Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

5 More Characteristics of a Successful Dental Practice

5 More Characteristics of a Successful Dental Practice

So following the 2014 Irish Dental Association's management seminar, I thought I'd summarise some more thoughts from Gary Brown's excellent keynote address on engaging with patients, offering them value and building loyalty.

1. Successful Dental Practices keep a Neat and Tidy Office

“In a world of chaos, most people crave order.” - Michael E. Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited

As well as giving your practice the professional image it deserves, your patients will be grateful for an organised office. A cluttered environment will bring unnecessary stress and tension among both patients and staff. By organising your office, not only do you create a more relaxing environment, you'll also be able to enjoy treating more relaxed patients in the chair.

Swords Orthodontics was specially designed from scratch with demarcated areas for patient lounge, front office, back office, consultation room, clinical treatment area, X-Ray room. By keeping the physical areas specific to the activity that happens there, it helps us keep a tidy and organised operation.

2. Successful Dental Practices Have a Website

In Ireland, it's thought that up to half of all dentists don't have a website, which half does your practice belong to?
 

A website will achieve more for your practice than you might imagine. Studies show that the vast majority of patients like to look online before choosing their dentist. Your website means that you can remain visible to these potential patients. In fact, regardless of where your new patients say they got your name from, they probably went looking online to find out about you before calling for that first appointment. The website is the new shop window, so don't ignore it.

In fact, the website can be a lot cheaper than a shop window - if your practice isn't on a ground floor premises, you may not get the same passing trade and the website can compensate for this to some degree.

To be effective, your website should show the following to your visitors:

  • Your location
  • Your contact details
  • The opening hours of your practice
  • Try to include staff biographies if possible (nervous patients will really appreciate this feature)

Swords Orthodontics has had a website pretty much since we opened in 2003. Its current incarnation is under the care of a company Great Dental Websites that specialises in the area, and it was a finalist in the award for Best Website in the 2014 Irish Dentistry Awards.

3. Successful Dental Practices Communicate Regularly with Patients

Dental check-ups often make their way to the bottom of people's to-do lists. What can be done about this? It's always worth keeping in touch so that you become much harder to forget about. It doesn't just have to be letters or text messages, be creative and take advantage of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Just don't overdo it though, it's best to keep messages two-to-four weeks apart, otherwise you could end up bothering patients instead of reminding them about their dental health.

Swords Orthodontics can be located on social media by clicking the buttons on the side of the page.

4. Successful Dental Practices Have Good Testimonials

They're an instant credibility booster, the power of word-of-mouth testimonials will outdo the best of advertising. It's good to be in the habit of continuously adding more testimonials to your collection. Each testimonial adds more credibility to your brand, so it's definitely worth including these on your website.

Swords Orthodontics places its testimonials on the page marked "AWARDS". One word of caution - the regulatory body for dentistry in your jurisdiction may have specific regulations on use of testimonials, as patients may want to remain anonymous, but this makes verification of the testimonial more difficult.

5. Successful Dental Practices Have Videos that Show Procedures

It's okay to look like a know-it-all in the dental practice. When you play videos of procedures in the waiting room, it shows the practice's confidence in its own abilities –and it’s very reassuring to those nervous patients, and a great way for them to pass the time too. An added bonus is that the television automatically makes your practice appear more modern, which leaves a great first impression.

Swords Orthodontics has a variety of clinical and non-clinical information on digital screens, and this does make the practice look more up to date and reinforces the more tangible items we have - eg models and demonstrations of the different types of treatment available. We also have a YouTube channel with practice videos.

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