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Be a Resource, Not a Salesperson: Marketing Wisdom for the Dental Practice, From One of the Industry’s Behind-the-Scenes Experts

May 10, 2021
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS


When it comes to innovation in dental marketing, I’ve watched Beth Gaddis work behind the scenes to take every organization she works with to a new level. Now, as Director of Content Marketing & Social Media at Simplifeye, she’s using her years of experience to enhance the way Simplifeye engages the dental community and provide a model for how dentists might engage their own patients.

Lou Shuman: One of the reasons why I was fortunate to have a strong conversion rate as an orthodontist is because I didn’t sell – I educated my patients. What helped you to see Simplifeye as a company that could embrace this educational marketing model?

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Beth Gaddis: Simplifeye has so much knowledge based on our founder being an orthodontist and my own background as Marketing Director for two DSOs. We can meet people where they are and help them, even if they don’t use our service. That’s where we came up with this idea of creating the Resource Center, which we launched in late January on Simplifeye.com.

It’s about creating resources that are free to the dental community. We want to help them grow their company, regardless of whether or not they are a Simplifeye customer. We’re offering e-books with subjects like “KPIs Every Dentist Needs to Know” and “7 Effective Ways to Increase Case Acceptance.” When you read through them, you find this has very little to do with live chat or payments or our other products. It’s more about our philosophy of how dental teams can elevate customer service, patient care and patient satisfaction.

LS: I think many dental professionals do realize that education is more effective than a pure sales strategy. What do you say to a doctor who would love to create a resource center on their website, but doesn’t have a full-time marketing person to help make that happen? How can a small practice be creative in its implementation?

BG: On Simplifeye.com, we have ideas for dental blogs, patient education materials, and marketing strategies. There’s a lot dentists can do in their practices, too, to create a relationship instead of a transaction. Just using a patient’s first name and remembering their hobbies can make them feel more comfortable with accepting treatment.

LS: I think what you’re connecting here is how every small thing – from body language to fields in a questionnaire to using first names – can actually change how people perceive clinical care. Obviously, a lot of this has to do with interpersonal dynamics. When it comes to technology that helps support this work, are there tools or platforms that you think dentists should look into?

BG: There are new tools and processes that you can put into place that are very different from what was available even two or three years ago. For example, one dentist started using Simplifeye during the pandemic because, with his front office shut down, he needed a way for people to reach the office in case of emergency. That’s when he implemented Live Chat. Then, he started utilizing the telehealth function for virtual visits, because he needed a way to quickly determine whether or not it was an emergency. What he found over time was that, even after the office reopened, he continued to use video visits. People want to limit the number of office visits they’re making and this is a way he can see them. With the goggles, PPE, double-layered masks, and gloves, it can be hard to make a human connection; video visits put people at ease, reduce no-shows, and increase case acceptance. Pandemic or not, that’s now a best practice.

Another innovation I think will stick around is chairside payment. With Simplifeye, we have Payments, a wireless transaction processor that allows patients to pay without having to get up. They can agree to treatment notes, swipe the card right there, and it eliminates friction. For COVID protocols, it prevents a line of people waiting at the front, but more importantly, it makes a critical process easier for the patient.


About the Author

Lou Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the Oral Healthadvisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.


RELATED ARTICLE: Logged On For Online Learning: COVID-19 Supercharged Industry Adoption of Digital Education, But is the Trend Here to Stay?


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