How often does your dental practice show patients how much they’re valued? If your practice has not established an approach for appreciating patients, we’ll share insight with you on affordable, yet effective ways to make work to your benefit.
10 Tips for Patient Appreciation
(1). Back to School Events
Children are frightened of the dentist because of the uncertainty that lies ahead. What if you were able to relieve them of anxiety and fear by giving them a positive association with your practice beforehand? It’s 100% doable by setting up a Back to School event that includes activities children love.
Several ideas that would bring children and parents to your practice for a back to school event include:
- Magic Show
- Mad Science event
- Movie day with popcorn
- Painting time with the dentist
- Engaging video games
- Refreshments with party favors
- Kid-themed decor .
Once kids and parents are there, it’s important to include some fun dental-related activities to emphasize the need for dental hygiene and regular in-office cleanings.
(2). Referral System
A commonly used technique that has proven to work wonders for dental offices across the nation, is implementing a reward system for referrals. When a patient is pleased with your services, and they know they’ll receive something of benefit for bringing you more clients, they’ll certainly be up for it.
Rewarding a patient for referring others doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. Something as simple as free teeth whitening or a free electric toothbrush may be enticing enough to motivate patients.
(3). Patient Recognition Event
Coordinating a patient recognition event can be tailored to a professional level by inviting your most loyal patients, along with their family, to enjoy a special day of games, spa treatment, prize giveaways, food, and so much more at your office.
Here are some additional ideas to include in the event:
- Entertainment for kids (eg. clown show)
- Themed decor
- Raffle prize contest
Take plenty of eye-catching photos and videos of patients enjoying the event, and (with their consent) share the images on social media with an incentive for new and current patients on how they can become eligible to attend the next patient recognition event. This creates interest and gives patients positive vibes about your practice going the extra mile to appreciate them.
(4). Acknowledgments & Incentives for Excellent Patients
How do you celebrate patients who have been maintaining excellent dental hygiene and returning for visits as recommended? If they’ve been staying on top of their dental regimen, wouldn’t it make them feel more motivated to continue if they were acknowledged for it via a special incentive?
Here’s an example most dental practices can relate to - if a child has been regularly coming in for cleanings/exams and is cavity-free at each visit, acknowledge them for their accomplishment, and award them for staying cavity-free. This will make them more likely to succeed at continuing healthy dental practices, and they’ll look forward to the next visit.
(5). Holiday Decor and Prizes
Patients love being in the holiday mood - who doesn’t? Decorating your dental office for the holidays, and having holiday-themed refreshments available for patients in the waiting room goes a long way in letting patients know how much you value them.
Marketing special holiday prizes, raffles, and giveaways, are the perfect way to get patients motivated to come in for their overdue exams and cleanings. Marketing can be done via various avenues including social media, SMS messages, email, website posts, voicemail messages, etc.
(6). SMS Birthday/Holiday Wishes
Do you remember how you felt the last time you received a “Happy Birthday” text/email message from someone? Even if it was from a healthcare office, it still made you smile - didn’t it? With the vast majority of Americans on their smartphones throughout the day, and frequently using SMS messaging, it would make perfect sense to use that avenue for sending birthday wishes and holiday greetings to patients.
It's an easy yet effective way to show your caring side to patients. They’ll remember receiving your messages during those special days, and will be more likely to think of you when it comes time to schedule their dental appointment.
(7). Discounts for Self-Pay Clients
In this day and age not everyone has dental insurance, and because of this, many people are forced to skip out on regular cleanings, exams, and treatments. Discounts are a rewarding tool for getting more patients in the chair that truly need the care. It’s also a wonderful way of giving back to the community and helping others with your high quality of dental care.
Advertising your discounted prices can be done via community magazines, coupon inserts, social media, flyers at community events, etc. Once you’ve created a connection with a new patient, and they’ve come to appreciate your services, they’re more likely to become a loyal client.
(8). Connecting via Social Media
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become a popular route that potential patients use for getting a feel of how dental practices fare with patients. Using this valuable platform to market your practice’s strengths and uniqueness will reach far and wide, attracting the attention of countless clients.
Testimonials, videos, before and after images, and services offered, are all great posts to include. Beyond these commonly posted elements, give your audience a feel for your staff’s life outside of the office, including volunteer community work, family life, hobbies, and interesting posts that’ll reel viewers in.
Communicating with your followers via fun trivia questions, occasional raffle giveaways, and amusing information, helps keep them coming back for more, so you don’t lose them.
(9). Alleviate Insurance Pains
Patients dread dealing with insurance, or trying to figure out their eligibility status with your practice. A sure way to alleviate their insurance woes is to pre-verify their insurance eligibility before the visit.
By collecting their `1qsw2 information ahead of time, you’ll be able to spare them the long wait in the office, along with the stress of trying to understand their coverage. Automated insurance verification is a fast and easy way to get eligibility reports within seconds. It drastically reduces waiting room time, and shows patients that you value them.
(10). Offer Convenient Online Payment Options
How often do patients complain about inaccuracies in billing, confusing paper invoices, or thinking that their insurance was going to take care of the bills? A great way to resolve these problems, and simplify billing for patients is to provide them with a text message at checkout that includes a link for fast online payments.
With 85% of customers preferring e-payment options, your patients will feel relieved to know that your practice prioritizes patient convenience.
Patient appreciation is a key element in laying the foundation for success that many dental practices miss. Implementing strategies for effective patient appreciation techniques doesn’t require a hefty budget.
Back to school events, referral programs, incentives, discounts, social media connections, special SMS messages, alleviating insurance woes, and offering convenient online payment options, all serve as great ideas for making patients feel appreciated and valued. Learn how mConsent can help your dental practice prioritize your patients’ experience.