Do you really need new patients to grow? Yes and no. Even the best practices in the country lose about 10% of their patients a year and need new patients to at least replace the attrition. At the same time, there are some other, very intriguing (and less costly) ways to grow your dental practice.
At TNT, we are quite fortunate to work with some of the finest dental business owners in the world, and we learn a lot from them. Recently, we gathered input from them on the biggest challenges they face – along with the lowest hanging fruit for dental practice growth.
The 3 Big Opportunities
There was almost universal agreement regarding the lowest hanging fruit. It centered on doing more to engage current patients.
Specifically, 3 areas of opportunity were identified:
- Generate more referrals from current patients (as they are your best, new patients)
- Increase patient retention by closing the back door; and
- Get more patients to start and to complete existing treatment plans
At the same time, these top dentists also reminded us of the many software platforms designed specifically to capture these opportunities. That got us to thinking. . . if there are so many great solutions out there, why is there still so much low hanging fruit?
The 3 Biggest Challenges
As with anything in life, a good idea is only worth so much. Implementation is often the missing ingredient. Even a bad idea can work if it is implemented flawlessly. What our discussions surfaced is the “execution challenge” might be bigger than ever before. These are unique times for dental practices, and we believe we have identified why even great software leaves your practice unable to capture these significant opportunities for growth.
- Staff shortages and turnover make it very challenging to get your own team to handle proactive marketing efforts. Quite simply, they have sliding priorities and something always moves its way ahead of sending that eBlast or text campaign.
- You cannot measure the results. While the software is good, it does not have the integrated reporting that can track the number of phone calls and emails generated by your efforts. As a result, you are not excited by the results, and these projects move further down the priority list.
- While many practices do not realize it, the software does not really work for marketing. It is great for confirming appointments and for requesting reviews. However, it is not designed to send 10,000 custom, animated GIF’s at a time; to resend emails to the subset of the list that did not open the first one; or to geo-fence and deliver digital ads to the homes of your patients. These features (and others) are critical to maximizing the ROI and to helping you capture that coveted, low hanging fruit.
TNT’s New Ladder
While you may be able to capture the lowest hanging fruit without a ladder, we did not want to leave anything to chance. The opportunities are just too significant. As a result, we started testing the elements of a solution – a new ladder to get all the fruit in the patient engagement tree – about 8 months ago. And, we are proud to share the results.
TNT’s Patient Engagement Platform (PEP) is a truly unique solution to the capture the opportunities outlined above while overcoming the challenges discussed. It is turnkey. It provides an integrated reporting dashboard. And, it incorporates the latest technology.
In fact, it is the only platform in dentistry to combine fully-customized, animated GIF texting and custom eBlasts – both with 99% delivery rates – with the ability to geo-fence the homes of all your current patients. Plain and simple, there is no better way to make sure virtually all of your patients are engaged and aware of the great things happening at your practice.
In other words, there is no better way to generate more referrals from current patients; to reduce patient attrition; and to motivate current patients to start and complete treatment plans.
If you would like to continue trying to harvest the fruit on your own, we will continue to focus on generating impressive numbers of new patients for your practice. If you would like to have our help in capturing the 3 biggest opportunities to grow your practice (while we still deliver a lot of new patients), please give us a call.
We would like to thank some of our most valuable clients for helping us identify this huge need, and we would love to tell you all about the ways we can capture the lowest hanging fruit in your practice’s trees.