July 6, 2020
5 Ways to Get Patients to Return to Your Dental Practice After the COVID-19 Shutdown
Even though your dental practice may have reopened, that doesn’t mean every patient is ready to come back for treatment. With so many unknowns still regarding the pandemic, the best you can do is reach out to patients who may still be nervous about walking back through your doors. Here’s our top advice.
Consider patients who have returned to your dental practice your business’s ambassadors. Video or written testimonials will show the lengths you’ve gone to make your practice safe. Testimonials can be shared on your website, in Google and Yelp profiles, on your social media pages, and in an email to your patient base. Also, don’t be shy about asking returning patients to share their experience on Google, Yelp and Facebook.
In addition to patient testimonials, add your own video footage of the steps you are taking to make patients safe to your website and social media channels. Patients will also be less shocked to see staff in personal protective equipment and chairs removed from the waiting room. Including playfulness in the video will help set the tone for patients who are hesitant to return.
Patients may not realize that procedures have been in place since the AIDS epidemic to mitigate the spread of viruses. As a surgical suite, dental offices have always kept surfaces and instruments clean and sterile. Now, be clear on what your office is doing to screen patients ahead of time to minimize the possibility of the office being exposed to the virus.
In addition to training staff on all the new office procedures, be sure to provide a script for handling trepidations. It’s important to use the right words to let them know you empathize with their reservations, as well as to take the opportunity to remind them of the role oral health plays in overall wellness.
Put your patient communication software to work reaching out to your patient base to send a detailed message to all your patients listing all the changes you’ve made and what they can expect when they come to the office. Be sure to include a call to action for reluctant patients to reach out with any concerns that can be addressed in a teledentistry call with a staff member.