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Online Review

6 questions to ask to improve dental patient satisfaction

May 19, 2020
Dentists should strive to build a strong relationship and ongoing communication channel with their patients so that they remain committed to the practice for the long term. Sudhir Bhatti explains how to do that.

In today’s highly competitive market for dental professionals, it’s imperative to find ways to differentiate your practice from competitors, make it easy for patients to learn about your practice, and leverage online reviews to boost your brand. Most of all, you want to build a strong relationship and ongoing communication channel with your patients so that they remain committed to you and your practice for the long term.

One way to make your practice more inviting to patients is to establish a strong online presence. Fortunately, there are many technologies available that simplify how your patients work with your practice and help fuel your marketing activities. The answer to modernizing your practice, automating specific business practices, and building your brand lies in new forms of web-based technologies that can help you build and grow.  

Dentists are experts at dentistry, not marketing

Becoming a dentist takes years of education and training, but none of the training covers sales, marketing, and IT. Fortunately, there are technology solutions available that can take the headache out of figuring out the best way to promote and build your practice. Selecting the right technology that’s designed to seamlessly connect you and your practice with your patients and prospects can go a long way toward building your patient base and increasing patient satisfaction. Before you start examining ways to increase your marketing reach and expand your customer base, ask yourself these six questions in order to build a stronger online presence.

What are your practice goals?

Technology can raise productivity, streamline front desk operations, and simplify scheduling. But how important are these capabilities to you? Many dentists and office managers have the right intention when they start looking for ways to build their practices, but the first thing that should be discussed is: what are your goals?

Are you looking for software that can help with patient scheduling? Do you want to develop a blog to discuss issues in the dental industry? These are the kinds of things your patients may appreciate, and they can go a long way toward enhancing customer loyalty.

How important is a robust social media strategy?

There are many social media platforms available that can help you increase awareness of your practice. But social media isn’t merely an advertising channel. The best social media channels help create two-way communication between you and your patients. If patients have pleasant experiences at your office, you want them to share that with people in their social networks. Positive reviews are marketing gold and a powerful way to attract new patients.

How do you want to showcase your practice reviews?

In today’s technology-based world, it’s quite common for new patients to go online to check patient reviews before deciding whether to become a patient. Search engines deliver recommendations based on online reviews and ratings. Positive reviews can help you attract new patients and retain existing ones while negative reviews have the potential to damage your practice’s reputation. Ratings can impact how often your website appears in Google searches since positive ratings will list your practice at the top, and negative reviews will push you down in the rankings. Selecting a technology solution that provides strong reputation management is important.

According to Dentavox, 86% of patients choose a dentist by reading online reviews, proving that it is essential for patients to share their positive experiences online. Getting positive reviews increases your popularity in search engines, which attracts more patients to your practice, which increases revenue and grows your practice.

How can your website enhance your digital brand?

One of the first things someone will do when they’re considering a new dentist is to go online and look at the website. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Your website is a window into your dental practice, and you need to determine what type of messages you want to convey. For example, you can tell patients, you’re being taken care of, you’re safe, we cater to patients who are uncomfortable when visiting the dentist, and more. In addition, you need to consider what type of information patients want to see, what kind of social media channels you want to use, and the look and feel you want patients to experience.

How can patient feedback improve your dental practice?

In order to turn your customers into advocates for your practice, you need to build a feedback mechanism into your web presence. This helps continually improve your practice, understand ways to work with patients, and address their concerns. Having a clear picture of what patients expect and whether or not you have delivered are the two main reasons why you should seek patient feedback.

Without knowing what your patients like and dislike, there’s no way to be able to implement changes and make your treatment techniques better. Always remember that patient satisfaction is one of your top priorities since happy patients ensure retention and drive new patient acquisition. Patient feedback helps you establish a better connection and improve the quality of treatment.

How important is mobile experience?

The short answer—it’s very important! We live in world that is mobile-centric. How much so? The Pew Research Center states that 96% of Americans now own a cell phone. Make sure that your website loads quickly on smartphones because users do not have the patience to wait a long time while it loads. Moreover, there are lots of other dentists available, which means patients can easily bounce if your website is slow and unimpressive.

Promote your brand

Having a strong web presence goes a long way toward establishing your brand and ensuring patient loyalty. While your primary focus is on patient health, creating a patient acquisition and engagement plan that is driven by your online presence will help you build a thriving dental practice.

Sudhir Bhatti is the cofounder and CEO of GrowthPlug, a technology company created to help dental and health-care practices become modern, efficient, and grow online by delivering a patient first experience. Reach Mr. Bhatti at [email protected] and LinkedIn.