1. Always remember that patients are people.
Look, we get it. When you’re talking to a patient (or a potential patient), it can be easy to get distracted by things like treatment planning, whether they have insurance, or what you’re having for lunch.
But what’s just another routine phone call, consultation, or exam for you probably feels like a bigger deal to whoever you’re talking to. And if they’re going to move forward, especially with complex treatment, you need to earn their trust.
So slow down. Get into discovery mode and find out why a patient is looking for help. What problem are they going to a dentist to solve — and just as important, what blockers might be preventing them from solving it?
In other words, take the time to see each patient as a person rather than just a case. Whatever your role is — dentist, call handler, hygienist — understand that your job is to help each patient overcome any barriers to treatment so they can resolve the problem that brought you through their door.
This might take time (and that’s okay). In the long run, it’ll pay off for your practice and your quality of care.
2. Ask your patients to give your practice a shout-out inside local groups on Facebook or Nextdoor.
Even a robust social media presence for your practice may not do much for your new patient numbers. But you know what can?
Getting your patients to post about you — especially in Facebook, Reddit, or Nextdoor groups specifically for your community. This can be your local city chat group, a group for moms in your area (moms make most dental decisions for their kids and partners), or anything else where lots of real potential patients might see your practice.
If you can, try engaging your patients in a friendly way and asking if they are active in local Facebook groups. If so, maybe they’ll give you a shout-out.
Depending on where you are, this can be an easy way to get in front of 10,000+ people — for free.
3. Encourage your doctors to call patients and check in (especially after a big procedure).
This small step can go a long way toward building loyalty: If a patient has just left your office after a big procedure, make sure your doctor calls them to check in that evening or the next day.
It’ll take two minutes and make the patient feel seen, cared for, and valued. They’ll be more likely to come back in the future — or if you’re a specialist who doesn’t see a lot of repeat business, refer their friends or leave a positive review.
So often it’s the little things in life.