February 1, 2017

The Best Marketing: A Rewarding Patient Experience

While a lot has changed in dentistry over the past 20 years, one thing has remained constant: the importance of word-of-mouth referrals (the most cost-effective source of new patients). According to Futuredontics national survey, “84% of patients solicit personal recommendations from family, friends and co-workers when they search for a new dentist.” Ergo, if you’re not providing a rewarding patient experience, you’re losing out on a MULTITUDE of (practically free) new patients every year!

A Rewarding Patient Experience Starts With Your Attitude

Patients aren’t experts in dentistry. Most of us don’t know the difference (in the absence of pain or functionality) between the perfect crown and one that’s less than perfect. Thus, an integral part of how we view the quality of the appointment isn’t based on the clinical outcome, but our experience: how we FELT when we visited your practice.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re world renown for your perio procedures, if you have the personality of a rock. Attitude is key to your dental practice success!

Here’s some data that quantifies how important the patient’s experience truly is for the success of your dental office.

Why It's Essential to Provide a Rewarding Patient Experience

*Source: Futuredontics Survey, 1-800-DENTIST, McKinsey Research, GfK Marketing Intelligence Review,

Dental Patients Have Higher Expectations

If it was government healthcare, we’d be more sympathetic. But many of us pay out-of-pocket for dental care. In fact, 44% of all dental expenditures are paid out-of-pocket. Consequently, we have higher expectations; we want a rewarding experience! Actually, we demand it, if you want us to stick around and refer.

  • Did I feel like family (not the weird uncle, but a valued member) or just a number?
  • Was your team welcoming or distracted?
  • Do your team members enjoy their work or are they just collecting a paycheck?
  • Was your team upbeat or negative nellies?

How to Provide A Rewarding Patient Experience

Here’s how to get a positive reaction to the questions above and provide a remarkable patient experience. Follow these 8 tips, and you’ll surely be personally recommended to your patients’ family, friends and co-workers:

  1. Put your most personable person at the front desk.
  2. Pay your team for their performance, NOT their time.
  3. Verify insurance and benefits BEFORE the procedure.
  4. Audit patient interactions.
  5. Get to know your patients. It’s a relationship, not a transaction.
  6. Look us in the eye, smile warmly, touch the arm or shoulder, put us at ease.
  7. Be human, make us laugh, have fun and show that you’re one of us.
  8. If you’re late, genuinely apologize. Our time is valuable, too.

Social Media Makes Word-of-Mouth Exponential

With current technology like social media, your patients become your best advertisers! Now, more than ever, providing a rewarding patient experience can lead to exponential growth. Put forth the effort and your patients will remember you, refer to your practice and bring in more new patients!

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