We all are familiar with the demand of customers that rules the business world. Higher demand leads to higher supply thereby supporting the growth of businesses. But what makes a customer choose one supplier over the other?
Talking in terms of dental practice; when it comes to the dental business; solely demand for dental treatment is deficient for patients to choose a dentist. With 191,497 dental offices in the United States; what drives a patient to a particular practice and ignores all other alternatives? The answer to both the questions above is Value.
When you supply high-quality goods/services, customers stay loyal to you for the perceived value they derive. Similarly; when you provide quality dental services, the patients derive value from them and thereby are willing to spend even high costs to avail of your services.
No matter how expensive your treatment plans are, patients won’t hesitate to utilize them if they are promising enough or have value. If numerically put; Value= Benefits-cost. Therefore; as long as your patients are convinced that they are receiving benefits superseding the amount invested, they are likely to be satisfied.
Creating value in business is an easy tool to up your patient inflow and profits. However, it is vital to understand how you should create appropriate value in your dental business.
So, let’s dive in and get acquainted with a few simple ways in which you can create greater perceived value in your patients with regard to the treatments you offer.
1. Start building value from the first phone call
First impressions are long-lasting. They can either make or break your practice. Every time the phone rings, it brings in a prospective patient. Train your team members to be prepared in a way that value building commences right at the first point of contact. The one who communicates with the patient should project warmth, and empathy and build confidence in the patient about the quality of treatment. If all goes well and the exchange is pleasant, it will result in reinforcing to patients that they have chosen the right practice, thereby resulting in an appointment being scheduled.
2. Employ new patient orientation
In most scenarios of dental treatment, patients show up at the clinic; they are greeted and handed out forms to fill post which they have to wait till their appointment number comes up. This waiting period extends for long durations; patients might feel their time isn’t valued, resulting in a negative experience. To curb this, you should incorporate new patient orientations which are well scripted and provide an overview of your practice. Choose good speakers who can engage the patients well by giving out quality information about the treatments you provide, the work culture you follow, the exceptional customer service you aim to provide and so on.
3. Build rapport with the patient
Building rapport with patients is essential to develop loyalty. If you want your patients to keep coming back to you; you must establish a relationship. Display that you actually care and are not merely providing treatment for the purpose of profits. At the first visit, you can enquire about the patients’ hobbies, interests, job and life in general. When they come back for a follow-up, you can reference the information conveyed in the first visit, thereby building a strong foundation for a lasting relationship.
4. Ask the right questions
The easiest way to build value is by giving the patients what they need. Knowing the patients’ apprehensions will set the direction for building value. If you are unaware of what the patient wants and is looking for, building value can be complicated. However, once you identify what the patient is concerned about; for instance, the treatment procedure or aesthetics then you can formulate strategies in accordance with their requirements and ensure they derive value from your practice.
5. Educate patients about their current dental status
Due to a lack of oral health awareness, most patients delay dental treatments if they feel the issue is non-severe. In such cases, it is essential that you educate the patients sufficiently about their current dental status and warn them of the consequences of delay in treatment. If they are convinced that the future costs incurred on treatment will not be exorbitant, they are likely to get on board.
6. Address objections in an appropriate manner
Many patients will come up with objections such as I need to take a second opinion, I don’t think the problem is severe enough, I want to avail of treatment that my insurance covers and so on. One of the easiest ways to tackle these is to address them before they come up. For instance; give your patient an illustration of other patients coming up with objections and then ending up paying more later. Let them know how insurance doesn’t provide coverage but only renders discounts.
Get them acquainted with dental membership plans that you offer and let them know about the benefits that come with them.
Additional to all mentioned above, make sure you address their queries patiently and are open to criticism. When your patient recognizes the value in your service, they will certainly keep coming back!