By: Mark Joseph
Getting new patients in the door is critical for growing your practice, but not all practice owners are clear on what concrete, actionable steps they need to be taking to accomplish this goal.
In this article, we will explore tried-and-true strategies you can use to attract new patients and grow your business, and show you how Donna™ and CareCru can help.
Pick Up the Phone
It seems deceptively simple, but every missed call is a potential missed appointment or new patient sent to a competitor. You should aim to have a phone pickup rate of at least 95%. For any calls that are missed, you should consider investing in a service that will capture those missed phone calls so your staff can follow up later.
Your call pickup rate is critical since 87% of new patients won’t leave a message or call back if their call is sent to voicemail. Considering the average practice misses 34% of calls, that results in a lot of missed opportunities to connect with potential new patients and fill your
CareCru’s Donna™ offers fully HIPAA compliant call tracking functionality, which:
- Sources where your calls are coming from and measure marketing effectiveness: Knowing if a call results from a Facebook post, Google Search, or online directory entry can help you best allocate your marketing budget.
- Allows you to replay calls for review and coaching: If a staff member misses a detail on a call, they can go back and replay it to ensure they get all the information they need. Replaying calls can also be useful for training purposes.
- Flags new patients and appointments booked: Flagging which calls are from new patients, and which calls resulted in booked appointments, can help you fine-tune your approach to new patient inquiries.
- Improves your call pickup rates and patient bookings: Fewer missed calls mean more potential bookings.
Seek Out Positive Reviews
A good reputation is critical for attracting new patients to your practice, and nothing bolsters a business’s reputation than positive reviews.
To find out how CareCru can help you manage your online reputation effectively, make it easier to solicit positive reviews, and help you address negative patient experiences, please consider reading Putting Your Best Foot Forward: The CareCru Guide to Managing Your Practice’s Online Reputation.
Ask Patients for Referrals
People love to share positive experiences, but they may not think to tell their friends and family how much they love their dentist. Asking patients for referrals (and offering incentives for referrals that translate into new patient bookings) is an easy way to grow your practice.
Birds of a feather flock together, so leveraging patients who are happy with your work and your practice (including your hours, location, and other non-dental related aspects of your practice) are more likely to know other people who might also be a good patient fit.
According to a study done by the American Marketing Association, referrals were 15% less likely to churn and 25% more profitable than customers who were acquired through other
Offer Online Scheduling
Not everyone has the time to call their dentist during regular business hours, which is why offering online scheduling is critical. Online scheduling allows patients to book their next appointment with you on evenings, weekends, holidays, and any other time your practice is closed.
By making the booking process as frictionless as possible, you are better able to transform potential new patients into actual new patients and build up a loyal patient base that appreciates your flexibility.
Make Sure Your Easy to Find Online
Potential new patients will never book an appointment with you if they aren’t able to find out more about your practice. As such, it is critical for all dental practices to make sure they are listed on a variety of online directories.
To help you get started, here are business registration links for:
- Judy’s Book
- Find Open
You should also check out local directories specific to your region, city, town, or neighborhood in order to capture patients who are looking for a high-quality dentist near their work, home, or child’s school.
Optimize Your Website for Search
Listing on a variety of online directories is also useful for improving your Google search ranking. Google reviews hundreds of online directories for your listings and then uses that data to verify that the information in your Google listing is both accurate and consistent across review
To help you set up and manage your various listings, CareCru lists, monitors, and manages all of your online directory listings to ensure your practice is always presented as credible and trustworthy to potential patients.
20% of your Google SEO score comes from your online directories listings, and citations (including your online directory listings) account for roughly 13% of your practice’s Google ranking.