Push Annual Attrition to Under 10% and Attract More New Patients
By Dr. Greg Grillo
You’re a terrific dentist, but your practice probably loses 10-15% of your patients every year. People move, die, lose their benefits, or choose another office.
Other dental practices in your area share the same issue. So, what’s your strategy to encourage patients to choose you over them? And what is the office down the street doing to bring new people in? You can learn a lot from your competition. It’s not spying; it’s just smart business. Every successful brand tunes into what’s being done by others in their niche.
Here are 7 ways to keep an eye on practices in your area. How many of them are you doing?
1. Take a Look At How Your Competitors Reach New Patients
Review the competitive field in your region and the media other practices use to reach patients. Look at where they’re advertising and what offers they’re making. You may find a way to tweak an existing offer to make it even more appealing to dental consumers.
2. Browse Practice Websites
Spend a little time browsing dental websites of regional practices, evaluating the services they offer and the way they’re presented. Ask a friend to compare your website with that from a competitor’s and give you honest feedback.
3. Compare Your SEO Efforts
Do the same search on Google that prospective patients are likely to use such as “Find a dentist near me.” Does your practice appear on the first page? More importantly, are you showing up ahead of other practices in Google Maps?
65% of searchers
click from within Google Maps in local searches. With the right strategy, you can leap ahead of any practice in your area.
4. Check Out Patient Reviews
Reviews carry more credibility than any marketing tactic you can pay for. A quick search shows you what people are saying about surrounding practices, and how many reviews they’re earning. You may notice common themes that help you make adjustments in your own practice.
5. Use Google Alerts to Your Advantage
Setting up Google Alerts can provide numerous benefits. But consider setting up a Google Alert for specific practices in your area, and for your own practice! Any time they’re mentioned online or a review appears, you’ll be notified and enjoy real-time insights that help you respond and adjust.
6. Follow Other Practices On Social Media
Facebook tends to offer the best platform for dental practices, but Instagram nurtures a robust audience, too. You may find one or both of these to be an underutilized media channel in your area. Even if your competitors boast a significant social media following, don’t be afraid to use some of their strategies to enhance your social media connection with your patients.
7. Learn How They Communicate With Leads and Patients
Practices that learn how to engage patients between visits maintain an advantage. Relationships need nurturing, especially in a noisy online world. Look for clues about how well other practices communicate over time. Do they post regular blog articles? Is their social media constant and interactive? Do they have email contact forms on their website?
Keeping an eye on your competition could inspire new ideas for your practice. And it will help you know what works, or what doesn’t, in your dental community. By identifying weak spots, your practice can add strategies to accommodate needs that aren’t met by other providers.
Stand Out No Matter What
Monitoring your own practice, the competition around you, and dental consumer psychology is a tall order. The effects of COVID-19 demand that practices balance more complexities than ever. I highly recommend setting aside some time to review these 7 items as you plan for 2021. Additionally, you can get a head start by using my
Dental Practice Planning Kit
to make 2021 your most successful year yet!