Do you have any dental patients that were supposed to come in for an appointment but never did?
So, you wait for them, thinking that maybe something urgent has come up, but a few weeks have already passed, yet you still haven't heard a word from them.
There are many reasons why a patient may never return to your practice or switch to a competitor. Some of the most common ones are that they experienced post-op problems, they don't feel welcome in your clinic, or because there was no relationship or connection in the first place.
When it comes to the survival of your dental clinic, keeping the patients you've already got is just as important as attracting new ones.
Whatever the reason may be, you need to find ways to reduce patient churn and get more people to come back to your clinic.
How exactly can you do this?
By re-engaging your dental patients.
In this article, we will share with you three tried-and-tested steps to reconnect with inactive patients and keep them engaged with your dental practice.
In general, you should be reaching out to "inactive patients" or those who have not made an appointment within the last 18 months.
But, it's good to keep in touch with your current patients and keep them engaged to boost loyalty and reduce the possibility of a patient churn.
Some may underestimate the lifetime value of a patient. However, it is not a fair judgment when you examine the elements that led them to choose your practice in the first place.
This emphasizes the need to have precise and quantitative data on each patient.
These and other variables might disclose a lot about why a patient is "ghosting" your dental clinic. And assessing whether or not your relationship with them is recoverable is equally essential.
Nowadays, most dentists employ an assistant or a secretary who assists them in running their own practice. And, within 30 days to six months of a patient's appointment, your team members should be able to schedule another one.
If a dental patient fails to appear for the following appointment, your staff must then generate computerized records on late patients.
The first step you need to do is instruct your employees to go through and organize all patient records. Developing a database of individuals who haven't visited the office in 18 months is vital.
If that is not feasible, tell your staff to manually retrieve records and check for patients who have:
Once you've built a database, you can easily monitor your patients and identify which of them haven't paid you a visit for their bi-annual check-up.
Now that you've consolidated all patient records, it's time to reach out to them. You can do this via phone call, text, or email.
You want to keep in mind that when a patient first signs up with your dental clinic, it is to make sure that you ask them how they wish to be contacted because not everyone is comfortable taking calls.
Before making a phone call, look through the list and begin with dental patients who have the longest overdue appointment. You must also schedule the calls so that patients may be contacted either at work during the day (if authorization is granted) or in the early evening.
But, before you do anything further, keep in mind that you should only contact these dental patients if the clinic can give appointments within two weeks.
When you're ready to make that phone call, create a script to guarantee consistency and efficacy.
Here's an example of a script you can use when you're calling an overdue dental patient:
"Good day, Mrs. Johnson. How are you doing? Dr. Robinson is worried that you have missed your hygiene visit and oral cancer screening. It's been almost a year since we last saw you. We have an availability for you on the 25th at 9 a.m. or the 27th at 3 p.m. Which would be most convenient for you?"
If the patient agrees, set an appointment right away. If the patient refuses, call back in three to four weeks.
Once you have a response, don't forget to make a note in the patient's computer file and follow up with a phone call as promised.
If the patient does not answer, write a letter or email as a last resort.
There are only two possible outcomes in a dental patient re-engagement program -- they either return or don't.
When reactivated patients return, provide them with a hearty welcome. Give your staff the information about returning patients at daily business meetings so that everyone can make them feel welcomed and increase the likelihood of rekindling the relationship.
In the long run, this reactivation program will increase production while staying cost-effective and strengthening the foundation for future stability and expansion of the practice.
However, despite the best efforts of the whole team, it is sometimes necessary to let a patient go from the practice. If this occurs, make sure to keep the patient's record on your database just in case they decide to come back.
Re-engaging your dental patients is never easy. But, with the right strategy, you might just be able to convince them to return and avail themselves of your clinic's services.
If you have a hard time reconnecting with your dental patients, consider collaborating with us.
At Digital Resource, we acknowledge that your dental clinic is important to you, and you don't want to make any errors when it comes to running your business.
We are confident that we will offer amazing results by speeding your company development, creating more leads for you, and increasing your sales.
We want you to reach the top of Google's search results and produce a flood of leads that surpasses your capacity to manage them all.
We offer customer engagement strategies such as:
Learn more about our digital marketing services at Digital Resource and contact us today for a free consultation!