In Dental Marketing, patient instruction is no longer limited to the four walls of the dental practice. The old dental health posters and leaflets commonly found throughout every waiting room, while not in danger of becoming extinct, are certainly no longer the only educational materials being offered to dental clients.
Since government-funded campaigns for dental education do not exist, other methods are necessary to coax patients to pay a visit to the local dental practice. It is now very much the responsibility of dental teams to educate the public on the ins and outs of dental health, as well as modern accomplishments in cosmetic dentistry and the various options now available to them.
To increase success, the education of patients should be a key directive of marketing plans for every dental practice. Customers will undoubtedly seek this information on the internet. Patient expectations have changed, often inspired by the various online media sources that promote the latest procedures and techniques. With the focus now being driven by the customer, it’s important needs are met. Customers are seeking informed guidance and clinical information that’s both inspiring and easy to understand.
The proper management of patients, therefore, lies in the patient’s initial impression of you. Often, this introduction will occur via your practice’s website. With so much at stake, every effort should be made to ensure there aren’t any misunderstandings or surprises regarding patient expectations and offered treatments. Along with tips and advice, all the descriptions of your various treatments need to be open and honest. You must make sure you’re also very clear about stating both the risks and the benefits of a given procedure.
Internet communication can be supplemented with visual prompts, including “before and after” images, digital clinical photos, and stories of satisfied clients that will assist new patients in understanding all risks, benefits, and possible outcomes.
Advances in technology regarding treatment planning, diagnostics, and updated techniques, materials, and equipment increase the range of treatments now available to patients. Dentists who embrace these advances but fail to inform their patients about new options not only do a disservice to their patients but risk losing them to seeking treatment from other dentists who have proactively provided this information to their customers.
In fact, patients would likely want to see this information prior to their first visit at your practice.
Throughout a dental web design, all wording and images should be clear and supported by information regarding where patients can access additional information or get in touch with the treatment coordinator. It’s important any calls to action are straightforward, so ensure phone numbers for the practice have clickable links that open to a dial option for mobile devices. Similarly, mobile browsers should have the appropriate email address filled in automatically.
While a relatively new dentistry phenomenon, web marketing in the world of dentistry can be a great marketing tool for your practice if done well. Follow the rules regarding dental websites, especially those that pertain to the honesty and ethics that are expected of the dental profession.
Pay careful attention to meeting the high expectations of customers (and potential customers) who may be seeking dental services online. It’s both unethical and unwise to overpromise or make overblown statements regarding smile makeovers, for instance. GDC guidelines provide clarity to this position, although standards had previously been put in place by the Office of Fair Trading and the Advertising Standards Authority for dental professionals, including regulations as to what may or may not appear on a dental practice website.
It’s important to mention that by managing social media well, practices can essentially amplify their content. Patients, current and new, are often drawn in from posts on social media that promote proper oral healthcare, teeth whitening that’s both safe and legal, and essential information regarding dental implants, orthodontics, and other cosmetic dentistry or emergency services. It’s not necessary for the information you present to even contain a sales component.
Giving away information for free won’t have a negative effect on your profit margin, and it can aid potential (and existing) patients in making the correct decisions for their individual situations. Ultimately, it will enhance their experience.
If you wish to market yourself as having a passion for dental education as well as being an ethical professional, demonstrate this by placing a priority on everyone’s health interests and make that the foundation of your business.