As a dentist, you’re committed to doing everything in your power to improve the health of your patients, while not putting them at risk. But while your patients might have taken this for granted up until now, times have changed. Patients are more aware of potential exposure and health risks than ever before.
This doesn’t mean that they’re unwilling to visit you, though; according to a recent ADA survey , 72% of adults are comfortable visiting the dentist despite COVID-19, and an additional 14% would be willing to go with reassurance from their care provider.
Simply put, if you want patients to visit your practice, the impetus is on you to reach out. Your communications must address patients’ needs, explain your safety protocols, and invite them to schedule. This relies upon knowing how to communicate with patients in this new environment, addressing their concerns, pain points, and interests.
Let’s examine a few patient mindsets that are prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Skeptic: Many people have chosen to minimize their potential exposure during this season. That means no unnecessary shopping trips, social visits, and, yes, medical appointments. To help the Skeptic understand that dental treatment is lower risk than most activities, emphasize your COVID pre-screen form, explain your curbside check-in and streamlined intake procedures, and let them know about your teledentistry options.
Distracted: Between the pandemic and general stress from reading daily news reports, it’s no surprise that there’s an epidemic of tooth grinding . Dental treatment isn’t the first thing on distracted patients’ minds, and it’s hard to blame them. Automated pre- and post-appointment communications are the way to stay top-of-mind while encouraging them to schedule check-ups, treatments, and follow-ups.
PPE-educated: With face masks and shields now a common sight in most public settings, many patients have become PPE-educated, and can be fastidious when it comes to correct and incorrect uses of protective equipment. You’re already an expert, so simply add a page to your website describing the PPE you use and the safety protocols you follow. Include a link to this page in your pre-appointment messaging so concerned patients can get details on how you use protective equipment.
Impatient: Impatient patients who want to use time as efficiently as possible. The Impatient patient wishes to get home quicker and minimize exposure. Time spent on the phone, in your waiting room, or anything else they consider to be a waste will keep them out of your chair for as long as they can put it off. Reach Impatient prospects by offering online booking, enabling them to schedule at their convenience, and pick a time that works best with their busy schedule.
Now that you’ve identified common patient personas in the current dental marketplace, how do you reach them to grow your practice? Download our FREE eBook, How to Infuse “Safety First” Messages Into Your Patient Communications , and learn how to build an effective communication strategy that emphasizes “Safety First!”