Sooner or later, every dental practice finds itself searching for an improved business model that will lead to improved results. With the continuous rise in administrative and operating expenses, the average dentist often feels caught between the hammer of rising costs and the anvil of strictly limited time available to deal with everything that a modern practice entails. Balancing this equation gets more challenging every year. But that’s the key concept: balance.
Most solutions offered for improving a dental practice involve equipment and technology, but there’s only so far that these can take you. It’s just as important – if not more so – to examine the more intangible aspects of the problem as it is to consider the financial and physical ones. Here are some steps you can take to build upon your dental practice!
Most dental practices rigorously train their staff as to every possible procedure – particularly when it comes to customer interaction. This drilled-in pleasantry can quickly devolve into rote interaction. This can even raise an unwelcome impression of insincerity among those who sit in the waiting room and listen to the exact same greeting being doled out to everyone. Many people are already nervous about visiting the dentist. Making them feel that the staff doesn’t really care, but is merely putting on a happy-faced act, is not going to create a lot of repeat business.
Timeliness Is Next To Godliness
The cheapest and most effective form of advertisement in the world is that of customer referrals. The patient’s time is just as valuable as that of the staff. Avoid wasting their time and schedule enough resources to handle their problems in a seemingly-unhurried manner. Patients are not the same thing as an assembly line of half-finished teeth that need to be run through the factory before quitting time. The more you value them, the more they will value their association with you — and the more they will desire to share their good fortune with their friends. There are plenty of skillful dentists out there, but the ones with the human touch all have successful practices and better job satisfaction.
Free Stuff Rules!
Everybody likes receiving gifts, especially unexpected ones. You can pass out all the branded-logo toothbrushes and manufacturers’ samples you can get your hands on. These will have some effect for sure, but you might want to take it one step further. For patients who have just undergone a rough procedure or had to wait a little bit longer than usual, why not give them a bright carnation on the way out the door? Offer something that connects on a personal level rather than serves as a calculated marketing tool. Spontaneity and sincerity can really make the difference in your practice.
Pay It Forward
Set aside an appointment or two on your slowest day of the week to do some charitable work that will really have an impact on people who are less fortunate. Perform a little pro bono cosmetic dentistry so someone can have a better chance at landing a job or remove a diseased wisdom tooth that’s causing someone a lot of pain. Midlothian Family Dentistry in Virginia, for example, often holds community dental events. Many businesses are willing to chip in on such efforts, and the word will definitely get around.
While all of these suggestions may at first seem counterproductive on a financial basis, the truth is that ruthless efficiency is not always the solution to what ails most dental practices. This is not to say that making maximum use of one’s time is a bad idea, but rather that it can be something that gets carried out to the point of being counterproductive to the actual goal in mind.
Prosperity is not just a financial consideration. The practice of medicine should not be a daily grind that one dreads to face every morning. Treat your patients the way you want to be treated if the situation were reversed and prosperity will be sure to follow.