The point of marketing is not driving new patient traffic.
The whole idea is to attract the right patients into the practice.
Here are seven traits of ideal patients, the ones to replicate in droves:
- They keep appointments. The best patients schedule appointments, show up on time and very rarely, if ever, cancel. And they would certainly never cancel last minute unless there was a true emergency.
- They accept treatment. The patients you want more of are those who listen to your diagnosis, understand your treatment plan and follow through with care.
- They pay on time. Only those patients who pay on time are the ones you want more of. This goes for insurance and fee-for-service patients. And they wouldn’t dream of asking for a discount.
- They refer friends and family. You know it’s a great patient when they become brand ambassadors of your practice, singing your praises all over the community with very little prompting or rewarding from you.
- They trust you as a dental expert. They respect the fact that you have countless hours of education and hands-on training in the services you offer. When you suggest a course of action, they listen and allow you to truly guide them.
- They are partners in their oral care. Your ideal patients do their part to take good care of their teeth and mouths, and they are always interested in improving their oral care.
- They are loyal to the practice. Not only do they return for recall appointments year after year, but they also sign on for elective treatments that your practice offers.
Make a list of patients in your practice who have these traits. Survey them to find out what attracted them to the practice, what keeps them loyal, why they refer to you, and what they love most about visiting you.
Ask, too, what types of marketing they pay attention to. Do they read direct mail? Would they search online for a practice like yours? Would they share a referral card?
More than that, train your staff to identify ideal patients and habitually ask them for referrals.
Uncover what glues your best patients to the practice, and replicate those efforts to attract more of the ideal. Now, that’s marketing success!