Let’s not beat around the bush: patients can and will leave your practice because of you. Dissatisfaction with a dentist or their team is the number one reason for patients finding a new practice.
However, it’s crucial to note: patients want to be loyal and stay. You already know that chairside manner is the most important factor in successful patient engagement; that’s how patients get to know and trust you, and ultimately choose to stay. Over 1/3 of patients have been with their current dentist for over 10 years, and it’s usually because of the dentist. Every patient, every dentist and every relationship are different, but the common fact is that you are an important factor in the happiness of your patients and the overall success of your practice.
It’s ridiculous to think you are the only reason a patient would leave. Nearly the same number of patients who would leave because of the dentist, would leave a practice because of fees. Of course, we’re not suggesting you drop your fees to keep patients, but it is a good time to consider your competition. Nearly 15% of dentist don’t know what their competition is charging, but your patients do. A key factor in running any successful business, and that includes a dental practice, is not to change with every shift of the wind but to be aware of the industry you’re in. Understanding, following and reacting to trends within dentistry is how you can come out on top of your competition with loyal patients, hard-working staff and a successful practice.
RELATED VIDEO: Steps to Providing a Positive Patient Experience
A trend to consider: how are new and prospective patients finding out about you? We’ve discussed this before, but word-of-mouth still rules when it comes to patient acquisition. Patients hear about you from a family member or friend and are looking you up online the next day. An important thing to note is the next step after being referred is finding you online. This is a natural progression in an age of online reviews, dynamic websites and learning about you before ever stepping foot in your practice. You can confidently continue to rely on word-of-mouth to spread the positive word about your practice, but you must also make yourself searchable online.
As mentioned, patients want to be loyal. You, your practice’s location, and appointment flexibility and scheduling, all rank most important when patients are deciding if they’ll stay at a practice. So it’s time to look ahead – how can you attract patients who left other dentists? These insights of why patients leave are your key marketing points for bringing in new business. Think ahead, strategically work to find new patients, and most importantly stay true to the brand of your practice and who you are as a successful dentist and business owner.
*Between February and March 2018, RKI, a third party independent research house, conducted a 10-minute online survey of active, practicing non-hospital affiliated dentists and dental specialists on behalf of Oral Health. Using Oral Health’s subscription list, a total of 398 dentists participated in the study (with 219 completing the survey to the end). Assuming a total of 20,000 dentists in Canada (and 398 total completes) the margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.86, 95% CI.