Dental patient retention not only keeps your production levels high but may also increase the overall value of your dental practice. Demonstrating a high degree of client retention to a potential buyer will make a favorable impression and supplies proof that your practice is thriving. When your patients trust you and remain loyal to your practice, they are more likely to tell their friends and encourage them to become patients of your dental practice.
Social media (e.g. Facebook, Blog, Pinterest) is an effective medium to strengthen patient loyalty. Social media is inexpensive and if implemented correctly, can reach a larger audience than just your existing patients. Consider the following tips on how to use social media to develop patient loyalty:
- Earn their trust. Invite your dental patients to join your social media communities. This provides you an opportunity to remain connected between visits and to further develop trust. A trusting patient is a loyal patient.
- Be helpful. Offer useful, informative content through your social media that provides a tangible benefit to your patients. The value you provide online will keep them returning in the future and demonstrates your genuine desire to keep them well-informed.
- Interact. If your dental patient leaves a comment or message on your social media, respond promptly. Showing your patients that you care for them outside of the office will demonstrate your commitment to their overall wellbeing. If you receive frequent comments, delegate a staff member to review and respond as appropriate.
- Offer exclusive promotions. Reward your staff by posting exclusive specials on your social media platforms. They will appreciate your recognition of their online participation.
- Make it easy to share. Placing a Facebook button on your dental practice website allows patients the opportunity to share their commitment to your practice easily with friends.
- Turn Negatives into Positives. Not all comments or feedback will be positive. Be responsive and offer an apology. Reassure that the issue will be dealt with and corrected. Invite the individual to call the office to resolve the issue on the phone instead of online.
Patient loyalty translates into a more valuable, more productive dental practice. Social media provides a host of tools to connect meaningfully with dental patients and engender trust.
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Terry D. Watson, DDS, and Frank Brown, JD, LLM, are with ADS Watson, Brown & Associates, a dental practice transition consulting and brokerage firm in Dallas, TX. They are members of American Dental Sales and can be reached on the Contact Page