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9 Tips For Improving The Dental Patient Journey

By Planet DDS
April 27, 2022

By Dr. Greg Grillo

People interact with thousands of brands as they move across the digital and physical landscapes. They buy products, purchase subscriptions, and follow YouTube channels. Furthermore, they visit their physicians and search for answers to health concerns on Google; there are about 70,000 healthcare-related searches daily.  But there’s something unique about dentistry. We are not a product or subscription service, and most of us do not deal with single transaction visits. We value relationships and understand that dentists are even unique in healthcare. Our regular patients visit us every six months, allow us to work in their mouths while they are awake, and struggle to assess our clinical skills properly. These factors require an exceptional level of trust we cannot take for granted. The dental patient journey involves multiple touchpoints that extend far beyond the operatory. These mile markers allow us to deepen trust, but missteps can also undermine it. Consider these nine tips for improving the dental patient journey:

1. Develop A Consistent Brand

Patients see our brand across many different platforms, and it may take up to seven impressions for them to remember our brand. However, a consistent brand can increase income by 23% and develop more loyal customers. More importantly, it helps people subconsciously trust us for their dental care. A talented design team can help solidify our connection with patients.

2. Let Your Website Connect

Every patient ends up on our website sooner than later, and it usually marks the first stop after clicking on an ad, search result, or social post. Nearly 40% of people stop engaging with a website if they find it poorly designed or unattractive. Legwork Websites include design concepts and tools proven to engage site visitors, like video and assessments.

3. Train Your Team For Conversions

The patient journey includes interaction between human and online interactions. Even if patients use a tool like Legwork Two-Way Texting , our team still needs to respond with helpful answers. Creating a script helps staff develop consistent messaging and conversion phone skills, but they can also use the same techniques via text or email.

4. Use Online Tools To Support The Patient Journey

It’s not a secret that consumers value convenience more than ever, and 51% of consumers report convenience as the top factor when they choose a provider. Physical convenience is part of the equation, but so are online services. Legwork Online Booking is one of the first access points that streamlines the patient journey, and it can bring patients back to our websites repeatedly.

5. Provide Comfort Early On

Up to 80% of people report dental anxiety ranging from mild to severe. In other words, everyone could use a little stress reduction when they come to us. We love spending time as a team discussing ways to “wow” our patients, including hot towels, Netflix, and surprise handwritten notes. Yet, Legwork Comfort adds another element by surveying patients on their desired amenities, anxiety, and goals before their appointments. We have personalized insight as soon as patients arrive, and they’re impressed.

6. Keep In Touch Between Visits

If we can keep our recare rates at 80%, we see most of our patients every six months. That’s more consistent than our physician counterparts see patients, but it’s still a span. It’s not uncommon for patients to slip past due on their recare visits. Legwork Campaigns helps us stay connected with any patient in our database by sending email workflows, scheduling social media posts, and putting up blogs regularly. There are many ways to support their journey between visits.

7. Personalize Everything

Nobody wants to feel like just another chart number by receiving generic communications. Consider how a fundamental tool like Legwork Appointment Reminders underscores personalization. Patients can choose how they receive reminders, including multiple formats. If a patient wants a landline call, text message, email, and postcard, we can provide all four!

8. Open More (Virtual) Doors

Many people started attending virtual medical visits during the pandemic, but you may be surprised to learn those expectations extend to dentistry. Legwork Teledental provides a secure platform we can use to engage with patients for post-op visits, treatment plan reviews, implant consults, and more. We can’t place a Class II composite in our virtual operatory, but we can nurture the human connection.

9. Never Stop Refining

Moving from good to great requires incremental improvements in every area of our practices. Consumer expectations continue to intensify, and competition for new patients is growing in many markets. Legwork Net Promoter Score (NPS) puts the pulse of the practice at our fingertips with the same tools large corporations use. Simple surveys help us analyze patient satisfaction and monitor reviews to refine the patient experience.

Improving The Patient Journey One Step At A Time

We serve our patients best when we provide comprehensive care that supports their overall health. The patient journey works the same way; a panoramic view helps us connect the dots from one part of their experience to the next. Legwork offers a single-platform roadmap to keep us traveling forward together. Reach out to learn more about how these tools can help your practice prosper in 2022!