This is a continuation of my previous blog post. If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest checking it out here:
In this article (part 2), I’d like to dive a bit deeper into the 3rd and 4th profit levers for your dental practice.
To recap, the 3rd and 4th profit levers are:
- How you can increase profit margins
- How to architect a plan to get customers coming back in the future.
Increasing Your Profit Margins
The most obvious thing to do for increasing your profit margins, is to get the customer to buy more of your higher end services.
Most customers may not even be aware of the many services you have in your repertoire; they may not know you actually do tooth replacements, Invisalign, snore guards or teeth whitening.
Even if they do know you have those services, they may not be aware that they need them!
What you need to do is to:
- a) make them aware of these services by educating them
- b) offer them the services if you feel they need them
Obviously while you are treating them it’s a good opportunity to educate them (and make sure you educate them, not sell them, otherwise you might make them feel uncomfortable).
Secondly, you might offer them some reading material while they are in the waiting room.
For instance, a small booklet highlighting the various services and the problems they solve would be a good way to educate them before they enter the treatment room.
You could just ask them if they read the booklet and if was educational for them.
Thirdly, you may also ask your patients to sign up to your newsletter, you can send them a regular printed or emailed newsletter to educate them and update them about various services, and tips to keep their oral hygiene.
This would be a great way to make them aware of your other services, and I’d be surprised if your phone doesn’t get calls for a few appointments.
Try these ideas and I’m sure you’d start getting more patients asking for your higher value services.
Architect Repeat Visits
While getting patients to visit for the first time is important, it is just as important to get patients to come back for regular treatments.
This is one of the key levers to ensure that your practice is profitable for the long term.
Most dentist in the past have taken for granted that their patients will just come back for treatments.
However if you are situated in the metropolitan areas, you know that competition is tough, and you cannot assume that your patients will just reschedule future appointments with you.
You need to be proactive to ensure that they come back for future treatments.
Here’s some ideas for you:
- 1- Get them to schedule their next visit before they leave, then follow up to make sure they are reminded closer to the date…several times.
- 2 – Use multiple channels to get your customers to return. Plan a series of follow ups alternating between phone, post, email and SMS. This will ensure multiple contact points and a higher chance they will keep their appointments, or reschedule a visit.
- 3 – Reactivate your ‘sleeping patients’. If they haven’t visited you for a year or more, you will need to create a ‘patient reactivation’ campaign by sending out a series of correspondences to get them to come back…or risk losing them to the new dental clinic that just opened around the corner from their house.
- 4 – Send your customers a time-sensitive gift voucher or incentive (such as movie tickets) to get them to schedule their next appointment and show up for it!
- 5 -Do a newsletter and send it to your patients. It is common knowledge in marketing that if your customer doesn’t hear from you in 90 days they are highly likely to forget you. Don’t be out of sight and out of mind!
So guys, there you have it! Some good strategies and ideas that you can implement in your dental practice right away to increase your margins and get customers to come back.
Hope you take at least one of these ideas and implement it in your dental practice right away and start reaping the rewards!