The demographic of Spanish-speaking patients is steadily increasing, and this occurrence isn’t just relegated to portions of the country nearest Mexico, Cuba, and other Spanish-speaking countries. The U.S. is a melting pot of nationalities, and it’s important to ensure that your dental practice doesn’t inadvertently lose potential clients simply because of a language barrier.
There are ways to increase your Spanish-speaking clientele, and it begins with the content you include on your website. In this digital age, it’s essential to provide new clients, regardless of what language they speak, with high quality web content that outlines your services, the cost of those services, and why people should choose your dental practice over the myriad of others.
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As it pertains to Spanish-speaking clients, here are some additional reasons why you increase your value as a dental practice by having Spanish-speaking employees and Spanish content on your website. I currently use WordPress, and I plan to experiment with certain plugins so that users can select the language they want the website to show.
High quality, multi-lingual web content shows intelligence and aptitude
Because many Americans speak only one language, the ability to speak multiple languages shows intelligence and aptitude to clients who will be impressed with a multi-lingual staff. When generating web content — and this includes web design, written content, and other variables — it’s important to potential clients that their practitioner be credible on every front. One way you do this is by having an esthetically pleasing web design, functionality, and well-written web content.
This also means that even clients who don’t require a Spanish-speaking dental staff will be impressed with your ability to communicate with those who speak Spanish. The more know-how you display via your website, the more clients you’ll receive as a result.
Speaking Spanish increases your value by placing you above the competition
This value is especially true in areas of the country, such as the Midwest for instance, where Spanish-speaking dental practices may not be readily available for those who need them. Sure, there may be nearby areas that cater to those who require (or would prefer) Spanish speakers, but by including multi-lingual assistants, taking on a new dentist who speaks Spanish, or learning Spanish yourself, you make your dental practice more attractive to those who might not want to travel far to find a practice that fits their needs.
Having web content in Spanish and Spanish-speaking employees puts new clients at ease
Even if your clients have some remedial English skills, they’ll feel much more comfortable conversing in their native tongue. Not only will this attract additional clients to your practice, but it will make yours and your employee’s jobs much easier. Let’s face it – no one wants to deal with a frightened or agitated patient, and the last thing you want is an additional barrier preventing patients from feeling comfortable in your office. Spanish-speaking employees and brochures printed in Spanish will help eliminate office tension.
Open communication greatly reduces your potential for malpractice claims
When meeting with your risk management specialist, they explained that malpractice suits are reduced by more communication between you, your staff, and your clients. You don’t want to take on a malpractice claim because of lack of communication, especially if English is not your client’s native tongue. One way to ensure that everyone is on the same page is to make sure that a member of your staff is fluent in Spanish. This will eliminate most opportunities for miscommunication about the procedures taking place, and help minimize your chances of a costly lawsuit.
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Dr. Bobby Irani is the owner of Mulholland Dental Care in Woodland Hills, Calif. Dr. Irani is known for doing great dental implants and other cosmetic procedures. When he isn’t performing dentistry, Dr. Irani enjoys spending time with his family.