Do you feel discouraged by the lack of patient loyalty to your dental practice? It’s heartbreaking as a healthcare professional when patients take their business elsewhere. Investing in acquiring new patients is far more costly than keeping existing ones, which makes it imperative to make customer retention a priority for long-term success.

So, what is patient retention?

The capacity of a practice to convert newcomers into devoted patients is known as patient retention. It’s measured as a percentage, which you can calculate by dividing the number of returning clients by the total number excluding newly added ones.

The higher your retention rate is, the better it is for your practice. That’s because patient retention and practice profitability are linked.

Patient retention should always be a top priority because when you lose patients, your bottom line suffers. Not only will there be fewer chairs and examination rooms in use which translates to fewer earnings, but it can also affect the standing of your practice with today’s consumers who read online reviews before booking an appointment. High patient churn rates can have far-reaching implications that may last for years if not managed properly.

In short, if your patient churn rate is too high, it can have a detrimental effect on not only your profits but also the reputation of your practice. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to acquire new patients.


How to achieve loyalty and profitability through effective patient retention strategies? 


Create a lasting Impression

When it comes to determining the difference between a quality provider and an exceptional one, meticulousness pays off. Your patients’ initial impression of your practice will be made either through phone contact or on your website; regardless, you want them to observe that you are helpful, professional and empathetic. Therefore, attention to detail is essential in order for this first interaction with potential customers to make a lasting impression.

create lasting impression dentists patients sydney mediboostTo ensure optimal patient satisfaction, here are some tips on how to masterfully handle incoming phone calls. Every time a patient calls in for an appointment, they should be met with a warm and welcoming voice – one that radiates friendliness. Additionally, it is important to make sure no call goes unanswered during operating hours, as this may potentially lead to lower customer ratings.

If the amount of calls you are receiving is higher than your team can handle, it may be an opportune time to invest in a live answering service. Not only will this effort boost patient loyalty and retention, which positively affects long-term patient relationships, but having someone answer instead of just relying on voice mailboxes will also create a more personal connection with each caller. Consider investing in an answering service when your practice isn’t open as well for added convenience for both parties involved

When a potential patient contacts you, use the call as an opportunity to introduce yourself or another provider in your practice and promote your brand identity. You may want to keep a one-page reference sheet by phone with information on which insurance the practice accepts and general information about the doctor(s) and services.

The purpose of the call should be to resolve any queries and book the caller in efficiently. If you need to confirm insurance details, it is advised that you schedule the patient first and then contact them separately for verification – alternatively, provide a link allowing them to complete intake paperwork from home.

It’s essential that your website is professional, navigable and visually appealing to any potential patient who visits it. Studies indicate that a person will determine whether or not they’ll call you within 8 seconds of viewing your provider’s website—so make sure yours has a stunning design, useful content and an inspiring CTA! Your online presence can be the deciding factor between success and failure for your business, so don’t leave anything to chance.

Put your best foot forward by training your personnel to provide the ideal customer service when answering phone calls and ensure that your website is professional, visually appealing and contains all of the vital information needed for patients to make an educated decision in choosing you as their healthcare provider.


Improve the patient’s visit to the office

user friendly website booking dental schedule sydney mediboostYour practice must create a memorable, positive experience for your patients with every single encounter. That’s why it is essential that your office staff be friendly and welcoming; you want them to feel like they’re part of the family.

The last thing you need is for them to get an identical service elsewhere – if that happens, there’s a chance they may not return. Having employees who reflect great attitudes will help ensure that your practice stands out from other local practices in the area.

Here are some ways your team can create a warm, inviting atmosphere for each patient who visits:

  • Greet all patients with friendly enthusiasm (including their names if they’re familiar).
  • Make eye contact and smile at them as you pass.
  • Give out refreshing bottles of water to those waiting in the lobby.
  • Inform patients about how long it takes until their appointment starts.
  • Point out where restrooms, magazines or books are located within the office space.

How your patients feel during their time in your office will determine whether they come back to you or not. Despite providing the best treatment and care, if a patient feels unappreciated or dismissed, chances are that they won’t be returning to your practice. Always remember that what counts isn’t how YOU view their experience but rather the patient’s individual perception of it.



Refresh your waiting area and make it inviting

Making sure that patients spend minimal time in your waiting area is essential, but it’s just as important to be certain they have an enjoyable experience while there. Design and decoration should be taken into consideration when deciding which amenities will make their visit more pleasant.

To create a welcoming, inviting atmosphere in your office waiting area, you’ll want to focus on the design choices. Think of comfortable seating and warm lighting that creates an environment where people feel relaxed while they wait. For something extra special (especially for family practice offices), consider adding artwork or photographs of families – it adds warmth and personality! Don’t forget live plants, too; their calming presence will help set a peaceful tone throughout the room.

When selecting colours, opt for hues that are calming and complement your brand identity. Most practices use similar shades in their waiting rooms as they do on the logo and website. To ensure patient comfort while biding time, consider amenities such as magazines, bookshelves with reading material, and comfortable chairs or couches to relax upon – these can be small details that make a big difference in setting up an inviting atmosphere for your customers.

To ensure that your practice is providing a pleasant and entertaining environment for patients, you should include an array of reading materials such as magazines, newspapers, informational material about the practice, and, if applicable – children’s books. For family practices with limited space available, consider setting up a designated play area full of toys and games to help parents keep their kids occupied during wait times. Don’t forget to provide refreshments like water coolers or even coffee/tea stations!

Utilising tablets in your patient portal can make signing up new patients a breeze. If you are feeling extra generous, add in television as well! To prevent any distractions or disruptions, keep it tuned to something neutral and turn on subtitles with no sound – this way, those who wish to watch won’t disturb anyone else.

By creating a comfortable atmosphere, you demonstrate to your patients of all ages that their well-being is important to you. This thoughtful gesture will make them more likely to come back for future medical or dental visits.


Stick to the schedule

When your patients are forced to wait for an excessive period of time, it sends a message of apathy and neglect. To send the correct signal that you value their appointment and their time, ensure appointments run on schedule. This way, you will demonstrate how much they mean to your practice.

retaining existing patients sydney mediboostEnsure that your employees are aware of the importance of scheduling ample time for patient visits based on what procedures need to be completed without overcrowding.

To keep your appointment schedule running smoothly and effectively, be sure to establish a system of automatic reminders that notify patients prior to their appointments. Start by sending out an initial reminder for them to confirm their appointment and then follow up with regular check-ins leading up to the day before it is scheduled. Not only will this help reduce no-shows or cancellations, but it also demonstrates you value your patient’s time as well.

One dental practice examines its weekly schedule daily to review cancellations, walk-ins, and last-minute emergencies. This helps them stay on schedule even if they need to accommodate an unexpected patient visit or emergency.

A consistent review plan will help you bypass any delays. Whenever there’s a gap in your schedule, use it as an opportunity to check up on patients who are already booked or those that might choose additional same-day services. This efficient approach enables your practice to treat more people while keeping the appointments running smoothly and without disruption.


Guide the patient through their visit

From the time they walk into when they leave, it’s crucial for every patient to be welcomed and supported. Greeting them with warmth and a friendly chat while escorting them to their room will guarantee that they have an excellent first experience. Moreover, if another team member joins the exam room later on, then having the initial employee introduce both of you would go a long way towards making sure everyone feels secure and comfortable.

As a provider, it is imperative to provide patients with information about upcoming visits. You can do this by letting them know who they will meet and what steps will be taken during their appointment. For instance, “Anna will come in to take X-rays, then Sarah, our dental hygienist, for your cleaning.” By doing so, you empower them and help reduce feelings of anxiety associated with visiting the dentist’s office.

Often, the apprehension of going to dentists or doctors is rooted in a sense of powerlessness patients feel while in the dentist’s chair or on an examination table. By being attentive and responsive to patient needs – whether large or small – you can demonstrate your willingness to listen and understand their worries.


Develop meaningful connections with your patients and allow them the time to communicate their needs – don’t rush through visits

Quality medical care requires a collective effort, yet many patients deem their interaction with the doctor or dentist as being integral to whether they are pleased with their visit. If you’re meeting a patient for the first time, be sure to introduce yourself and offer them your hand in greeting – it’s an easy way to establish trust and rapport from the get-go.

Show your gratitude for their decision to work with you and your practice, and query if they have been treated well. Doing so conveys that you are devoted to offering the highest standard of care before starting the examination.

patient visit dental office sydney mediboostTake the time to get better acquainted with your new patients by inquiring about their families, profession, or how long they have lived in the area. And if you’ve seen a patient before? Acknowledge them by name and ask them something remembered from their prior visit – it shows that you care.

Strengthen your relationships with patients by having team members jot down personal notes in each patient’s file; use those observations as starting points for future conversations. By developing more intimate connections with your clients, their conviction in you will grow exponentially.

When it comes to the health and well-being of your patients, you want them to see you as a friend. Make sure all their needs and concerns are addressed, utilizing images, videos, etc., to assist with comprehension of treatments. Additionally, be transparent about procedure information, including benefits; number &; length of appointments needed; cost; payment/financing options. By providing such details, you will ensure trust between yourself and the patient is established for optimal care.

Greet patients with warmth and kindness, engaging them in meaningful conversations. Let your patients feel that they are valued by taking the time to talk instead of hurrying off to see another patient afterwards. To strengthen relationships further after each visit, consider writing a blog post regularly–perhaps every two weeks or once a month.

It is vital to take your time during patient checkout – the last exchange in a visit. Doing so will ensure that patients walk away with a good impression of your office, leaving them feeling well taken care of and content.

Make sure to provide a printed copy of the treatment plan and cost breakdown for your patient to review once they head home. Offer them an area that is set aside where you can privately discuss finance options or payment plans, if necessary. Once everything has been settled, be courteous by thanking them for visiting and wishing them well as they start their day.

By following these guidelines, you will not only have pleased but loyal patients who will be eager to return to you.


Are you prepared to keep your dental patients happy?

Get the personal attention you need to promote your dental practice – and keep those patients coming back. Reach out to Mediboost by calling on 1300 163 058 today for a tailored dental marketing plan that will help you understand what it takes to succeed in this industry and increase your patient retention rates. Don’t wait any longer; let us provide you with the professional advice necessary to retain loyal customers.





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