The Lifetime Value of a New Dental Patient
Convert a New Dental Patient to a Lifetime Patient
All businesses depend on repeat customers. Unfortunately, dental marketing strategies often focus on attracting new dental patients rather than encouraging them to come back over and over. But given the repeat nature of dental medicine, and the stiff competition for each potential patient, it is in every dentist’s interest to turn one-time patients into lifetime patients.
Calculating the exact value of a lifetime patient depends on a number of complicated factors. But to put it into perspective, just think of the cost of acquiring a new dental patient and the capital investment necessary to grow your practice. Then compare that to the value of a patient (or family) that comes back regularly for cleanings, fillings, and cosmetic dentistry. To take the crucial steps necessary to build a stable and regular roster of patients, follow these three tips:
Provide Exceptional Service
Your patients have a lot of choices when it comes to seeing the dentist. And as important as your services are, patients still expect to receive exceptional customer service any and every time they interact with your practice. These are the service benchmarks that your patients are looking for:
Warm Greetings – Have your office staff greet patients by name and with a welcoming smile.
Personalized Approach – Never treat your patients as interchangeable. Give every interaction a personal touch.
Offer Perks – Do patients enjoy visiting your office? What makes a visit to your practice different than other dentists?
Engage – Learn personal details about your patients and note those details in their charts. Patients want to feel that their doctor is making an effort to connect.
Say Thank You – If a patient refers your practice to friends or family, send them a card and call them to show your appreciation.
Educate Your Patients
Educating new dental patients about the importance of oral health is both a valuable public service and a way to encourage repeat visits. Make sure your patients know how to care for their teeth throughout their lifetime and the role the dentist has to play. These strategies can help make the message to stick:
Use Visual Aids – Show patients what’s happening inside their mouth.
Use Instructional Aids – Brief videos, handouts, and even podcasts can help demonstrate effective oral care techniques.
Enhance Your Website – Every dental website should have a section educating patients
Recommend Products and Services – Whenever possible, try to tailor the way you educate your patients to their unique oral health needs.
Plan for Lifetime Care
If patients understand the importance of long-term dental care they are more likely to take it seriously. For every one of your patients, create a life care plan that outlines important preventative measures and explains how their oral care needs evolve with age. This thoughtful measure breeds goodwill towards your practice, confirms your authority on the subject of oral health, and establishes a clear schedule for future visits.
Creating Lifetime Patients is Worth the Effort
Turning new dental patients into lifetime patients takes some work, but not much money. All of the tips mentioned above are low cost and easily facilitated using digital tools and staff training.
If you don’t have a dental marketing plan that’s helping you optimize each chair to generate $200K+ a year, stop the bleeding.
Request a free digital marketing consultation.