Are you getting ready to open your doors again? If you are gearing up and getting prepared you might have some questions as to how to keep your patients up to date or even how to reach new patients who are looking for a dentist. Despite all the changes, what is certain is that people have dental needs and it’s important for you to stay front and center with your community so they know who to turn to for answers. Here are some ways you can communicate with your audience as you begin to open your office.
Create content that is educational. People are unsure of what businesses are open, what is not, what is safe and what isn’t. One of the best ways to share your message is through video. It allows patients to make an immediate connection with you, build trust and can be shared on multiple marketing channels. You can post the video on social media, in a blog, or send via email. Here are some relevant topics to focus on in your video as well as other marketing you may be using:
- What can patients expect?
- Help ease their uncertainty with basic guidelines about how you are operating your practice now.
- Are there changes to your protocol?
- You may have new requirements for your patients as well as your dental team.
- Are you updating procedures?
- A patient may have had a booked procedure, but has anything changed about the process for the treatment? Let them know up front.
- It’s on everyone’s minds. Set your patients at ease by informing them of all the safety measures you are taking to keep them safe while at your office.
- Let patients know how you are handling getting them back on the schedule.
- When do you expect to open?
- You may or may not have an exact date, but keeping your patients in the loop will help them know you are working on opening soon.
We are aware that practices might be operating on a tight budget, but this is not the time to pull back on communicating with your patients and community. They need to hear from trusted health professionals like you that you are opening soon and what that will look like. Nobody knows for certain, but by sharing the information on what you do know will help everyone feel more comfortable.
We may never go completely back to old ways, either. Continue to do those new things that may have been working great for you while you were closed, such as virtual consults. Both you and your patients may have found them very convenient and there’s no need to stop if it was a positive experience. What’s more, not every patient is going to be eager to get out into the community like before. They may be hesitant, but if you continue to answer questions and have consultations virtually, you can ease their anxiety and eventually get them to come back in the office. Particularly with those patients who were fearful of the dentist even before COVID-19, virtual consults can be worked in as a way to get them over the hump. It will help them gain the confidence to actually get a procedure done that they may have been putting off.
COVID-19 may have brought unwanted changes to practices, but in some regard it may also have brought opportunities to reach patients in new ways. Before we know it, the new normal won’t seem so new.