Technology has really changed the rules of the game in the way patients find dentists, choose them, and return to the office again and again.
You can thank Google for that. But a static online presence is just not enough if you want to grow your practice and remain relevant.
“Technology is not the solution, it’s the driver,” said Amol Nirgudkar, CEO of Patient Prism. “It drives patients to your practice. Also, it’s helping you communicate with your patients, even when they’re not in your office.”
Leveraging Technology to Attract Patients
So how do you use technology to continually be in front of prospective and current patients?
Be present, be frequent and be trustworthy.
That includes the whole patient experience, from online to in-office.
First, be present.
Decades ago, that meant your office plastered on billboards or in newspaper ads. Today, it means being seen on social media, in searches, and via mobile technology.
“The more present you are online, the more available you are to your patients and your patients know how to seek you out and find you,” Nirgudkar said.
Second, you have to be frequent.
That is, you need to be frequent in your communication, said Nikki Rasmussen, former Vice President of Business Development of Banyan, a technology company that helps practices manage digital communication.
“You can’t post something online and then think that it’s going to last forever. You have to be consistently in front of them or else you kind of fall by the wayside,” she said
That constant presence helps fuel a practice’s growth, but growth can happen from phone calls and in-person experiences too.
That’s the third tip. Create great office experiences so you can remind patients about it on Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere.
“You’ve done all this work on the online presence, you have great phone call experience, you get them in, and what are your patients judging you on?” asked Paul Jones, VP of Client Services at Banyan.
“They’re judging you off of their experience. Anything you can do to enhance the experience they have when they come into your office increases case acceptance.”
Plus, dentists and team members are typically helping people look and feel better. Ask your patients who are thrilled with their smile to take a moment to post a selfie mentioning your team. When they’re sharing that image on their own Facebook and Instragram pages, then it’s being seen by their network of friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. Social media has become the new word of mouth. It’s just one way online technology is helping dental practices reach more people who could benefit from their services.