your practice but also promotes long-term oral health and encourages patients to become advocates for your services.

To expand your understanding of dental team communication schedule a discovery call with me. During the call, we can delve deeper into the specifics and explore the details you’re interested in.

Bonus: Watch this short video on how wait time impacts your patient experience.

5 Strategies for Improving the Patient Experience in Your Dental Practice

The patient experience is a critical factor in the success of any dental practice. Patients who have positive experiences are more likely to return for future appointments, refer friends and family, and leave positive reviews.

In contrast, patients who have negative experiences may not return and can potentially harm the reputation of the practice. Here are some strategies that dental professionals can use to improve the patient experience in their practice.

1. Focus On Communication

Clear and effective communication is key to ensuring a positive patient experience. Dental professionals should take the time to listen to their patient’s concerns and explain procedures and treatments in a way that patients can understand. Providing patients with clear instructions after treatment can also help improve the patient experience.

  • Listen: Dental professionals can demonstrate active listening by repeating patients’ concerns back to them and asking intentional follow-up questions to ensure that they understand the issue.
  • Use plain language: Avoid using technical jargon that patients may not understand.
  • Provide written instructions: After a procedure or treatment, provide patients with written or text instructions on what to expect and how to continue care at home.

2. Improve The Welcome/Reception Experience

Waiting rooms can be a source of anxiety for patients, so it’s important to make them as comfortable and welcoming as possible. A Reception Area is a much more appealing name. Offer amenities such as video loops, relaxing music, magazines, comfortable seating, complimentary beverages, and fresh flowers (be careful of strong scents), and diverse artwork.

Keeping patients informed about wait times and updating them on any delays can also help reduce anxiety. Use technology such as text messaging or a digital display to keep patients informed.

Smile, be personable, and check in frequently to keep the patient in the know.

3. Personalize The Experience

Every patient is unique and has different needs and preferences. Dental professionals can improve the patient experience by taking the time to build relationships with their patients and tailor their care accordingly.

  • Offer sedation for anxious patients or provide special accommodations for patients with disabilities.
  • For patients with disabilities, provide accommodations such as a wheelchair ramp, accessible restroom, or sign language interpreter.
  • Ask patients about their preferences and needs, such as whether they prefer a certain type of music or would like a blanket during treatment.

4. Use Technology To Enhance The Patient Experience

Technology can be a powerful tool for improving the patient journey. For example, online appointment scheduling can make it easier for patients to book appointments at their convenience, and digital patient portals can allow patients to access and update their health information and communicate with their dental team.

  • Allowing patients to schedule appointments online at their convenience means you’ll never miss an opportunity.
  • Offering patients a secure digital portal helps keep patient records and information secure and up to date.

5. Solicit Feedback From Patients

The best way to understand the patient experience is to ask patients directly. Dental professionals can use surveys, feedback forms, or focus groups to gather input from patients and identify areas where they can improve.

  • Send patients a survey after their appointment to gather feedback on their experience and identify areas for improvement.
  • Invite patients to participate in focus groups where they can share their experiences and provide feedback on how the practice can improve.
  • Always reply to ALL patient comments. The interaction provides one more touchpoint to keep your practice top of mind.

Improving the patient journey requires a commitment to ongoing communication, personalization, and continuous improvement. By focusing on these 5 strategies, dental professionals can create a welcoming and supportive environment that encourages patients to prioritize their oral health and return for future appointments.

Bonus:  Watch 4 Tips to Improve the Patient Journey

Intentional Words Increase Engagement and Profit

Communication Profit Poem

The way we communicate to one and all,

Can make or break a 1:1, a consultation, or a call.

Be thoughtful when selecting certain words and phrases…choosing the ones that can pay,

Or you could end up having an abrupt ending to a conversation… and a very long, bad day.

If we insert the right word in the most effective place…we will set a better tone,

Small generational verbal changes lead to communication profit…in person or on the phone.

A profession that uses the word BUY… it may behoove you to switch,

INVEST implies a profit, or a win….and much less of a sales pitch.

SELL is a word that many dislike… when using or hearing it aloud,

A CUSTOMIZED RECOMMENDATION, however…leaves the patient feeling special and proud.

PATIENT terminology is universal… but overused and dated,

CLIENT is one level up from that and very highly rated.

To make the best impression…a title that will ensure comfort, trust, and ease,

Refer to everyone as a GUEST… and include an abundance of touchpoints, thank you and please!

Word Solutions

WAITING ROOM vs. RECEPTION AREA or LOUNGE …either has a more calming implication,

If your schedule is delayed and the guest awaits…treat them like they’re on a vacation.

CLOSING, as in closing the deal…can imply termination or the end,

OPEN means the beginning…a partnership in the relationship trend.

EARNINGS gives you an accurate number…and practical information,

PROFIT indicates you have a gain…a positive interpretation.

A BILL is added to the stack on the desk…to get around to it when you can,

An INVOICE has better credibility… and details the payment plan.

SIGNING a document or APPROVING a treatment plan…which has a better feel?

If you selected APPROVING, you’re on the right track…to better guest appeal.

Select one or two words…three if you’re feeling quite smart,

Practice replacing the good with the better…a perfect place to start.

Communication strategies can positively impact your day-to-day profit and plan,

You’ll see changes in relationships by implementing positive chatter…and quickly become a fan.

Intentional vocabulary starts with awareness…and a willingness to adjust,

Begin by having a communication plan and a system that you trust.

Bonus: Watch How to Increase Treatment Case Acceptance from a Generational Approach

Patient Retention vs. Acquiring New Patients

Don’t get me wrong, new patients are important for practice growth, but retaining existing patients has a greater practice impact.

They know the drill…pun intended.

• Maintain practice loyalty
• Keep appointments
• Show up regularly
• Accept treatment
• Book next appointments

What Should You Do to Retain Your Loyal Patients?

Patients are looking at healthcare providers and practices differently. 

Prosites, a dental marketing company, outlined 25 ways to Get Patients to Love Your Dental Practice. By implementing some of these ideas into your marketing strategy, you will attract and retain more patients and experience faster practice growth.

  • Demonstrate Honesty, particularly when   relating to insurance acceptance
  • Offer Financial Assistance
  • Provide Flexible Scheduling
  • Deliver Same-Day Dentistry
  • Maintain 5-star Online Reviews
  • Recognize / Appreciate Patient Testimonials
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Incentivize Patient Referral
  • Run On-Time
  • Friendly Team

Solutions

Times have changed and patients are not as dedicated to our practices.  They are looking for an uber-customized experience.  If we are not providing that, they will look elsewhere.

How can we adapt?

  • Customize communication software to meet specific needs, generationally for example.
  • Engage the team in creating videos and messages. Use humor to increase patient engagement
  • Personalize texts
  • Always reschedule a broken appointment
  • Wellness calls work! Pick up the phone and chat!
  • Improve the patient experience at every opportunity

Cancellations and No-Show Solutions

This is a common theme for dental practices lately.

Communication: verbal, written, and virtual with continual reinforcement of the importance and value of the services our practice provides is essential. Creating a script, together as a team, with verbal skills that everyone uses regularly improves patient loyalty.

Try a few of these ideas to reverse the problem:

  • Rate your patients, A, B, and C based on reliability and payment status.
  • No-shows, cancellations, and outstanding balances should be lower-tier patients.
  • Create a  scheduling template for every provider and stick to it! It makes scheduling and filling holes much easier for everyone! Plus, it helps with practitioner efficiency. Such as three hygienists waiting for an exam at the top of the hour 5-6 times a day.
  • Allow one ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ pass for any scheduled procedure the patient cancels within 24 hours. Explain that the practice is busy, and patients are wait-listed to be scheduled. Respecting your practice time is appreciated.
  • Charge the patient a % of the scheduled procedure each time they cancel
  • Allow time in the schedule to provide same-day treatment. Your practice revenue will increase significantly.
  • “All hands-on deck”! Be persistent and consistent once you create a policy.

Dental practices are facing many challenges over the past few years with team shortages, turnover and a decrease in patient scheduling.  Doing the same thing we have always done will not change the way things are going.  A commitment to change is necessary to keep the boat from sinking and get all the entire team rowing in the right direction. It all starts with  communication and systems.

Bonus:  Watch Attracting and Retaining Dental Patients

Specialty Practice Communication: Challenges & Solutions Part II

Part II of this blog series will address the communication challenges and solutions with our Team Members and Practice.

Part I revealed details about the Patient interactions.

While presenting at AAOMS, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, we began the day with a group activity to identify daily communication challenges. The focus was on three areas: Patients, Players (team members), and Practice.

The diagram above reveals their responses in each category.

Players Challenges & Solutions

Expectations of the Team Are Not Well Defined or Communicated

When communication is not well defined or delivered, we become less impactful as a team.

Team communication starts with active listening by all members. Ask thought-provoking questions, be empathetic, and be flexible to increase understanding and decrease misinterpretations. Times are stressful and that impacts morale, health, wellness, and individual performance.

Build a team-centric culture so everyone is 100% involved and committed. Culture is the pulse of your practice! It is the tangible actions and beliefs of your team. It’s also what happens when the leader (not the boss) leaves the room.  A strong culture continues to gain momentum by inspiring everyone to participate and indivisibly links everyone together, no matter their department.

Here are a few team-centric ideas to try:

  • Attend team CE courses, live or virtual, all year.
  • Set goals for attending conferences and share information after the conference in a team meeting.
  • Assign a volunteer “wellness officer”, someone to check in on employee health and monitor the pulse of the practice.

Empower your team with problem-solving skills.

  • Have an SOP developed by the team members as a guide to handling specific situations:  team member conflict, difficult patient, HIPPA, OSHA…
  • Because the guidelines are rapidly changing, you need to have a leader to constantly study and update the APPROVED guidelines to keep everyone informed.
  • We can’t anticipate every issue that may occur, but you can prepare your team with diverse problem-solving skills, which are crucial when facing an unanticipated situation.

Negative Team Feedback

Negativity is contagious and impacts everyone. What started as ONE now becomes many negative experiences. Getting to know each team member and their communication preferences is a great place to start.  Communication interpretation is generational as well.

There is a communication process that needs to occur regularly to promote teamwork.

During daily, weekly, monthly, and annual meetings, a facilitator/leader in the practice (not always the DDS) is responsible for making sure each staff member brings completed reality checks, acknowledgments, and quality requests.

Your team relationships benefit from increased meetings and intentional communications throughout the year. I offer a presentation to dental teams focusing on meeting structure and customized outcomes which can improve your productivity significantly

Practice Challenges & Solutions

Bi-Directional Miscommunication Between the Doctor(s) and Team Members

Levin Group’s 30-year ongoing study of the top 10% producing practices revealed that they all had a culture of accountability within the practice.

The study indicated six ways to improve accountability:

1. Deadline/CTA – No deadline = No accountability

2. Realistic Time Management – How long, relative to the deadline

3. Deadline Flexibility – Allow for positive negotiation

4. Encourage Comments – Creating new strategies for completing the task and allows for renegotiating a deadline

5. Explain the desired results – Understand the task assigned

6. Encourage Questions – Thoughtful questions save time and energy. The desired result is more likely to be achieved.

The more accountable the team, the more efficient the practice, and the better the systems are followed. This all typically leads to higher profit, performance, and productivity. Happy culture and satisfying careers for everyone. Every team member does what they agreed to do.

Incomplete Information from Referral Practice

Make it easy for practices to provide a complete referral document. Assign one person to spearhead the referral process so things don’t fall through the cracks.

Starting with the patient handoff in the referring office. Discuss the communications that occur before the patient meets your practice. Make it personal, positive, and professional.

For example:

Hygiene to Office Manager in a General Practice

“Sharon, this is Linda our office manager. She will be taking care of you to schedule your next appointment with the oral surgeon and answer any questions you have about the implant treatment we recommended today”.

Design a handoff blueprint that referring offices have as a template in their software. Hint, make all the fields required so they don’t skip any information. Referral information should be sent promptly and include all the information needed. Request that the patient schedules the appointment with your practice while they are in the referring office.

Customize the information you need specifically for the treatment recommended. Expand on this list in an all-team meeting.

  • Date seen
  • Pt Name
  • Pt Age
  • Special considerations
  • X-rays-sent electronically
  • Pt history of the area
  • Diagnosis
  • Instructions

Every office is unique in its communication challenges. However, some common, repetitive issues occur. The more organized we are in preparing our team and referring offices, the better the outcome for all.

Watch Communication Tips on Study Club Referrals

SEVEN RESET STRATEGIES FOR PRACTICE ADAPTATION

HIT THE RESET BUTTON WITH ENTHUSIASM

Right now, as our dental offices begin to re-open, constant changes are inevitable. Having a positive mindset and looking at change enthusiastically will help us adapt and move forward.

  1. New process or procedure implemented backfiring?
    • RESET with a new strategy.
  2. 90-minute hygiene appointment went really well and you had 15 minutes of time open? 
    • RESET to 75-minutes.
  3. Patient entry / exit through the same door creating overlap? 
    • RESET and have entry through the front door and exit out the back door. Assuming you have dual entries.
  4. Want to eliminate your complimentary beverage area?
    • RESET by changing it into a sanitization station.
  5. Transitioning from emergency treatment only to propriety patients?
    • RESET to schedule elderly, immunocompromised for the first appointment of the day to reduce their risks.
  6. Concerned about low PPE inventory?
    • RESET by considering teledentistry with no exam at hygiene therapy appointments.
    • RESET by staggering / extending hours in shifts with the same team members working together to minimize exposure.
  7. Rescheduling patients that were displaced during shut-down?
    • RESET and schedule patients using a category system:
  • GOLD = Reliable patients who are: timely, pay invoices, rarely cancel, combine restorative and hygiene therapy
  • SILVER = Solid patients with occasional schedule changes
  • BRONZE = Cancel or no show more frequently, slow making payment

BE INSPIRATIONAL

BE AUTHENTIC

ENABLE UNITY

STAY WITHIN THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION