Big Buzz had the pleasure of speaking with Robert Taylor of BuzzyDoc about the evolutionary shift of a patient acting solely as a consumer that is happening in the dental industry, and how practices can create brand loyalty to maximize per patient value.
Presently, there is a macro-shift in patient experience taking place across the entire healthcare industry. With the implementation of ACA, constantly changing and evolving healthcare rules and regulations and a great shift around fee-for-service environments to value-based care, now more than ever, there is an emphasis on taking care of the patient. That said, this allows and maintains the complete control of care to be in the patient’s hands, which may or may not enhance compliance.
Breaking it down a step further, in private practice, the patients are the consumer, the end all be all, and the ultimate decision maker. Because of the ability to infinitely shop around, utilize technology for instant gratification and constantly compare options, it is imperative for private practices to enhance brand loyalty and make patients feel like a VIP to retain and remain successful.
This consumer behavior shift in healthcare has caused a cultural and societal shift, much like that found in a retail setting: special offers, promotions, discounts, etc., that allow for patients to easily and affordably hop around from provider to provider. However, as patients, people would still prefer to stick with a single provider that they trust, someone who knows their medical history and who they have a relationship with.
Additionally, private practices don’t have the infrastructure to generate reward and loyalty programs like the big retail players – Target, Costco, etc.
There is an inordinate amount of time and resources being spent in dental practices to get foot traffic in the door, yet closing the back door, anchoring patients, and treating them like gold often falls by the wayside.
The answer is three-fold: enhance patient loyalty, engagement and compliance. Once you get patients further engaged in the practice and they intrinsically realize the benefits of staying with your practice, it helps them hurdle the budgetary boundaries of accepting treatment and they already trust and know you. This benefits your practice, but even more importantly it benefits the long-term health of the patient.
Robert Taylor grew up understanding the nuances of the dental industry living with his father who ran an orthodontic practice for over 30 years. Robert and his team’s efforts at BuzzyDoc to increase awareness about their platform, which provides the technology infrastructure for dental practices to engineer patient engagement programs, stems from their deep knowledge of the healthcare industry and business acumen necessary to help practices increase their bottom line through alternative marketing and patient retention strategies.