Offer Patient Financing to Keep Patients Coming Back
Many dentists focus attention on drawing in new patients with extensive marketing plans that require a significant investment. However, while attracting new patients is an important goal of any healthy practice, retaining your existing patients is also critical. Offering patient financing is just one action you can take to help your patients stay with the dentist of their choice.
Dental Town notes that it costs around six times more to gain a new patient in your practice than it does to retain your current patients. What are you doing to make sure your patients are happy and prevent them from looking for a new dentist? Here are some key steps you can take to retain the patients you have:
Start by measuring. You can’t make improvement if you don’t know your starting point. Determine the percentage of patients that stay with you over at least a 12-month period. If your retention is at least 90 percent, you are doing well at keeping patients happy and meeting their needs. If you are below 70 percent, consider this an area where you can make a lot of improvement and significantly impact your business.
Pay attention to your conversations with the patients. When your patients are in the chair, are you engaging them with conversation and demonstrating that you care about them as a patient? Many dentists go light on the conversation in order to be efficient, but patients often base their choices on your personality and their level of comfort with you.
Take the time to ask. Conduct a simple survey. While patients are waiting, give them a few questions that explore how they feel about doing business with you. You may receive the gift of a few complaints or suggestions, and you may get an idea of what patients like about your office.
Engage with patients outside the office. Sure, you do postcard reminders like most dentists. But what are you doing to make a real connection with your patients? Invite your patients to like your Facebook page, or try sending an email newsletter.
Get creative with your hours. Many of your patients might be struggling to slip away from work for a dental appointment. You might test an off-hours shift to see how much interest there is in a Wednesday night or Saturday morning appointment option.
Train your team. You rely on your staff to be the public face of your practice, so be sure that they are aware of their impact. Train them to focus on patients and make them feel welcome when they arrive for an appointment.
Offer patient financing. With changes in the way insurance is obtained, many of your patients may not enjoy the dental coverage they have had in the past. Consider offering patient financing as an option so that patients don’t have to search out another dentist that can accommodate their needs.
The HELPcard offers consumer financing options for your patients that otherwise may not be able to obtain the dental care they need. The HELPcard provides your patients with an easy online application, with instant credit decisions. With the HELPcard, you can capture income for your practice that otherwise might walk away. Call us today to find out more.