8 Best Dental Practice Management Tips to Elevate Your Practice in 2019Work Smarter and Earn More
In a world where dental offices are a dime a dozen, positioning your practice for success is critical. It all starts with smart dental practice management techniques.
In today’s competitive dental market, being a skilled and experienced clinician isn’t enough. You need to spend as much time working on the business side of your practice as you do on your patients.
We partner with top dentists around the country and know the truth: a strategic and carefully executed dental practice management strategy will not only help your day-to-day operations run more efficiently, but also attract new patients and grow your business, too.
1. Get to know your unique selling proposition (USP)
Before you can improve your dental office management strategy, you need to know what differentiates your practice from competitors. Here at Delmain, we ask every dentist the following questions during onboarding:
- What makes your practice unique?
- Why should a patient choose you as their dentist over others?
- What do you offer that other practices do not?
- How do your experiences and services benefit your patients better than anyone else?
- What pain points does your practice solve?
This concept of identifying what makes you different is known as a unique selling proposition (USP). Not only will it help determine how you can compete and win in a crowded market, but will be a guiding force as you develop a winning management strategy.
Refer back to your unique value proposition for every business decision you make. You’ll attract new patients and grow your practice.
Drilling down and developing your USP takes time and careful research. There are many resources available to help you work through this process. Here are a few to get you started:
2. Develop a strong practice culture
Office culture isn’t something reserved for traditional office settings — it’s important for dental practices, too.
What does office culture mean for dentists?
Your office culture is the way you run your practice, how your team works together, and the experience you provide to patients. A positive dental office culture has the power to boost productivity, retain high-quality employees, and keep patients coming back.
Your practice will develop an office culture regardless of whether or not you plan it. Make sure you’re in control of molding your culture to fit your USP and overall practice goals. Do this by outlining your practice’s…
- Personality and character
- Leadership style
- Values and beliefs
- Communication style
- Physical environment and atmosphere
Every part of your practice — including your staff — needs to be focused on providing a true-to-culture patient experience and environment. The result will be an office fine-tuned for success.
3. Upgrade your scheduling software
Modern dental practice management is all about efficiency. Software integrations like online appointment bookings are built just for that.
There are countless dental scheduling programs to choose from, but all are focused on providing both flexibility and efficiency to your business through…
- Better patient flow
- Maximized productivity
- Decreased stress (for both patients and your staff)
- A superior patient experience
This last point is really important. You could actually be missing out on business by not having an online scheduling software. One study reports that 31% of patients would seriously consider switching dentists if the other provider offered online appointment booking.
Conversely, we have one dentist who invested in an online appointment booking solution and saw her appointments increased by nearly 400%.
Competing dentists are already picking up on this trend and integrating online scheduling into their practice management approach. Don’t let an outdated or non-existent online scheduling system drive patients to your competitors.
4. Use a dental reputation management service
Good reviews (and lots of them) give your practice a major competitive advantage. Driving a steady flow of positive reviews and managing how your practice is viewed online is critical for your success.
Thankfully, the entire online review process can and should be automated through a dental reputation management software.
An online reputation management software monitors popular review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Healthgrades, and Zocdoc, and helps your practice:
- Solicit reviews from patients and distribute them to these review sites
- Monitor what people say about you online
- Control conversation surrounding your brand
- Resolve conflicts, addressing patient problems, and changing how patient thinks of your practice
Like scheduling programs, this is another dental practice management software you don’t want to skimp on.
Here’s the proof
Find out how one California dentist more than doubled her reviews in 18 months with dental reputation management software.
5. Simplify financing options
Money is one of the top concerns for patients when considering a dentist.
Expensive treatments and worries about paying for a service can drive away patients. With this in mind, offering complete transparency and modern financial options is a smart step toward practice success.
There are a few financial options to consider implementing:
- Automated billing
- Online payment portal
- Payment plans
- Cash discounts
- In-house savings plan
- Financing plan, like CareCredit
We recommend sitting with your accountant or financial advisor to discuss which options are best for your practice. However, let your goal be to keep things simple and transparent for your patients (and yourself).
The more simple payment options a patient has, the more likely they’ll be to accept your treatment recommendations and return again for additional care.
6. Make communication easy with texting options
Communication today is all about convenience. People want short and simple messaging to keep up with their fast-paced lives. Stop relying on appointment reminder phone calls or mailers. In 2019, you need to integrate text messaging into your patient communication strategy.
Some of the most effective ways dentists incorporate text messaging into their practice management include:
- Appointment reminders
- Text message rescheduling
- Post-op care check-in
- Text billing
- Simple two-way messaging
Text messaging allows for better, faster communication, which in turn leads to increased patient satisfaction. By communicating with patients the same way they communicate with their friends and family, you’ll see a huge improvement in practice-patient relationships.
7. Work with an online dental marketing company
Speaking of communicating with patients, are your website and online marketing efforts helping or hurting your practice? People today are used to navigating the web in a certain way. If your website is difficult to find, doesn’t meet expectations, or fails to communicate your USP, you’re missing out on business.
Working closely with an expert team to develop modern online dental marketing efforts is a key part of an effective practice management strategy.
An online dental marketing company will help your practice rank higher in Google searches, help new patients discover your practice, and drive more profitable patients. These efforts might include:
- New website design
- Onsite optimization and ongoing website maintenance
- SEO content to clearly communicate your voice and values and help your practice stand out from the competition
- Local search and Google Maps optimizations
- Strategically targeted paid advertising campaigns
Other dentists in your city have figured it out already — a patient-friendly website, clear online communication, and high search rankings and visibility on Google leads to more patients.
Don’t get left behind.
8. Never stop learning
Our final dental practice management tip is never sit stagnant with the same strategy. Part of running a successful dental practice is staying up-to-date on the latest dental industry news, treatments and equipment, patient experience needs, and dental marketing strategies.
You’re not alone in this — you have plenty of resources at your disposal. Use them!
- Seek out tips from other dentists
- Listen to dental podcasts
- Go to popular dental conferences
- Read the latest dental practice management blogs and books
- Talk to your dental SEO company regularly
Ready to grow your business? We can help
Online marketing is just one aspect of a successful dental practice management strategy, but we’re here to help in any way we can.
Our deep roots in the dental industry and experience working with dentists around the nation help make us a great dental practice management consultant. And of course, we hope to be the first place you call when you’re ready to plan your online dental marketing strategy.
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