NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s report, “Top Challenges for Dental and Orthodontic Practices: Results and Observations from the 2015 Practice Readiness Survey”, a survey of nearly 500 dental and orthodontics professionals and their common problems of practice management they anticipate to be most challenging in 2015. Download the full report
Thinking about building loyalty from current patients, which of these common problems do you feel will be most challenging to your practice in 2015?
Here is how survey participants responded along with some additional thoughts on the top three ranked answers:
#1 – Improving results from social media efforts
Quantifying the results of social media efforts is no easy task for any business, and the same challenge holds true for dental and orthodontics practices. A great first step is defining what “success” means. If it’s getting more Facebook likes, Twitter followers and other fans in social media channels, marketing programs can include a greater emphasis on connecting patients to these channels. If “success” is about increased conversions and production, social media posts may gain from increased promotional language about pricing specials and other offers.
#2 – Low response to recall efforts
For many practices, the challenge with recall efforts is lacking the resources to sufficiently communicate with patients about their next visit. In a 2013 TeleVox survey, 39% of practices considered lack of staff time to be the primary reason they are unable to contact patients. Practices who experience this challenge might consider automating communications about recalls with communications that offer immediate opportunities for patients to take scheduling action, such as pressing a phone keypad button or clicking an email link.
#3 – Need more patient-specific marketing between visits
It’s no surprise that consistent between-visit communication is a top-ranking challenge for building patient loyalty.
Unfortunately, the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” has proven to be applicable in the healthcare industry. Practices who are not already doing so stand to gain a lot from planning regular communications to patients through channels such as email newsletters, birthday and holiday calls and more.
Additional challenges listed:
- Keeping patients when their employer changes insurance carrier.
- Maintaining interest in patient rewards programs.
- Exceeding today’s high standard for customer service in a way that truly stands out.