While the recession may not be as severe as it was a year or two ago, most dentists still hurt. Consumers are less likely to pull money out of their pockets which translates in a slowdown in any practice’s productivity. But while there are no hard and fast rules to beating out the recession, here are some tips which can definitely lighten up the blow:
1. Continue advertising.
While it sounds like an advice that’s very bitter to swallow, but there’s actually wisdom behind advertising during a slowdown. Even if there is diminished demand during these times, you cannot deny that there is still demand. It’s your obligation now to meet that demand. Because of the dismal economy, dentists are doing something intuitive – putting their marketing campaigns into a grinding halt. Because the marketing space isn’t as populated with a lot of competition, you can effectively deliver your message during these times for as long as you advertise.
The plan though is to diversify your marketing campaign so that you’re attracting patients from a number of fronts. Go back to the basics and get a Yellow Pages listing. Invest in a search engine optimized dental website. Start sending direct mail once more. Lastly but definitely not the least ask your existing patients to make referrals.
2. Strike rapport with your patients.
While having a loyalty program is certainly a helpful way to ensure that your patients aren’t being pirated by your rival practice, it’s actually have comfortable they feel with and trust you that really determines whether they’re staying or going. And during these unpredictable times, loyalty is something which you cannot have too much of. Lowering your rates is just a superficial, short-term fix which can actually do more harm than good in some instances.
3. Make it easier for your patients.
Since you’re in the service-industry, it’s your responsibility to basically cater to your patients but you can always go the extra mile. For instance, when you’re explaining treatment options and blurting out dental jargons just because you can, consider if your patient really is getting all that. Try using visual aids so that they can see for themselves exactly what you mean. And because times are rough and people never like bringing up the subject of money, or lack of, open up the subject of treatment financing yourself and always be ready with alternative, cheaper options but make sure that you establish the pros and cons properly though.