We gathered data from our most successful customers to see what distinguishes these rapidly growing clinics from others. The clinics that grew 10% in a year1 all had the following factors in common:
- All services under one roof
- Progressive treatment protocols
- Direct-to-patient communication*
- Proactive risk management
These factors may not be possible for all dental practices, but there are steps clinicians can take to help boost their practice.
Goal setting: define what you want to achieve
The first step is to screen your marketing approach and identify key focus areas, such as the environment and competition. Getting to know where the demand for your treatment comes from is equally essential and begins with the understanding of the patient population in your region. From here you can move on to defining your strengths, weaknesses and objectives. When defining your position, the six P’s can be used as a guide:
Your positioning is the sum of these six factors and it is important not to forget the final stage – tracking your performance and proactively managing risks. In order to do this, consider the following:
- Predictable costs: combine short- and long-term cost control, minimize hidden costs and lower staff turnover.
- Predictable revenue: diversify your patient/referral base, and provide fixed prices per treatment type.
- Use only surgical and restorative components designed and developed together as a system.
- Ensure that the warranty for the components is valid.
Word of mouth: create strong patient advocates
The most powerful source of new patients is existing patients. Referrals and word of mouth will always offer great opportunities for enhancing your business – 10-30% of patients recommend their clinician to a future patient.1 Increasing your patients’ knowledge about implant treatment options can also lead to higher treatment acceptance and help bring more patients to your practice. 50% of patients who have their first implant placed return for a second implant placement within five years.1 Proactively and professionally reaching out to potential patients through various channels can help your practice grow more rapidly. These could include social media, emails, patient seminars and patient education advertorials. *
Key factors to consider for case acceptance:
- Offer set prices and no surprises
- Help patients visualize the treatment
- Demonstrate care and confidence, highlight your experience
- Provide 24/7 access
- Align your staff
- Introduce the patient to all treatment partners
Advanced treatments: meet patient expectations
Patients increasingly expect to leave the dental practice with (provisional) teeth on the day of surgery. Being able to offer and market advanced treatment protocols and shorter time-to-teeth can be a key differentiating factor for rapidly growing practices. By utilizing digital diagnostic tools, you can execute progressive implant treatments such as immediate placement and graftless solutions.
Equally, patients prefer one team offering them one treatment solution. Unless the indication is acute (for example, tooth fracture or significant pain), patients prefer to remain with a practice that they have confidence in. This increases the predictability for you and your treatment partners, and gives the patient a fully transparent understanding of what the treatment involves.
Social media resource to get started
Why not deep dive into social media for dental practices by downloading our free e-book on how to use social channels to promote your practice. It includes:
- 8 advantages of social media over other marketing activities.
- Which platforms you should allocate your resources to in order to drive results.
- Why you shouldn't confuse social media with a website.
With so many different aspects to consider, it can be daunting to get started on a marketing strategy. This is why it’s helpful to choose to partner with a company that can help guide you in the right direction.
At Nobel Biocare we provide customer programs for clinicians. The practice resource center can help you to increase patient awareness, boost patient flow, improve treatment acceptance and stimulate patient advocacy.
More to explore
* Direct to patient communication or clinician advertisement may be strictly prohibited in some markets. Please ensure appropriate legal review before initiating any activity. It is the clinician’s obligation to inform themselves about any potential legal restrictions and to adhere to the laws and regulations in their jurisdiction.
1 Data on file: comparing annual increase in customer net sales (2014-2015) for those customers that did practice development activities versus those that did not.