Tips to sustain and futureproof your practice
Whilst it’s not been easy to find much positive news over recent months, the tide is finally turning. As a business owner, now is the time to make the most of business opportunities, stay focused, motivate your team and have a recovery plan in place to make a real success of your practice both now and into the future. After all, those who believe they’re going to succeed are more likely to do just that. So, here are some simple tips to get your practice back on track and keep your business ahead of the competition.
1. Keep patients attending
Patient demand for dental services has not reduced in the last 12 months and all indications are that this demand is only going to increase over the next year as dentists try to play catch up with almost 14 million ‘lost’ appointments caused by lockdowns and restrictions. Right now, patients still need a little reassurance, they need to know that dental practices are open and are working under strict guidelines that make patient safety a priority.
Recent consumer research1 shows that a third of patients remain with their practice for a long time. You can encourage this loyalty by using your dental software to recall and remind patients about routine appointments. Keep your website and social media platforms up-to-date with the latest information about your services and safety precautions, and make sure there is the opportunity for patients to book an appointment online.
2. Attract new patients
Patient demand for dentistry remains strong, but with fewer appointments available many patients are searching for a new practice to accommodate their needs - and that search will begin online. Not only will they look for dentist local to them, but also for good reviews, a clear infection control strategy and a streamlined patient journey.
Our research1 also showed that availability of appointments and ease of booking were the crucial factors for patients choosing a new dentist. Utilise features such as ‘Google My Business’ with positive messages and reviews, as well as useful, up-to-date practice information that links to your website. And once a patient has found you - keep them interested! Online booking provides an instant response and keeps phone lines and reception teams free for triaging and caring for patients in the practice.
Under current regulations, practices are trying to minimise the time patients spend in practice so make the most of a secure online Patient Portal. Available via your dental software, this addition enables forms and consents to be completed online and submitted direct into the patient’s file, streamlining the patient journey and reducing administration for busy reception teams.
3. Prepare for the future
A recent GDC survey has found that just under two-thirds (64%) of dental professionals anticipate an increase in demand for dental services over the next twelve months2. Pent up demand for elective cosmetic treatments is a key driver for this and presents an opportunity for dentists to recover some of the ground lost during last year’s two-month closure.
The marketing tools available in your dental software make the targeting of specific groups with elective treatments and informative communications simple and straightforward. The software also enables you to create and run campaigns, monitor results and keep track of your return on investment.
A helping hand
It’s easy in uncertain times to focus too heavily on day-to-day operations and ignore plans for the longer term. We recognise this dilemma, and our Business Health Check is designed to precisely help you see the future of your practice in context.
A Business Health Check provides you with a designated Best Practice Consultant who will work with you to understand your business as it is now and help you plan for the future. Using the powerful tools within your dental software they will help you understand where you have shortfalls in performance so you can create and execute a plan that will work towards giving patients the dental experience they need and desire.
Enrol for your complimentary Business Health Check today.1 The Great Dental Survey. December 2020
2 The Impact of COVID-19 on Dental Professionals - a report for the General Dental Council.