In addition to my freelance copywriting and content strategy work in the dental industry, I’ve been a team member at a local dental practice. My countless hours of experience in the trenches (so to speak) has sharpened my perspective about dental industry marketing basics and how they fit in this new age of social media.
Much of my energy was focused on working with the hygiene coordinator to keep the hygiene schedule filled. Why? Because one of our values – and I suspect that of most dental practices – is “as goes the hygiene schedule, so goes the practice.”
It’s about being patient centered. And aside from patients who schedule for treatment or present with a tooth issue, doctors typically diagnose treatment based on that initial hygiene appointment.
Patient to practice to hygienist to doctor to treatment is a connective process.
And connection is the real reason patients maintain a relationship with their dental service provider.
How you connect is up to you. I recommend a blend of perceived old-school tools (phone, direct mail, etc.) and new media (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, etc.)
Use these tips for blending the “old” and “new” to create stronger patient-to-practice connections that keep your schedule full:
Use the phone.
These days we’re growing more accustomed to non-voice communications via social media. It’s refreshing to have a human voice say, “Hi…how are you…just reminding you that you’re due for an exam and cleaning.”
Remember that many people chose your practice before we started using new media. And the voice they responded to (yours) is still a viable connection point.
Besides, your voice carries an emotional connection too. It translates that someone is actually there who knows my name, remembers something important about my dental health, and took the time to focus on me.
Find your “voice.”
Script your phone calls and all communications to be natural, conversational, and engaging. Avoid outbound calls that sound robotic or too rehearsed.
Whether phone, text, email or social media – keep it real and authentic.
Be in the “driver’s seat.”
Script your calls, write texts, emails, and social media content to highlight benefits and direct a response. A benign request to call for their next appointment, or one that sounds too generic (mass produced) undermines the engaging approach you want to value in your practice.
Remember the sales principle of stating specific options. Confidently asking, “Morning or afternoon?” is more effective than “When would you like to come in…”
Again, this is a new era of connection. People (including your patients) are accustomed to more frontal and direct forms of communication thanks to social media.
Communication is about connecting.
Dental practices and dental businesses that use available tools authentically will increase their connect-ability and profits.
Comment. How are you connecting with your patients and/or clients these days? What’s working? Not working? Needs improvement?