When celebrating my anniversary with my husband this past month, I made a reservation for a nice restaurant in Oklahoma City. It is well known for its food and ambiance. When I called to make a reservation, they asked, “Are you dining with us for a special occasion?” “Why yes, we are! Our anniversary.” What came next during the call and later at the restaurant was telling – nothing. That’s right, nothing. She simply said, “Okay” and that was the end of it. Never again was it mentioned.
That got me to thinking, how many times do dental practices do the same thing? Start to go that extra mile, then just stop? Could you imagine a runner starting a race, then just stopping and walking off the track? Follow-through is half, if not all, the battle to turning a good idea into a GREAT marketing effort!
Here are five ways that you may not be following through and not even realize it:
1. Positive Patient Reviews
Do your patients leave great reviews and say awesome things about you? When was the last time you personally thanked them for the kind words? Automated reviews that are sent to patients oftentimes get forgotten. When a patient goes out of their way to give you positive feedback, an acknowledgement is much appreciated. Imagine the impression Mrs. Jones will have when you write or call her thanking her for the lovely compliment.
2. Negative Patient Reviews
The world is a social place. Patients who are dissatisfied with a service will share with anyone who will listen, hence, one of the many reasons you should be sending a survey to patients to complete. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from the patient firsthand if there was dissatisfaction? And from the patient’s perspective, wouldn’t it be nice if someone actually heard the feedback and cared enough to call? If a patient gives you negative feedback in a survey, then they are giving you a chance to respond! Call them immediately and listen to the concerns. You at least have a shot of turning the patient around, keeping their business and hopefully speaking positively about you in the future.
3. Internal Marketing
Have you ever tried to promote tooth whitening once via email, but not had a response? People need to hear, see, feel and experience your message five to seven times before acting on it. Sending an email one time to a patient will result in very little activity. However, getting that message out multiple times via email, social media, website, internal signage, a handout, a letter or verbally will give you a much more positive response.
4. Social Media
Do you have social media pages, yet very few posts/tweets? Are patients leaving comments to which you haven’t replied? Many practices will develop their social media pages and then forget to go back to them. If this is happening, get a strategy in place. Identify a social media champion who can champion the cause and rally the team for content creation ideas. Make sure you are posting and replying every business day.
5. External Marketing
Do you have an external marketing campaign going on? If so, is it mentioned on your website or social media pages? Do the materials even resemble one another? Be sure to let patients know you are engaging in external marketing. It helps them to refer and can also validate their decision to choose you as a provider. Also, when someone receives your direct mail piece or visits your site, they want to know they are at the right place. If the site looks vastly different from the direct mail piece, they may question whether or not they have the right doctor. Make your marketing more powerful by helping the patients connect the dots.
These are just five ways to follow through with marketing inside the office. Sit down with your team and brainstorm things you may be doing but not following through. There are a variety – customer service, patient comfort, etc. List it out and then find a way to bring it home! Share below in the comment section ways you and your colleagues could follow through better with marketing or patient care.