Looking at the current situation, none of us have any idea how this pandemic will play out in the short or long term. Never has the statement that we live in unprecedented times been truer. However, even in times of unprecedented crisis, experience and basic principles have helped us draw reasonable conclusions about how businesses have been affecting rapidly lately.
In this special dental series, Prabin Gautam – Trusted dental marketing advisor along with – Susan Rusalen – Dental Practice Consultant take on some burning questions. With no way to predict when normalcy will be restored, many questions as listed has been surrounded by dental professionals:
- What are the biggest problem dentists are facing right now?
- What is the pivot required in dental business during and post COVID 19?
- What is the most effective form of marketing for dentists right now?
1. What are the biggest problems dentists are facing right now?
It’s not something new when we say that the elephant in the room is COVID- 19 and it’s been haunting many industries as well as the dental widely. It’s a period of downtime in business & appointment books. People are still fearful and to stay away from risk they are staying in and not venturing out much like they used to.
Even during this sensitive time, many dental practices have now re-opened under ADA guidelines. Dental owners want their business to be running as usual but surely don’t wish to put themselves or their staff and especially their patients at risk.
Among all this what’s even more important to address is, this time is not the best to be running around to get new patients. Dental owners should utilise this time to consolidate, get the system right, connecting with patients and make sure patients feel safe.
How you get the right message of safety across to your patients is the core thing to do right now and the practical ways you can do it are endless. Emails and phone calls for your patients which are scripted and discusses within the whole team is one great idea to get the right message to your patients. Brainstorming with the team; What are patients asking? & What do they want to know? Your dental team should be ready with pre-answer for those questions before you launch someone onto the telephone. It’s best to prescript what you’re going to deliver to your patients.
Doing so will build an amount of confidence and trust in patients that it is safe to visit your dental practice and you really are there for the patient.
2. What is the pivot required right now in the dental business?
No doubts, a lot of new skills have come out of COVID. We’ve had to stay home; we’ve had to reinvent ourselves and we ‘ve also had to think about how we can work in the new normal. Here’s a question; Have you pivoted in your business? Have you done something differently?
The word pivot here is to stay in one place and look at how to do business slightly differently. One of the biggest things, as mentioned earlier, is not racing at getting new patients now. Every practice needs to be doing now is meeting the market finances in patient’s lives as it’s uncertain what will happen next. Also, it’s unfair hitting them with big treatment plans by charging lots of money for treatments. This is totally unacceptable because now we need to be showing patients that we care.
We need to be underlining that work needs to go on despite the situation, but you’ve got to look at the financial aspect for now, check if your fees are too high. At a time like this, it makes more sense to give something back to your loyal patients and encourage them. We must show that we care, and we also need to generate ideas on how we can do that for them in financial terms.
Right now, all patients are looking for high-end treatment at a low cost for sure. We really need to understand the patient’s need, understand where they’re at, and understanding the problems they are facing. We need to look on the other side and empathies with the patient’s perspective.
This doesn’t mean not doing the high-end treatments at all or, doesn’t mean give the treatment away. But for instance, if you have a dental fund with your patient and your patient have a major dental cover which is almost $1,000 a year sitting there. Let’s use what’s sitting in there, perhaps consider doing some porcelain work instead of composite work. It’s less out of pocket. It’s a better solution, but it’s also keeping our books full of some higher-end procedures.
Finding some ways to help patients when doing high-end treatments is a great way to get those treatments done. As we all know care is must and this is a vulnerable time for all of us, showing care to our patients should be our NO 1 priority.
3. What is the most effective form of marketing for dentists right now?
Marketing is essential if you want your practice to thrive, however, the current scenario has left many dentist-owners to wonder how they should be adjusting their marketing budgets in the days ahead. It’s easy to know that you should market your dental practice. It’s much more difficult, however, to know exactly how to do that.
There’s no one right answer to this, and there are many different strategies you can use. For most practices, using a combination of several different dental marketing methods will yield the best results.
While doing marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be the first consideration. It’s not about how many marketing channels you have, it mostly depends upon what outcomes you are looking to generate from that marketing.
This literally boils down to two things, either you’re looking for new patients or existing patients.
So, if it is new patients, you have got to find out about different ads and work on it. But if your practice has been running for 5 – 7 years you don’t have to spend heaps of money. The idea here is you must go through your database to start with your marketing. SMS, email marketing or even a simple call might be one great way to get started whether that may be for new or existing patients.
Having a clean database is one good advantage, making sure numbers and the email address is right as it helps in offline marketing. The whole idea is creating a bulletproof strategy, & a clear blueprint. Looking at the current situation obviously, we can’t create a whole 12 months action plan but at least creating for next 1- 2 month is a big bonus.
Lastly, remember now is an opportunity to better position your practice more than ever. Take control of what you can today and put yourself on the path to recovery.
That being said, there are some essential digital marketing factors that aren’t leaving anytime soon. You can take your patients and prospects to ascension ladder from low-value service to high-end ones through Dental Marketing Funnel.
To unlock your potential to add $200,000 additional revenue within 12-months, you can get started HERE
Hope this is a value to you.
P.S – Looking for more video tips to manage and grow your practice during these uncertain times? You can access full recording of our previous Live casts HERE.