Setting a goal to improve patient retention can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Patient appreciation directly correlates with patient retention, making it an essential piece of your strategy. It also ensures you have a full schedule and a productive team. This also gives you a chance to upsell patients (in a caring, non-pushy way, of course) because most conditions are diagnosed during routine visits.
Customer Service Means Customer Retention
You may have the latest technology and the best experience, but if your patients don’t feel comfortable they may not return. Creating a friendly, welcoming dental practice that’s experienced with comfort-based care will set a great first impression.
When it comes time to set their next appointment, patients will remember your team and how they felt cared for throughout the appointment.
Improve Patient Retention with a Recall System
A patient recall system improves communication between appointments and helps you maintain a steady flow of patients. Because most conditions are diagnosed during these visits, a recall system ensures your patients are at optimal oral health.
Patient management software will help you track patient visits, and can send automated reminders. Another essential piece for patient recalls is the follow-up. Encourage your office manager to set aside time each day or week for a team member to make follow-up calls to patients.
This includes those who recently had a procedure, as well as those who are due for a checkup. The more you minimize the chances a patient will get missed, the more you can improve patient retention.
Establish a Schedule & Pre-Book for All Patients
Are you pre-booking appointments or waiting for patients to call your office? Pre-booking appointments on a set schedule can help improve patient retention for your practice. Many patients who don’t pre-book their appointment are one and done, whereas those who make their next appointment while checking out are much more likely to return.
For post-procedure care, establish a set schedule for follow-up care. Explain the importance of post-procedure care, and encourage patients to book all appointments at once so they can reserve their ideal time slots. This also ensures you have a filled schedule and little wasted time.
A Simple “Thank You” Goes a Long Way
Patients want to feel like they’re appreciated, and that they’re a part of your practice. One of the simplest yet most effective tools is saying “thank you”. Whether they referred a friend or you’re running behind, thanking them is one of the best ways to ensure patient retention.
Remember this during appointments, but consider sending a thank you card for referrals, or hosting patient appreciation days.
Seeking to improve patient retention is quite simple: care for patients well, and they will care for you. Creating a caring customer service model, an established recall system for scheduling and showing appreciation can all help retain patients. Patient retention also creates an environment new patients will appreciate, making this an essential piece of every dental practice.