Running a dental practice isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Even if you are the best at providing oral care to your patients, it’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks that you overlook the other important element of successful dental practice management: creating an outstanding experience for your clients.
When you take the time to craft a stellar customer experience, it can leave an enduring impression on your patients and also improve your retention rates.
To ensure that your dentist practice management derives patient satisfaction, be organized, display a great work ethic and adhere to the best practices in your industry. Make sure your patients are at the heart of every decision you make and streamline patient communication to help you manage your practice despite an upsurge in production.
And that’s just the start.
Read on for our tips on how to run a dental office.
Dentist Practice Management: How To Run A Successful Dental Practice
Below are five dental office management guidelines for running a successful dental practice:
1. Create A Distinct Work Culture
The office culture is an extension of your branding as a business, as it offers insights into your values and systems. It also determines how your employees treat each other and your clients.
Creating a balance between homeliness and professionalism can help you attract quality office staff, and also grow your client base and boost ratings. Take Smile Brands, Inc., for example. They enjoy a 4.5 rating on GlassDoor and consistently outrank other dental services in the area because of their warm and inviting premises and on-point services.
Since 77% of patients refer to online reviews when searching for a healthcare provider, it is vital to create an unforgettable workspace that people can’t help but praise.
For starters, hold morning meetings with your team members to discuss how you can improve their work environment. Develop and strengthen your day-to-day operations with their needs in mind.
When your employees are working towards a common set of goals in an environment created by (and for) them, they’ll be happier and more compassionate towards your patients.
2. Encourage Regular Dental Visits
Train your dental teams to not only treat the patients but also discuss proper hygiene practices with them. Also, take the time to discuss other elective services and inspire the patients to come in for timely visits to help them ensure their dental health.
If members of your dental team can convince customers of the importance of bi-monthly hygiene visits, you can successfully reinforce the value of regular check-ups.
Such practices aren’t only profitable but also touch base with patients, helping them stay on top of their dental health. You can even leverage the opportunity to schedule the next appointment before the client leaves their office.
By reminding patients of the importance of regular cleanings and dental checks to keep their teeth in top shape, you can easily keep your calendar full on an ongoing basis.
Consequently, follow up is vital to your dental practice management; follow up with customers to see how they’re faring, if they want to opt-in to other services and if they’d be willing to recommend your services to their friends and family.
3. Take A Proactive Approach To Appointment Scheduling
Profitable practices dictate that your appointment scheduling system must be able to do more than allow you to book appointments. It should decrease stress for both staff and patients, and ultimately deliver the patient experience that your clients have come to expect.
A quality appointment confirmation solution can automatically audit your charts to find any patients who may have slipped off your radar and haven’t been upsold your elective and/or hygiene dentistry services.
All you need to do is include them in your next outreach efforts with the right clinical messaging and incentives. Nurture them through phone calls until they’re ready to come back in.
While your staff consistently encourages patients to get reserve time for the next appointment, patients can rearrange schedules – and eventually forget that they ever wanted to visit a dentist. A week can just as easily turn into a month, and before you know it, a year had passed before a patient last came in.
Also, keep track of rescheduled appointments and periodically offer to book a new appointment; use the opportunity to remind patients of why they need regular check-ups.
Nexa Receptionists can schedule appointments directly to your pre-existing calendar application or dental software. Track appointments using our web portal or dedicated mobile app for real-time insight into your business.
4. Foster Long-Lasting Customer Relationships
Technology today has only made it easier for your customers to find a substitute for your services – 70% of consumers say that they have the technological means to find other businesses that are ready to please them.
The trick is to make sure they won’t give up on you – engage with your patients on a more personal level and foster a long-lasting relationship to earn their trust. Reassure your patients that their needs guide the treatment planning, so they trust your expertise.
Ultimately, retaining existing clients is a lot less of a challenge than acquiring new patients. Regular clients who genuinely enjoy your care will recommend your practice to family and friends without you asking!
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask them to recommend you. A trusted recommendation from a family member, colleague, a friend, or even an online review can convince others to choose your dental practice over the competition.
In fact, 92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from family and friends more than company advertising, which further highlights the importance of word of mouth marketing for your dental practice.
Nexa can access patient records if the need be, to help you reach out to current and potential patients and connect with them on an ongoing basis through regular follow up calls. Our receptionists are committed to helping you put your best foot forward and will use a friendly tone to show them that you truly care.
Make word of mouth marketing a core aspect of your dentist practice management – try offering referral bonus services (such as a free hygiene check-up), or provide patients with links to online review sites like Yelp and Reddit and incentivize them to help you grow.
Reassure your patients that their needs guide the treatment planning, so they trust your expertise.
5. Hire A Dental Answering Service For Your Clinic
Most dental professionals believe that scripting client communication can help ensure a top-notch experience as it is a viable method of training dental teams to say the right things.
However, developing these scripts and training in-house staff to use them to talk to your patients can be a long winding process. After all, they are dentists in-training and not exactly orators.
So what you need is some professional help to handle all client calls and communications for you.
Whether it’s creating custom scripts, scheduling appointments, getting basic information or making follow up calls to your patients – Nexa Receptionists can help with it all. We are trained in the dental industry’s best practices and know-how to care for your patients by providing the best possible customer experience.
Our dental answering services are competitively priced and offer great functionality as compared to other dental office management software; we can also help eradicate the stress associated with dealing with your patients daily!
Nexa Medical plans offer follow-ups, tailored scripts, outbound calls, and a desktop portal for you to manage it all, so your dental practice won’t have to worry about the basics. Nexa has your back through it all!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes Nexa’s Answering Service Better Than My Desk Receptionist?
Desk receptionists take their time to learn about your practice, how your scheduling works, and what are your client’s needs and preferences. On the other hand, Nexa’s Virtual Receptionists can learn your business in a matter of hours! Our receptionists already understand your industry best practices and can fine-tune their existing skills to match your brand.
How Will My Patients’ Calls Or Messages Be Relayed To Me?
You can monitor and track your calls, messages, and appointments using our web portal and mobile app. Alternatively, you can also request to have your calls transferred to your office; anything’s possible with Nexa! It only takes a call to let us know if you want to change how we handle your calls on any given day.
What Happens To The Calls I Receive Outside Business Hours?
We know that dental practices often have fixed hours. Still, if you want to be available to patients after hours, our virtual receptionists are available to your clients 24/7/365. Any calls received and appointments scheduled outside your business hours will be available to you on our web portal and mobile app.