It’s all about building relationships
Marketing a dental practice is mostly about attracting new patients, right? Well… not really. Of course you want to grow your practice with new patients, but neglecting the patients you already have — the core of your business — is never a good idea. If your practice is successfully attracting new patients but losing existing ones, then the net result is not likely to be positive at the end of the year. Real growth happens when your practice can gain new patients AND continue to maintain active, profitable relationships with the existing ones as well.
How many businesses do you frequent that have a loyalty program? Probably more than one. Have you ever thought about why these businesses offer such programs? It’s simple, loyalty = higher profits. The concept applies to dentistry as much as any other business: keep the patient coming back, and you will earn more revenue. If the patient goes elsewhere, your competitor gets the revenue that you would have. Loyal patients aren’t just sources of continued revenue, but they are also sources of referrals. Therefore, the stronger your relationship with your existing patients, the more revenue your practice will receive from them and the higher the likelihood they will refer their friends and family.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to build strong relationships with patients. Once a patient completes their first visit at your practice, it should not be the last you see of them. If it is, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. That is why we create marketing strategies that target existing patients, to keep them coming back to your practice and not move on to a competitor.
How to build strong relationships with existing patients
Marketing is a huge factor in keeping patients loyal to your practice. One way we focus on existing patients is through social media. Your existing patients will connect with your practice on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, especially if your team promotes your practice’s social media presence in the office. In fact, social media is ideal for targeting existing patients. When your practice regularly posts interesting and relevant content, it shows up in your patients’ feeds, reminding them of their great experience with your practice and increasing the likelihood that the next time they need dental work, they will contact you.
Email is another excellent way to reach out to existing patients. If your practice is good about collecting patients’ email addresses and sending regular emails, it is just one more way to build credibility and increase the chance that your patients will stay loyal. Like social media, email messages are a way to engage existing patients outside the office, helping to ensure they don’t forget about the terrific experience they had at your practice.
The more you can “touch” your patients when they are not physically at your office, through marketing, the more likely it is they will remember you and come back, especially if their initial experience was positive. Patients who continue to come back purchase more services and make referrals, which translates to more revenue for your practice. It’s a virtuous cycle that not only benefits your bottom line, but also your patients, who will profit from your dedication and expertise.