2021 will not be business as usual—rather, it will be a year of healing and growth. In order to approach pre-pandemic levels of productivity, the goal of your practice should be to see 30% more new patients than in a typical year. Achieving this goal means reaching out to both active and inactive patients while maintaining your efforts to attract new patients. While it will be a challenge to regain some of the past year’s lost profits, there are some key steps you can take to get your practice on the right track.
Organize Your Client Database
The first step to conquering the new year is to get organized. You should compile lists of which patients have scheduled appointments, regular patients who need to be rescheduled, and patients who may be long overdue for a visit. Automating these lists will be essential to staying organized in the future, so be sure to utilize streamlined technology whenever possible.
Many people fail to schedule regular visits for a variety of reasons, even after they have just been in the office. This can leave room for large gaps of time where you may not see a patient who is willing to maintain regular visits but just never got around to it. And for some inactive patients, regular dental visits may simply slip their minds or dental care may not take precedence in their daily life. You can almost guarantee that these inactive patients need dental work done, especially if they haven’t been in for a cleaning in years. By keeping accurate records of who comes in and when you can easily reach out to schedule a timely follow-up appointment.
Simplify Scheduling Appointments
Some patients may be slightly reluctant to get back into dental and medical offices following the pandemic. While it may be difficult to transition back to normal operations, it is not impossible. Building patient confidence in your ability to safely provide exceptional care is essential. One way to build trust is by making the appointment scheduling process as simple as possible. By creating a more accessible way to book an appointment, you are removing a potential barrier that could otherwise keep people out of the dental chair.
It is also important to be transparent with your safety measures and show patients how you are prioritizing their comfort and wellbeing. This simple step can help solidify the trust and confidence your patients have in your business.
Build a Sense of Community and Connection
When calling overdue patients, make sure you are fully informed. Check out why they visited the last time and how long ago that was. Try to personalize each phone call with accurate details so each patient feels a sense of connection, even if they haven’t visited in quite a while. The warmer the message, the more likely they will be to reach back out. You might also want to offer a special promotion, specifically targeted at reactivating patients who may need some encouragement to book an appointment.
After this global event, some people may simply not be ready to enter a dental office. You can easily accommodate these feelings of uncertainty by letting your patients know that you care, and you are there for when they feel ready to schedule an appointment. Keep a log of patients that you have been in contact with and take note of when to reach back out. The next few months will surely be challenging, but with some consistency and determination, you can surpass pre-pandemic profits.