If your dental practice feels like it’s halted in growth, it may be time to look over your practices and procedures. What are your common complaints and what do people compliment you on? Do you see repeat business or is it generally new customers that stop in once? Have you lost business lately? Do you remind your current customers about to schedule their next appointment?
Sometimes it may be the little things that prevent a business from growing and your dental practice needs to take a look in the mirror to see if you may be guilty of any of these growth-prohibiting habits. From neglecting to offer nighttime appointments to forgetting to build your online presence, here is a look at where you may be hindering your own growth.
Not staying on schedule
It may seem great that your dental practice can’t keep up with the amount of appointments needed but that busy lobby making you look like you are prospering is deterring some of your customers. When you are running behind schedule regularly, your clients are going to start noticing that and looking elsewhere.
With limited breaks from their workday to stop in or a household to run, people don’t have time for their appointment to get put behind schedule and their appointment to take longer than it should have. Whether they are missing their next meeting or they are late from picking the kids up from school, people won’t stick around with a dental practice that is always running behind schedule.
Avoid scheduling small procedures in-between several appointments and don’t take on emergencies that will hinder your ability to keep your scheduled appointments on time. Stay on time to make sure your clients know you respect their busy schedules.
Do you only accept one form of payment? Some practices forget to offer payment options or to accept different forms of payment which makes it difficult on clients that need options. When you have customers that need more than one option, they will eventually work with someone more flexible if you don’t find a way to offer numerous payment options.
You’re not online
Every business needs an online presence whether it’s a company website and/or a social media page. When your customers need to look up your address, your contact information, your practice’s “about” section, or reviews, you need an online presence. Social media is a great way to engage with your clients and to answer questions. Use your website to show off your practice and appointment request forms.
Do you offer hours at the typical times during the week, such as Monday through Thursday from 8am-5pm? How do your clients that work across town or work during those exact hours make it in for an appointment? If you can schedule one night per week to offer to those types of clients, you may find people favor you more than anyone else. Add earlier hours and later hours for different clients’ schedules and consider one weekend shift.
What else am I doing wrong?
Along with these common mistakes, many dental practices are forgetting to delegate with their staff and find themselves too swamped to be of quality service to their clients. Some dental practices have suffered from not being HIPAA compliant which has led to almost half of their clients moving on after hearing about a data breach.
Lastly, some dental practices suffer from the simple fact that they are not answering the phone during the lunch hour, which is the only time that some of your patients can call in to schedule an appointment. If your staff is out to lunch all at once, bring in a virtual receptionist that can answer the phone during breaks and busy times of day so that you don’t have to miss any more calls and your customers can continue to schedule appointments during any time of the day.
If you think your dental practice is making any of these mistakes, it’s time to make some simple changes this year. Make this year the greatest ever by putting the patients’ needs first and it will result in a flourishing dental practice.