Communicating with patients can seem overwhelming. There are emails, phone calls, text messages, and not to mention, strict rules about what you can say where. Staying top of mind is essential to patient retention, however, so here are 8 simple ways you can stay on the mind of your dental patients.
Use Text Messages
Research has shown that text reminders are an effective way to improve patient compliance for appointments and other medical outcomes. It’s no surprise, considering over 5 billion people worldwide use a cell phone. Chances are, your patients fit into that group.
Many patients are starting to prefer text messages over other forms of communication, and some patients even take it into consideration when evaluating your practice as a whole. Text message reminders are easy to implement too and require fewer hours to complete compared to other communication methods like email blasts and phone calls.
Personalized text messages are especially effective. Direct, personalized messages are a great technique to encourage patients to book appointments, especially if you allow them to actually make the appointment over text. Auto-generated text messages, on the other hand, are great for communications that require less of a personal touch, like appointment reminders.
For more information on how text message reminders encourage recurring patients in dental practices, you can read our blog post about it here.
Send Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are a consistent communication technique that keeps you top of mind with your patients without seeming overly sales-y. It maintains communication and builds a relationship, meaning your interactions with patients aren’t only when they need to book an exam.
Newsletters are an opportunity to communicate a variety of topics, including new products, services, or team members. They’re also a good way to communicate initiatives like community involvement and charitable work. If you have a blog or want to communicate other dental care tips, a newsletter can be a place to share that information, too.
Blogs are another communication technique that helps create consistent touchpoints with your patients. It’s a way to communicate the messages you find yourself repeating at every appointment or the facts that you wish your patients knew.
Sharing your knowledge demonstrates a commitment to your patients’ (and the community’s) health because even if someone can’t visit you in person, you can still offer high-level dental information. As an added bonus, blogs can help drive traffic and potential patients to your website.
Everyone likes to be recognized on their birthday, including your dental patients. An email or a postcard is an easy way to show that you value your patients. Birthdays create a communication opportunity that isn’t focused around an appointment and ultimately, an exchange of money. Plus, birthdates are information you should already have on file.
Ask for Feedback
Asking for feedback from your patients creates a communication opportunity that might not have existed otherwise. It keeps you on the patient’s mind and demonstrates that you value patient feedback.
You can do this by encouraging patients to write public reviews or by asking patients to complete an internal survey. While good public reviews do have the benefit of creating a reputation, you also open yourself up to potential negative reviews. Whatever method you choose, both are a valuable opportunity to learn what patients like about your practice.
Use Social Media
A patient may be reluctant to open an email or answer a phone call, but they can’t help but see a tweet or Facebook post that shows up in their feed. Seeing you as they’re scrolling social media will help keep your dental practice top of mind.
Customize Your Messaging
Ultimately, every patient is an individual and one communication technique won’t work for every patient. This is especially true if you serve a variety of demographics. What serves a 72-year-old denture patient likely won’t work for a 25-year-old whitening patient.
Everyone has their own communication preferences, which is why you should allow patients to choose their preferred communication method. Whether they prefer text, phone, or email, make a note of it in their file so you’re reaching your patients in the most effective way possible. It’s also a good idea to confirm contact information whenever a patient visits for an appointment.
Implement a Patient Communication Software
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a great way to track patient communication and make sure you’re staying top of mind. Specialized software helps you keep track of when to send messages to patients and how to send those messages.
CRM automates the process, so you can focus on the day-to-day of running your practice. RecallMax offers a variety of features, including:
- Two-way direct text messaging
- Custom recall reminders
- Custom appointment reminders
- Birthday messaging
- Welcome emails
- Patient surveys
These tools help you maintain contact, stay top of mind, and ultimately, create better patient experiences. If you’re interested in what RecallMax can do for your dental practice, book a free, no-obligation trial.