A trip to the dentist can be noteworthy, but not always for the right reasons. That can make marketing a challenge. But with the right mix of brand assets, marketing tools, and outstanding customer service, you can make your dental practice more pleasantly memorable and create a positive association with your work.
There are many ways to influence how your patients feel about your dental practice. The overall reputation of your brand is the combination of these factors, many of which you as the practice owner and your team are able to control. Here are 5 suggestions for how you can take advantage of that control to make your dental practice more memorable.
Start with Service
In every business, a positive brand reputation begins with a product or service that you can be proud of. After all, customers can’t be expected to spread the word about a business if they don’t feel strongly about the service!
With that in mind, make sure that you understand the aspects of your dental practice that patients love. If you specialize in making kids feel comfortable when heading for a checkup, emphasize that in your marketing materials. If it’s the luxury or technology available at your facility that makes patients come back, be sure to have pictures and references that reflect that quality.
Just as importantly, make sure that you quickly address any common areas of complaint that patients raise. You won’t be able to rectify everything, but eliminating basic service issues gives your practice a platform to build upon as you expand your branding.
Remind Happy Patients About Reviews & Referrals
Once you have service to shout about, it’s time to convince your clients to do some talking. Online and offline, reviews and referrals are the lifeblood of your dental practice. We all know how much more likely clients are to talk about a negative experience than they are a positive one, which is why you need to encourage your best patients to spread the word about your practice.
Make it easy by setting up a review and referral program that anyone can follow. For example, pick your favorite platform for online reviews—usually the one that brings you the most business, be it Google, Yelp, or some other service. Write a step-by-step process for customers to follow when they’re willing to leave you an honest review. Better still, set up a dedicated public workstation where they can take a few minutes to do so before they leave your practice.
Take the same approach with referrals.
Set up a simple program to credit your existing clients when they recommend a friend or family member. This could be a free cleaning, some complimentary dental products, or a discount on a common procedure. This combination of a reminder and small incentives is a powerful way to generate word-of-mouth marketing and build your brand.
Make Sure Your Logo and Visuals Are Unique
Once you know that existing patients are happy with your practice, it’s time to make a first impression that lasts for prospective new clients. To that end, your practice needs visual brand assets that reflect the best of your business. For instance, small things like consistent colors, fonts, a tag line, memorable contact details, and a clear value proposition will help your practice stand out in a competitive field.
Take the time to translate your defined services and value into a uniquely compelling visual identity that patients will instantly recognize. Ensure your marketing tools and channels reflect these visuals consistently so that they become ubiquitous, whether clients find your practice online or in the real world.
Get an Unforgettable Phone Number and Website
When prospective clients see your ads, will they remember your call to action? If your practice has a complicated domain name and a random set of digits for its phone number, the chances are they won’t. This is especially true with offline ads on billboards, in print, or on the radio, when patients often can’t write down your contact details.
Don’t make it hard for potential patients to remember you. Getting a custom domain link and a vanity number instantly makes your dental practice more memorable. If you can associate that custom contact point with your services—words like teeth, smile, and shine, for example—that’s all the better for your brand. These are simple and affordable brand assets that many practices overlook. Take advantage of them!
Act on Feedback
As you get closer to clients and encourage your patients to engage with your dental practice, you’re likely to receive a lot of commentary on how you’re doing, positive and negative. Use this feedback to improve your service offering and show clients that you’re listening.
If the opinions aren’t coming in as fast as you would like, get the ball rolling yourself. Send a survey to longstanding clients to ask what you can do better. By creating these feedback channels, you can loop back to our earlier suggestions and work to build on your service offering, further defining your brand. This extra connection also creates more opportunities to ask for reviews and referrals from clients who have yet to answer those requests.
Much like a winning smile, a memorable dental brand takes a little planning and a lot of care. Start from a commitment to excellent service, then make sure your brand assets and patient followup make it easy for clients to reach your practice and refer it to others. From that base you can build a memorable dental practice that patients are excited to talk about.
Mr. Faust is vice president of business development at RingBoost, a Primary Wave Media marketing company focusing on providing vanity phone numbers to businesses. He began working with Primary Wave Media as an outside sales and marketing consultant when the company was founded in 2003 and has been responsible for national business development as well as overseeing the company’s sales and marketing functions since 2006. He is also a cofounder of 1-800-PREPARE.com, an online service offering a full suite of disaster-preparedness supplies, products, and resources to help people prepare for life’s everyday challenges as well as emergency situations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.