In light of current events, most dental practices are reducing hours or temporarily closing to prioritize the health and safety of their patients and staff. As this unprecedented situation unfolds across the nation, hone in on three key areas to come out of this challenging time better equipped professionally and positioned for success in the coming months.
Evaluate Past Marketing Efforts
It’s important to reflect back on what marketing efforts have worked and what hasn’t been effective in driving appointment bookings at your practice. Consider these questions when digging into the metrics that really matter:
- Which advertising sources drive the most patients into your practice?
- Which advertising sources are driving new patients to call?
- Which advertising sources result in the most booked appointments?
- Why are calls from particular advertising sources not driving booked appointments?
You may be surprised by what you find. In the industry, we’ve found that of the appointment opportunities from social media marketing sources like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, 46% were new patients looking to schedule an appointment. Considering more than half of the bookings that are generated from social media are existing patients, this is a great opportunity to engage with patients who already know you and your practice.
Print media generates fewer total opportunities than digital media. But of the patients who call your practice, 68% are new patient opportunities. The targeted nature of print marketing is in part successful because your audience can be segmented so specifically.
It’s important to understand your own practice’s marketing results on a granular level to make decisions about where to continue to invest when you reopen and where to reduce advertising spend.
Plan for the Future
With the data you find from looking at the right metrics, consider the implications of the numbers. Make inferences as you consider your schedule and what your practice will need coming out of this crisis.
With the influx of patients ready to reschedule their cancelled appointments on top of the patients you’ll need to see who are due for appointments, be ready with a plan. Consider what it would look like to expand your office hours and staff to meet the upcoming need.
Along with catching up on patients’ dental needs, there will also be other medical appointments, veterinary appointments, social engagements, work schedules, and more that will all be vying for your patients’ time.
It is important to stay on top of their minds, as many of these things will be considered priorities over a dental visit. To stay top of mind, consider an outbound calling process to remind patients of the importance of their dental health. What could a promotion or advertising look like as the world starts going back to how it used to be?
Planning for the future by referring to what has and hasn’t been effective at your practice is the best way to enact changes that apply to your specific circumstances.
Get Up to Speed on Continuing Education
Despite many conferences cancelling or postponing their in-person events, now is the ideal time to earn your continuing education credits from distance learning providers. In fact, the reduced time in the office provides the downtime necessary to catch up on or get ahead in CE courses.
It also is the perfect time to dive into new topics that are out of your comfort zone at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. For instance, become well-versed from courses about business operations or even learning more about dental marketing trends.
There are hundreds of courses that will grow you where you’re less comfortable that do not require prerequisites to complete. These online educational courses are a painless alternative to other continuing education processes that can get pricey and inconvenient.
For example, learn more about overcoming the sales mentality, artificial intelligence in dentistry, marketing 101, or even scheduling objections in Call Box’s free CE courses for dental professionals.
Now is the time to make necessary changes. Doctors essentially have the ability to start fresh when practices reopen. Whatever habits or hang-ups an office was stuck repeating can be immediately replaced by effective practices going forward. So use this time to improve your practice as you develop professionally.
Mr. Johnson is a senior account executive at Call Box. Doctors and owners call him to increase their bottom line through enhancing the patient experience over the phone and converting more opportunities. He earned his MBA from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of North Carolina, where he studied how the power of data can affect organizational change. To learn more about Call Box and our innovative tools to help your practice leverage the phone, visit callbox.com/dental or call (833) 259-9484.
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