Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of the Delivering Wow Dental podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Anissa Holmes. And today, we're talking all about how to keep your patients coming back to your dental practice. Now, this is something that's actually pretty important and I'm not sure if you've thought about it recently, in terms of how many patients are actually leaving out of the back door or how many patients are actually leaving every single week without being scheduled. And I can tell you this is something that you're definitely going to want to create a system for because it's really interesting. A lot of people are focused on new patients, new patients, new patients. But if you are focusing on new patients and you have patients who are not scheduling, then essentially your business is not going to grow. It's going to be flat. And so, today I'm going to talk about how you can really think about making sure that your patients are coming back.
So, obviously we can look at marketing and not marketing from the standpoint of getting new patients but marketing to our existing patients. And I absolutely love to think about this and to really focus a lot of attention on marketing to my existing patients. Why? Because they are already trusting us. They have already had great service. They know what our culture's like and they can be walking advocates for our practice. And so, as we start thinking about even external marketing campaigns, we want to make sure that we're always involving our patients.
So, what does that look like? Well, maybe you decide that you want to do a clothing drive. Well, you definitely want to make sure that you're posting that on social media but you want to make sure that if you're doing, for example, a Facebook live video talking about it, on your social media pages, you're also taking a photo of that. You are sharing that link to that video, to your patients in an email and they're seeing what you're doing to serve the community. And also, of course, you're inviting them to participate. You are putting up flyers so that your patients will see what you're doing inside of your community.
And what I love doing inside of my practice and what I love helping practices with is actually having these monthly community engagement campaigns. So, now you can go ahead and really be consistent with marketing internally to your patients.
And as we start thinking about how are we marketing to our patients, we want to make sure that we are 100% being consistent. So, that is looking at having a monthly newsletter where you are sharing what you did last month for the community and what you're doing this upcoming month. Sharing an educational article that is talking about a new service or a service that you want to focus on for that particular month.
And of course, having that link for people to go ahead and schedule online or sharing your phone number or asking that they email you back to go ahead and make an appointment. So, that's another thing that you definitely want to consider.
Another thing that you want to look at in terms of making sure that your patients were coming back is making sure that when they're there, they are scheduling their next appointment. And a lot of times, what I hear from teams is that they are giving patients an option to schedule maybe even for a hygiene appointment and the patient says, "I'll call you back." Well, what I need you to understand is that most times patients are saying that because they don't know where they're going to be in six months. And so, now if you can create a system that says, "Okay, I would love to go ahead and make your next appointment. We can do it at the same time of day on the same day, if that works for you. We'll give you a call a week ahead of time. And if that time doesn't work, we can always move you."
Now, your patients know that they're not going to disappoint you if they are not able to make it. Maybe they're going to be traveling for work. And now what you can do is you can create a system so that every Monday, now your team member at the front desk can call patients who were pre-booked six months ago. And go ahead and remind them that they scheduled that
appointment. And again, if there are any conflicts, now you have a week or a little bit over a week to actually go ahead and get someone else into that timeframe. And you can now just move them. You definitely want to never remove a patient from the schedule. You just go ahead and move them.
The other thing that we can look at in terms of, how do we keep our patients coming back, is really looking at our patient experience. What are we doing so that our patients will become those raving fans, right? And really, really important. One of the things that we look at when our patients are coming in is we want to think about how can we ask them three different ways or three different times, how has their experience? So, the hygienist will ask, the doctor will ask and then the patient goes to the front desk and the front desk team member will ask. Well, what that means is we're constantly thinking about how can we create those touch points so that patients do have an experience that they remember. And it could be things such as having your kid go to the toy box first or having hot chocolate for your kids when they come into the office or giving them an office tour and showing them your core values on the wall. It doesn't have to be something that costs a lot of money but it's something that people will want a hundred percent remember.
So, that's something that you want to also think about. The other thing that you want to think about is, do you actually have a system or tracking system for ensuring or actually knowing how many patients are actually not scheduling each week? One thing that we put in place for our clients, as well as inside of my practice, is a customized scorecard. And one of the numbers that we're tracking in terms of metrics is how many patients who came in last week that did not actually schedule for their next visit and taking it to the next level. What's really nice is that if you can have your scheduling coordinator to go ahead and fill in these metrics inside of your scorecard and now what happens is that they can actually have that time on a Monday to go back into the ledgers of those patients and find out why is it that they didn't schedule. Was it that they were referred to another doctor and they're going to be coming back?
Was it that we need to follow up with them to ensure that we have financial arrangements with them. So, definitely want to make sure that you're having notes when patients are not scheduling and then also have systems so that you can actually track it. Because of course, once we start tracking things, then all of a sudden, it's not going to be okay for us to have patients that are not scheduling. So, now we can go in as a team, we can have conversations about how can we improve and how can we get that number down? And so, that's really, really powerful.
So, hopefully these tips help you to be able to put some different systems in place and to be able to start stirring up some ideas. But you definitely want to make sure that in addition to focusing on your new patients, you're really thinking about your existing patients. How is it that we're creating that great experience for them? How are we putting in those touch points? How are we focusing on internal marketing and how are we creating that system that allows us to hold ourselves accountable to actually getting our patients scheduled.
So, hopefully this helps you. I absolutely love talking about this stuff. It's really, really important. Again, a lot of times we're focusing on marketing and we have so many patients leaving out of the back door, which means that we can sometimes not only have flat growth but we actually have negative growth.
All right. So, hopefully that helps you. If this is sounding like you and you're feeling like you're needing a little bit of help with this, we'd love for you to reach out to us at www.DeliveringWow.com.
You can schedule a free 30 minute strategy call and we can discuss how we can help you to grow your practice and scale it to the next level.
All right, guys, that's it for today. Take care. And we'll see you inside of the next episode