Today, it seems, there are an increasing number of less-than-ideal realities concerning dental patient retention. Broken appointments can wreak havoc on any dental practice and as you already know; your schedule only translates into profits if patients actually come in.
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, dentists retain less than 41% of new patients, that’s not even half! While the leading causes of this loss are issues such as realizing the importance dental care and access to affordable dental care, there are other, more fixable reasons. One such problem with patient retention is customer service—simply because dentists don’t use the patient data they have in order to give the care they could.
So, how do dentists become more patient-focused in order to retain new and existing patients? Here are some insights you can implement to improve patient retention in your practice:
Get smart about patient reminders. The average dentist schedules a reminder 2 days before an appointment. It’s more effective to send reminders via text up to 1 week prior the appointment.
Make the most of patient data. Use patient info to track birthdays, holidays, and outstanding treatments. You will be more top-of-mind to patients who are bogged down by other responsibilities and could let their dental appointment fall by the wayside.
Reward patients for loyalty. Offer discounts, rewards or bonuses for being a new patient, for hitting a patient milestone, for pulling through a difficult treatment, for providing a testimonial or online review, or for referring new patients. Loyalty programs help encourage patients to keep coming back to you.
With better utilization of technology, smart service tactics, and proactive patient engagement, dental patient retention can improve.