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“Technology is not the solution for practice growth; it’s the driver,” says Amol Nirgudkar, CEO of Patient Prism. It drives patients to your practice and helps you engage with them, even when they’re not in your office. But remember that growth is related to the patient’s relationship with you, feelings about you, and trust in you.

You can thank Google for people depending on the Internet to find the services they are looking for and find the information they need to make their buying choices. All dental practices, with rare exception, have a dental website and Google Business Page, but an online presence is just not enough if you want to grow your practice and remain relevant. You need to leverage technology to stay in constant communication with your patients to maintain the relationship and build trust. 

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Use Technology to Constantly Engage with Your Dental Patients

Using digital marketing to attract new dental patients is not sufficient to continue engagement with them. You need to communicate with them effectively by being present, frequent, and trustworthy. This includes the entire patient experience from the initial phone call to everything that happens in your office. It also includes how you stay in contact with your patients and communicate with them between office visits. Growth can be generated through phone calls and in-person experiences, and also leveraging software technology.

  1. First, be present.
    Decades ago, that meant your office plastered on billboards or in newspaper ads. Today, it means being seen on social media, in searches, and via mobile technology.
  2. Second, you must be frequent in your communication.
    You can’t just post something online and think that it’s going to be seen or have lasting impact. You can be continuously in front of your patients via an emailed blog or newsletter that goes straight to them. You can do a targeted digital letter to patients with identified needs or with a specific dental plan to make them a special offer or remind them of the savings your services can provide them. Multiple software platforms are available to help individual dental practices, groups, and DSO’s manage that digital communication efficiently. That constant presence helps fuel a practice’s growth. 
  3. Third, you need to be trustworthy.
    Patients want honesty, empathy, and fairness. When you constantly communicate, you have the potential to build trust over time. Each communication should be designed to convince patients that you have their best interest in mind. Reveal your genuine care for them and expertise so they know you can predictably do the dental work they need. Use technology tactfully to remind them that you are a care provider who wants to help them optimally improve health, achieve complete comfort and function, and have the beautiful, healthy smile they desire. 

 

Balance Technology with Personal Touch

When you create great office experiences for your patients, the memory of this sticks, especially if you surpass other dental practices the patient has experienced in the past. Always give patients your personal best while they are in your presence. Be genuinely present and understanding of their situation. The personal touch of remembering them by name and remembering details about conversations you have had with them in the past will make them feel appreciated and valued. Your genuine smile of greeting has impact.

Because dentists and team members help people look and feel better, patients are frequently thrilled with results. Invite thrilled patients to write an online review about you. 

Compliment thrilled patients by saying:

“Your smile is amazing. I’d be so proud if I were you that I would post a selfie on social media.”

When they are sharing that image on their own Facebook and Instagram pages, it’s being seen by their network of friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. Social media has become the new word of mouth and is the way many people keep in personal touch.

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