5 Major Mistakes Dental Offices Make
When you receive your expense breakdown at the end of the month you may see that you’ve spent a large amount on marketing. New patient acquisition is one of the main challenges dentists face whether they are just breaking into their industry, or a seasoned veteran. Here are 5 main mistakes you are probably not aware of that need your immediate attention
1. Paying for AdWords
Chances are, you’re spending thousands per month in order to be seen by potential new patients and putting your lifeline on various keywords. Your digital agency has tested the best keywords that connect you with new patients. The challenge is that the more skilled the agency, the more likely you are to get new people into your office and ready for their appointment. There is a very low chance that the people who have connected with you over an AdWords campaign will actually set an appointment, show up for the appointment, agree with your treatment plan and price quote, and continue to finance their treatment with you. The majority of new patients who will actually get something done with you are those referred to you by your existing clientele.
2. Offering free teeth cleaning
Most dental offices advertise free dental appointments for new patients in order to get leads through the door and on the books. The plan is to convert freebie-seekers to act on a necessary procedure that they have been ignoring for a long time. There are several challenges here; people know why you are offering free teeth clinic and come ready not to be sold, some might think you are not booked with clients, because the aim is really not cleaning here but light cleaning and examining for oral issues and informing about them in hope that they will address bigger problems and come to you for procedures like root canal, aligners, dental implants etc., the quality of cleaning will be bad and can result in a bad Yelp review.
3. Insisting on taking your own x-rays
ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) is a commonly accepted principle in dental radiology and has been embraced by best of dentists across the United States. This means the recommended span of a dental cone beam CT scan or an x-ray should be once every two years. Before offering your own radiology services, your priority should be getting their existing ones or if they have it with another dentist, ask them to get it from them. Excess radiologic exposure is dangerous and that is why it is important to ask them for it. I cannot stress it enough that it is important not to casually take x-rays during consultation or teeth cleaning. Patient safety first!
4. Offering membership plans
Membership plans are just like dental insurance, they don’t work. A recent study one of the plans in a clinic in San Francisco showed some numbers that lead to conclusion that it is nothing but a type of calling for unnecessary commitment and duplicating dental insurance that is worthless anyways. The number of memberships that we analyzed showed that in order to get a porcelain fused to noble metal crown for $1,200 under their “Platinum plan”, you need to commit for two years for $130 a month. There are dozens of top dentists on the Zentist platform that offer these crowns for $1,200 without any membership commitment.
5. Failing to train front desk
Front desk specialists are the gate to your practice. There are very good and top rated dentists in San Francisco who had three star reviews on Yelp, and after analyzing them we figured out that 90% of them were due to their dissatisfaction with the way they were treated over the phone or in the office by a supporting staff member. The office staff can increase your patient satisfaction or drastically decrease it, so you have to invest in their training on how to turn leads into patients.
Watch a great clip about what a trained sales specialist can do over the phone
If you address these 5 common mistakes that dentists make, you will see that your marketing expenses will go down along with the return of sales. This will turn you from a great dentist into superb!
If you want to learn how you can increase your new patient base without spending a dime, read this article about Zentist and how it’s disrupting dentistry.