If you’re lucky, you have a thriving, bustling orthodontic practice already. But it’s the nature of entrepreneurship, no matter what the field, to always be looking ahead to the future. Will your busy clinic stay that way, or will it get bogged down with problems and inefficiencies that sap your client base?
You might be thinking “It’s impossible for our clients to want to go elsewhere; we do great work, and on top of that, we have great staff. All our patients love us!” While you might have an accurate take on the situation, there’s also the possibility that you’re not reading it all that well. The patient’s journey actually begins before they come into your clinic for treatment; it begins with their very first contact with you, whether that’s on the phone or just passing by, and it begins because they have a problem with their smile (or child’s smile). The way you seize the opportunities presented by these first points of contact with your prospective clients can make all the difference between converting a window-shopper into a client, and later, a client into a referring advocate… or not.
Being a ‘Nice Orthodontist’ Just Isn’t Good Enough to Increase Case Conversions
…and neither is it enough to have a nice receptionist!
These days, patients are educated; they don’t simply blindly accept a referral from their dentist, they will shop around before deciding on the right orthodontist. Advertising spend can definitely get people to make inquiries, but in order to convert those inquiries into patients, you will need consistent systems in place that exceed new client expectations. Often, if the practice is big enough, it’s recommended to have a dedicated staff member in place whose job it is to guide the new patient through the process of getting to know the practice and selecting appropriate services, thus freeing up the orthodontist’s time to carry out diagnostic and treatment protocols. However, even in sole practitioner operations, you can learn to streamline the new patient experience such that patients understand the true value of your services and are eager to accept them.
Managing the New Patient Process from Start to Finish
Here are some tips for increasing the orthodontic case conversions in your practice:
From the very first point of contact, work on establishing a rapport and a relationship. People buy from people, so giving a patient a brochure to read all on their own may not result in the desired conversion.
Truly listen to the patient’s pain points and needs, so you can tailor your presentation to what is at the core of their desires.
Make sure the patient understands what is possible with treatment (and what isn’t!) and what to realistically expect in terms of results.
Answer all the patient’s questions, no matter how many they may ask. Clarify all proposed treatment options.
Show photos! A picture truly is worth a thousand words; showing before-and-after photos can help break down any barriers, even financial ones.
Offer financing and payment plans where possible to facilitate treatment.
Prepare a package of documents, brochures and information for the patient to go home with.
Use orthodontic patient management software that tracks the patient journey and schedules automatic follow ups with them. Your software should also provide you with conversion statistics so you can monitor how well you are doing and make changes as needed.
You work hard to manage your patients’ process from the moment they enter your clinic through their treatment and beyond; isn’t it time you got a software that works as hard as you do, to keep your office running efficiently? If you’re ready to spend less time on daily administrative tasks and more time enjoying a full chair, book an appointment for a free demo of OrthoNovo today.