Top 5 Reasons Patients Choose Their Dentists
Dental patients are typically advised to have a dental exam once every six months. Each appointment is an opportunity for the patient to reevaluate their choice of dentists. And over time, patients may make the decision to find a new dentist.
Choosing a dentist isn’t easy and it could be down to several factors. From relocation to insurance coverages, patients can decide to stop booking appointments with a dentist for many reasons. But it’s important to know why and how they choose to work with certain dentists more than others.
In this article, we will take a look at the top 5 reasons patients consider when choosing a new dentist. We’ll also suggest tips to help position yourself and your dental practice as an attractive option for patients looking for new dentists.
5 Reasons Patients Consider When Choosing New Dentists
- Recommendations from Friends and Family
This reason is all too familiar and frankly understandable. We all do it; we’ve used certain services simply because a friend or family member made a recommendation. The same goes for dental patients. When they are considering a new dentist, they seek the opinion of people they know who have used that dentist’s services.
Since you know that patients value the recommendations of friends and family, you can’t afford to ignore word-of-mouth marketing as a viable growth strategy for your dental practice. People talk so give them a reason to say nice things. This starts with treating each patient who walks through your doors the right way and goes all the way to ensuring your practice interacts positively with patients online.
Make sure your team is aligned and aware of the key steps to take when engaging with prospective and active patients. Take time to reevaluate your existing dental practice policies: How inclusive are your policies? Are your policies considerate of patients’ current needs? Are your policies simply outdated? How easy is it for patients to get through to you or your practice?
Be sure that your practice policies are patient-centric. This also means connecting with patients where they are. If your patients spend more time online, and they likely do, you should make sure they can connect with you there. Get a dental website if you don’t have one and use Connect the Doc’s Live Chat to address patients’ live queries automatically from your web pages.
- Patient Reviews
Since more patients are online, they are spending more time reading other people’s online reviews about dentists. These patient reviews, which can be found on dental review sites and your practice’s Google My Business profile, are an indication of how well your active patients regard you, your practice, and your services. It can be the final push that prospective patients need when they consider booking an appointment with you.
Patient reviews can also help prospective patients understand how you engage with patients. They pay close attention to how you respond to both positive and negative reviews online as this can give them hints about your approach to patients’ needs and demands. So, be sure to take a look at your practice’s profile on dental review sites and respond to your reviews. If you don’t know how to go about responding, you can read our recent article on responding to online patient reviews.
Convenience is the name of the game. In today’s society, no one wants to take too many steps or travel outside of their community (or their house) to use certain services. And as technology continues to improve the way services are delivered, more patients are prioritizing proximity when choosing dentists.
For dental patients, proximity refers to nearness in time and distance to find or visit your dental practice. Patients are more likely to book appointments with dental practices that they can easily find online (i.e. closer to the top rankings on Google’s SERPs) and within their local community.
With this in mind, you can finetune your dental marketing strategy by targeting patients online and in your local area. Marketing efforts like implementing Local SEO strategies, running paid ads, and partnering with local businesses can help you stand out from the competition and improve your patient acquisition.
- Dentist’s Experience and Education
The dental industry is filled with dentists of all kinds and specialties. Competition is at an all-time high and it can be challenging to stand out from your peers. But one way to set yourself apart and by spending time in continuing education and gaining new skills in different aspects of dentistry.
Patients value competence. The more knowledgeable you are about modern techniques, technologies, and strategies for treating and attending to patients’ needs, the more attractive your practice becomes to patients. So, take time to learn new skills and showcase your experience and knowledge publicly on your dental website.
We talked about proximity earlier and while that’s a major consideration for patients searching for new dentists, it leads to another equally important bone of contention: accessibility.
Accessibility refers to how easy it is for dental patients to navigate your website. You can take steps to ensure your dental website is usable by as many patients as possible, and you can learn them here. Prioritizing accessibility is vital to improving your overall patient experience and winning over prospective patients.
Keeping these five reasons in mind, you will realize that the most important thing you can do to attract new patients is to be patient-centric. When developing and implementing strategies in your dental practice, you should always think about what works for your patients. This simple approach can have a significant impact on your patient acquisition and retention.
For more tips on patient acquisition and retention, read more articles by Connect the Doc.