Click here to read Part 1.
Whether we like it or not, ‘the business of dentistry’ is with us now forever. Great clinical skills and an empathetic nature are no longer all you need to succeed. Although having to invest in business activities such as marketing is resented by some dentists, what it does do when handled correctly is allow you to do far more of what it is you actually graduated for – dentistry.
The following are the four remaining marketing building blocks that should be considered to help you grow your practice further in 2017:
Social Media – Worth the effort?
Constance Hall is a suburban Perth ‘mummy blogger’ with over a million followers on Facebook. She is not a poet; she is not a pop star or a fashion model. So, why do so many people hang off her every word? Because they can relate to her, her daily trials and tribulations and her slightly ‘potty mouth’ way of expressing the mundane resonates with mothers around the country living similar lives. So, if it is that easy why hasn’t a million people liked your Facebook page? The chances are because you have not found your ‘voice’ yet and what you are posting is either bland (boring) or simply not well thought out.
Social Media ‘can be’ a great way of staying in contact with your existing patients and using their networks to attract new patients, but it needs to be done well.
Internal Marketing – All Day, Every Day
Internal marketing should be happening all day every day and done by every member of the team. It is easy to write this statement, but harder to put into action, yet when staff training has been conducted and a good system is in place, internal marketing will be a constant source of new patients and will get existing patients enquiring about more of your services. Tools that can help your internal marketing program include having a practice brochure, a monthly eNewsletter / blog and a TV showing a presentation about your practice and the services you offer.
24 / 7 – On-line Bookings and Live Chat
If you have not already introduced on-line bookings via your software provider or a service like Healthengine, you should put this at the top of your marketing shopping list. It has long been a frustration of the public that they have to contact dental practices via the phone during office hours. People are busy and often cannot call you during the working day. On-line booking facilities make it easy for your patients and potential patients to contact you at a time that is convenient to them – now there’s a novel idea!
A great extension to on-line bookings is Live Chat, which allows people to talk to you via a text message in real time. This is very convenient for those stuck behind computers all day with little chance to make a private phone call.
Market Research has long been thought of as a marketing tool only for major corporations with large budgets. But today, you can conduct your own market research with a minimum investment in time and money. Sending an on-line survey following every dental appointment is a great way of collecting valuable information about the service you are providing. Good or bad, it allows you to either invest in improving certain areas of your practice or reward a member of the team who constantly shines.
I hope these tips help your practice to grow. If you would like any help or advice with any of your marketing requirements, please get in touch.