From Dentist to Leader: Navigating the Path to Dental Practice Success
Many dentists wonder how to attract high-quality patients and boost cosmetic cases. There’s no quick-fix marketing solution, but we believe in laying the groundwork before investing heavily in marketing. Attracting new patients for cosmetic dentistry can be more challenging than filling emergency slots or scheduling routine check-ups. Cosmetic dentistry patients do their homework, compare practices, and ultimately choose the one they like and trust the most.
So, how can you build the trust needed on your website to prompt a potential patient to pick up the phone and call your practice? One effective method is to answer their questions on camera!
An FAQ video is a short and informative video lasting anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. In these videos, dentists take the opportunity to explain particular dental procedures or tackle frequently asked questions that are commonly searched for on platforms like Google.
Begin by selecting a topic relevant to your services or practice. Consider common patient queries, such as:
If you’re unsure about what topics to cover, you can utilize the valuable resource of AnswerThePublic.com. It’s a straightforward process—just enter the name of the service you’re interested in, such as “Invisalign” or “Dental Implants,” and specify your preferred country and language.
After hitting the search button, you’ll be presented with a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions related to these services, making it a breeze to pinpoint relevant topics for your FAQ videos.
Ensure your phone’s video settings are optimized for high-quality recording.
Use your phone in landscape mode (horizontal) rather than portrait (vertical).
Choose a quiet, well-lit room with natural light.
Ensure your face is well-illuminated and avoid harsh backlighting.
Have a staff member film you or place the phone on a stable surface, ideally at eye level. If a staff member is recording, they should minimize unnecessary movement during filming.
To create a successful FAQ video, focus on being natural and engaging:
Here are a few videos made by our clients. Take a moment to watch them and observe how they’ve seamlessly put the above steps into practice. These videos serve as practical examples of how to create engaging FAQ content for your patients.
Incorporating FAQ videos into your online presence can make a significant difference in connecting with your audience. If you have any questions or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
In the competitive world of dentistry, it’s crucial for your team to be skilled in effective phone communication. How your team talks on the phone can greatly impact your dental practice’s success.
In our recent webinar, we discussed essential steps to improve your phone conversations, specifically tailored for the dental field.
When it comes to answering phone calls at a dental practice, it’s essential to recognize the significance of the initial impression you make. The way you greet patients can significantly impact their perception of your practice. Therefore, follow these key principles to ensure a warm and effective phone interaction.
Begin by extending a warm welcome that conveys friendliness and professionalism. This can be achieved by offering a pleasant greeting, such as “good morning” or “good afternoon,” immediately followed by stating the name of your dental practice, thereby confirming to the patient that they have indeed reached the right destination.
Furthermore, it’s equally crucial to introduce yourself by sharing your name, which adds a personal touch to the conversation. This introduction not only humanizes the interaction but also allows the patient to address you by name, making the conversation more engaging and personable.
Initiating the conversation, instead of leaving it entirely up to the caller, is another important aspect to consider. By doing so, you ease any potential discomfort the patient might feel and create a more welcoming atmosphere for them to express their needs or concerns.
Additionally, remember the power of maintaining a friendly and warm tone throughout the conversation. Smiling while speaking, even if the patient can’t see it, can convey a sense of warmth and professionalism. This simple action can help build trust and rapport with the patient.
Lastly, avoid using gimmicky or condescending phrases in your greeting, as these can come across as insincere or even off-putting. Stick to clear and effective openings, such as “this is ABC Dental,” which provide all the necessary information without any unnecessary embellishments.
Shifting the power during phone conversations is a vital aspect of ensuring effective communication, especially in the context of a dental practice. It involves taking control of the conversation without overwhelming the patient. When you leave the patient to ask all the questions, it can make them feel like they’re carrying the weight of the conversation, which is far from an ideal scenario.
Consider a typical situation where a patient inquires about a dental service, like dental implants. They might ask something like “Do you guys do dental implants?” In some instances, the receptionist may respond with a curt “Yes, we do,” leaving the patient to figure out what to say next. This approach often leads to misunderstandings. It’s important to realize that when someone asks about the cost, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re just price shopping. More often, it’s because they don’t know how else to initiate the conversation.
Now, let’s delve into the psychology behind these interactions. If a receptionist responds with a simple “Yes, we do” and leaves it at that, the caller might perceive it as dismissive or uninterested. This is one of the primary reasons dental practices believe that potential patients are merely price shopping, not genuinely interested in their services.
In reality, patients seek answers to various questions, but the cost inquiry is a common starting point because it feels safe and straightforward. However, what follows next is crucial. If the receptionist immediately assumes that the patient is not serious or feels irritated, it can negatively impact the conversation. The receptionist’s tone may change, and they might hurry through the interaction, leaving the patient unsatisfied and less likely to choose their practice.
Alternatively, some receptionists might insist on an in-person consultation before providing any cost information. While this approach is intended to ensure a thorough evaluation, it can come across as a barrier to potential patients. The patient might interpret it as an unwillingness to provide straightforward answers or an attempt to delay the process.
So, how can the power dynamic in these conversations be shifted to create a more positive experience? It’s surprisingly simple yet highly effective. Instead of instantly diving into cost details, the receptionist can acknowledge the cost question and gently say, “Can I ask you some questions so I can better assist you?” This simple phrase signals to the patient that their inquiry is taken seriously, and it shifts the responsibility of guiding the conversation onto the receptionist’s shoulders.
By asking a few relevant questions, the receptionist can better understand the patient’s specific needs and concerns. For example, if a patient inquires about dental implants, the receptionist can ask about their dental history, the reason for their interest in implants, and whether they’re already a patient at the practice. These questions not only provide valuable information but also show the patient that the receptionist is genuinely interested in helping them.
The concept of “Discovery questions” in phone conversations involves asking specific questions to understand the patient’s situation and needs better. These questions go beyond basic information and help receptionists tailor their responses effectively. While some common questions like patient status and contact information are important, “Discovery questions” aim to uncover unique details about the patient.
Examples of effective “Discovery questions” include asking about the patient’s recent dental history, whether they are experiencing pain, if they have specific treatment preferences, and how long they’ve been considering treatment options. Additionally, inquiring if the patient has contacted other dental practices and what those practices told them can provide valuable insights.
Furthermore, questions like, “Do you need this for something special?” can help receptionists connect with the patient on a personal level and understand the urgency or motivation behind their inquiry.
“Discovery questions” in dental phone conversations are designed to gather essential information about the patient’s situation and motivations, enabling receptionists to provide more personalized and effective assistance. These questions enhance the overall patient experience and improve the chances of converting inquiries into appointments.
Building rapport with patients over the phone is essential to create a positive connection and make them feel valued and cared for. When patients feel comfortable, they are more likely to trust your dental practice and follow through with appointments. Here are some tips on how to build rapport effectively during phone conversations:
Overall, building rapport is about making patients feel heard, understood, and respected. It fosters trust and enhances the patient experience, increasing the likelihood of successful conversions and long-term patient relationships.
Promoting your dental practice during phone conversations is an effective way to attract and retain patients. Here are some strategies to incorporate into your conversations to highlight the positive aspects of your practice:
By incorporating these elements into your conversations, you not only promote your practice effectively but also create a positive and reassuring experience for patients. Patients are more likely to choose and stick with a practice that goes the extra mile to make them feel comfortable and valued.
Remember that people typically call a dental practice because they are in pain, anxious, or in need of dental care, not for fun. Being empathetic, professional, and promoting the benefits of your practice can make a significant difference in the patient’s decision to choose your practice for their dental needs.
In today’s digital age, maintaining a strong online presence is crucial for businesses, including dental practices. However, many dental professionals struggle with the question of how to effectively utilize their social media pages, especially considering that dentistry may not be viewed as a particularly glamorous field.
In this blog post, we will address common concerns and provide valuable insights into why having an engaging Facebook page is essential for your dental practice. Additionally, we will share practical tips to spruce up your social media presence, attract potential patients, and boost your search engine ranking.
Creating a Facebook page is not just about having a presence on a popular social media platform. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing your practice’s search engine optimization (SEO) and credibility. Google prioritizes websites that are mentioned on other reputable sources, such as articles, listings, and social media pages.
By having a Facebook page, you establish another citation source that reinforces your practice’s validity in the eyes of search engines. Consistency is key when setting up your page, so ensure that your name, address, phone number, and hours of operation match those on your website.
This alignment signals to search engines that multiple sources are acknowledging your practice, resulting in a higher ranking.
To make your Facebook page stand out and attract potential patients, it’s essential to incorporate visually appealing content. Consider the following tips:
Professional Videography or Photography: Collaborate with a professional videographer to shoot a captivating video showcasing your practice. Include footage of the waiting room, interactions between the doctor and patients, and exterior shots. This video will provide a warm and inviting preview of the patient experience, instilling confidence and trust. If video production is not feasible, high-quality photography can also be effective in capturing the essence of your practice.
Click on the images below to see some examples from our clients.
Engaging Banner Photo: This creates an immediate connection with potential patients, making them feel comfortable and eager to experience your practice firsthand. A photo that captures authentic interactions will convey a genuine sense of care and compassion. Highlight the human connection, don’t use a photo that showcases dental equipment or empty exam rooms.
Please have a look at a couple of examples from our clients.
Testimonial Videos: Request patients who have had positive experiences at your practice to participate in testimonial videos. Train your receptionists to ask patients if they would be willing to share their thoughts on camera. Encourage patients to speak naturally and authentically, expressing their satisfaction and emphasizing the friendly atmosphere. These videos provide powerful social proof and demonstrate the exceptional care patients can expect.
Stay away from before and after photos: Before and after photos may seem like a compelling way to showcase your dental work, but they can have an unintended negative effect on potential patients. These images can be startling and evoke feelings of discomfort, causing patients to associate your practice with pain or invasive procedures. Instead of attracting patients, these visuals may actually scare them away.
Developing and maintaining an engaging Facebook page is an integral part of your dental practice’s digital strategy. By leveraging this platform effectively, you can boost your practice’s SEO, credibility, and patient conversion rates. Remember to focus on consistency, visually appealing content, and authentic testimonials to create a polished and enticing social media presence.
The success of your dental practice, and your success as a dentist, is at the mercy of your staff. If you’ve got a great team that delivers amazing customer service, you will be able to build a very successful and profitable dental practice.
However, if you’ve got a team that is average, or below average, you’re going to be under a tremendous amount of financial and emotional stress as you have to constantly run around putting out fires in your business.
In this article, we talk about why you need to implement a strong accountability system to monitor and improve the performance of your team.
When we first began working with dentists, we would build them a great website, do their SEO, rank them high on Google, and create a great presence on social media– but we were surprised to find that in a lot of cases, none of this made a big improvement in their new patient count.
Sure, the numbers did go up and those clients did generate a return on investment– but nowhere near the amount that we expected to see. When we doubled or tripled the number of new patient calls, we expected to see double or triple the amount of new patients booked… but this wasn’t happening.
We were really curious to understand what was going on. So, we started to listen to every single call coming in, and… let’s just say that what we found was shocking.
Across nearly every dentist we worked with, customer service and the new patient experience were lacking. We found hundreds of instances of staff being rude or dismissive to patients, not taking the time to engage with them or answer their questions, and often talking to patients with a demeanor that said “I don’t really care”
Let’s take a look at some examples.
In this call the patient was looking for in-office whitening. The dentist had just implemented the Zoom whitening system a few months ago and wanted to promote it. Have a listen to how the receptionist handled the inquiry. Would you have been impressed if you were the patient?
In this call an existing patient had a procedure done recently and developed an infection. She called the office to book an emergency visit. Listen to what the receptionist said to the patient or her attitude. Would you be surprised to find out she decided to go to a different practice? The dentist didn’t even know about it.
This patient left 3 voicemails to try to book an appointment for her father but nobody ever called her back. Despite the staff claiming that they were calling back patients right away, this recording showed otherwise. When we reached out to the patient we realized she had decided to go to a different practice. No surprise there.
In this example, a new patient called the office to book an appointment. The receptionist answered but got distracted by a colleague and ignored the patient. You would think this may have been a technical issue where perhaps she couldn’t hear the patient but we found multiple examples like this one where this particular receptionist just didn’t listen to patients like this one.
You’d be surprised how many times we hear dental practices answer the phone with “hello?” leading the patient to think maybe they called the wrong number. It’s hard to recover from a poor first impression.
In this example, a patient had called for an appointment but the receptionist said the dentist was done for the day. She never bothered to ask for his name, what the issue was, or put in any kind of effort to try to help him.
From the tens of thousands of dental calls we listen to each month, what we often find is that, at best, customer service is lacking. Dentists believe it’s their marketing that is holding them back but in 90% of cases we find that dentists have enough new calls coming in they could easily double the patient flow without doing anything different, or spending more, when it comes to marketing.
Take a look at what our clients had to say when we started to share our findings with them. We’ve removed the names to keep things confidential and not identify any particular practice, but this is pretty much the reaction every one of the dentists had.
Here’s one of our clients that operates a large cosmetic practice in Toronto that focuses on dental implants. He had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last 10 years on marketing his practice and on training his staff and was under the impression that they were delivering world-class customer service. Here’s what he had to say when we shared with him a dozen call recordings showing him the experience new patients were getting when speaking with his staff.
Hi Nick. I’m absolutely appalled by this. I can’t believe this is my staff! I have so many questions…
Here’s another quote from a large established office. Again, this dentist had spent thousands of dollars on marketing, consultants, and training. We shared with them a handful of examples of how new patient inquiries are being handled by their staff.
OMG! This is absolutely not the way I want my business handled. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will address it ASAP.
We got this reaction from virtually every dentist we worked with. One office manager said:
Wow, that call was very difficult to listen to. That was probably the worst customer service call I’ve heard on her part in the 2 years she’s worked here.
Notice that she writes, “…the worst customer service call I’ve heard…” But nobody was recording or listening to any of the calls coming in before we came along– so how many times did it happen in the past two years? This is like catching someone stealing and thinking “well they only did this once, so I’ll forgive them” but the truth is this is just the first time you caught it, not the first time it’s happened.
In many cases, the problem is that receptionists don’t really know what to say and they give patients the wrong information.
In one example, we had a patient call one of our clients to book a consultation for Invisalign. A new receptionist who had only been working there for 4 months told the patient: “Ohh… I don’t think we do Invisalign”
The patient was confused because he was looking at an Invisalign page on the client’s website. He thought maybe he called the wrong practice so he asks the receptionist if she knows anyone in the area that does it. The receptionist proceeded to give the patient directions to one of our client’s competitors down the street.
Now, this may sound like we’re bashing dental receptionists, but the truth is we were really shocked to discover this. We were just trying to figure out why new patients weren’t booking and we never expected to find what we found.
So how can you tell if this is happening in your practice? And, if it is, how do you fix it? Well, it turns out the reason this happens is that nearly all dental offices lack a strong system of accountability. This is what we started to implement into each dental practice. We did a few things:
Take a look at an email one of our dentists sent us:
The truth is, we didn’t actually do anything different on Google. All we did was implement a system of accountability and followed up with the staff about each patient and… things improved.
So if you’re not happy with the number of new patients you’re getting, ask yourself: “What am I measuring?”
You may be measuring how many new patients come in but are you also measuring things like:
If you don’t have answers to these questions then it’s likely that you’re missing a strong system of accountability in your office, and this is critical to building a successful and profitable dental practice.
Have you ever wondered why it takes some dental practices decades to generate just $1 million in revenue, while other practices are able to grow to $5 million in a fraction of the time? In this article, we’ll get into the biggest factors that separate good dental practices from exceptional ones.
At RevUp Dental, we’ve worked with dentists all across North America, and have seen first-hand how they operate. While some practices generate under a million in revenue, others may generate $5 million or more! Obviously, these practices have different approaches to the way they organize the practice, schedule payments, present treatments, etc. But, it might surprise you to learn what the real difference-maker is.
The experience of the dentist doesn’t seem to make a big difference. We found many cases where incredibly talented dentists with decades of experience were struggling to get by, while younger and less experienced dentists achieved much better results much faster.
The area in which the practice is located doesn’t seem to matter much as many would believe either. We’ve worked with practices in highly competitive areas that still do exceptionally well, while others, operating in areas with very little competition, were still struggling.
So then, what’s the big secret? Why do some dentists take decades only to achieve mediocre results, while other dentists can build a practice that’s two or three times the size in just a few years? The best way I can explain it is by telling a story that happened to me in which I had a lightbulb moment about what really separates good practices from bad ones.
A few years ago, we hired a new employee at RevUp Dental, and I had to go to the Apple store to pick up a new laptop for her. This was during Black Friday and every store in the mall had balloons and flyers featuring all kinds of promotional sales.
So I made my way to the Apple Store, and at the front of the store, there was a female customer talking to an Apple employee behind the desk. I was a few steps behind her so I could overhear their conversation. After the employee had greeted her, she asked him:
“Hey… what kind of promotions do you guys have going on today?”
To which the employee responded, “Ugh…. we don’t have any promotions going on.”
“How can you not have any promotions on Black Friday?” the customer said, taken aback. “Literally every store in the mall is running promotions today and you’re telling me you guys don’t have any promotions?”
And I will never forget what the employee said next. He paused for a moment, then said, “Ma’am.. this is Apple… we don’t really have promotions… ever. Maybe once in a while on some small things like cables or bags, but never on the main products. We just don’t need to.”
I remember looking around the store after he said that and realizing that they didn’t have any balloons, posters with buy-one-get-one-free deals, or any of that sort of nonsense. And yet, the store was completely packed. There were more people in that Apple store than just about any other store in the mall. In fact, the customer complaining about the lack of deals started looking at products as well.
On my way out of the mall, I looked around at all the other stores and realized that most of them were empty. Every one of them had promotions, special deals, and all kinds of gimmicks to catch people’s attention, and still, all the salespeople twiddling their thumbs attempting to chat people up as they walked past were just being ignored.
This made me think:
And it’s not just Apple, you see the same level of devotion to brands like Lulu Lemon. How many girls spend $150 on a pair of yoga pants when they can go to Walmart and buy a pair for $20? How many people are happy to spend thousands of dollars on a Rolex. Why? It’s just a watch. 99.9% of people on the planet would not be able to tell the difference between a real Rolex and a fake one, so why do people buy it?
The simple answer is people don’t make logical decisions, they make emotional decisions. The same emotional elements play a big role in how successful you will be as a dentist.
Everyone wants “the best” or at least what they perceive as “the best”. If people perceive your product, service, or business as something unique, something that can help them stand out, something that is different and novel, they are going to spend a lot more money than if they perceive what you are offering as a commodity that they can get elsewhere.
This is why there are a lot of people out there who may spend hundreds of dollars on a nice pair of shoes, but when it comes to the socks they just go to Walmart and buy a 3-pack for $10.
If people think that you’re just a dentist like every other dentist in your area, then they are just going to go to the dentist who is the closest, or the cheapest, or whoever happens to accept their insurance.
The reason companies like Apple, Rolex, or Lulu Lemon are so successful is that they put an insane amount of thought into the little details of the customer experience. Apple puts a lot of thought into how the keys on the laptop are shaped, how they feel when you press them, how the laptop feels when you hold it, and when you open and close it. They obsess over things that most other tech companies regard as completely pointless. The same is true for dental practices.
Those small details that most people think are pointless are what separates dental practices that spend decades and only achieve mediocre results from dental practices that achieve 2 or 3 times as much revenue in just a few years. Successful practices understand that the little details matter, and they matter A LOT.
So, exactly how do the little details make or break a practice? We’ve been inside many practices over the years, and have witnessed first-hand how inattention to those little details can cost practices potential patients.
On numerous occasions, I have gone into dental practices that don’t have a beautiful or professional presentation room. They are trying to pitch a patient on $20,000 of dental implant work, and they’re doing this presentation in the staff lunchroom, while another staff member is busy heating up a pizza pocket in the microwave. Obviously, the patient doesn’t accept treatment, and, in response, the staff or the dentists assume that the patient just wasn’t serious about seeking treatment.
Nobody is going to come in for a consultation on implants or Invisalign for fun. If they’re standing in your office, they want to buy dentistry. If they leave without committing to treatment, it means that, after looking around the office, they realized that the office was not the best choice for them and they decided to go somewhere else.
A lot of dentists opt for the “good enough” approach when it comes to things like branding, marketing, photos, or staff training. They think, well, we’re a small office, so this is good enough for now, but once we get bigger… we’ll invest more money into doing things better.
We often see practices present their patient with a treatment quote by simply printing out a quote from their patient management system onto a single piece of the cheapest paper they could buy at Staples.
Taking the time or effort to put together a detailed treatment plan, a professional folder with nicely designed and branded material to explain to the patient what that treatment will entail, why they’re the best at it, etc. will make all the difference for the patient experience.
Companies like Apple didn’t get to where they are by starting out building “good enough” products. If you want to build a very successful dental practice, you need to start acting like a successful practice before you become one. You need to start doing all of the little things at a much higher level of quality than other dentists are doing before you see the results.
The little things in your practice matter a lot. How your office looks, your logo, your website, the photos on your website, the quality of your sign, how your staff answers the phone, how you present treatment, and how you make your patients feel during their visit.
So, the next time you’re thinking about why a patient didn’t book their treatment with you, ask yourself:
While these details may not seem important to the daily operation of your practice, for the patient, they could make all the difference.
The team at RevUp is passionate about problem-solving. We really do love finding out the best way to reach people online and connect them with the services they need. Most of all, we love dental practices.
Want to know more about what we can do for you and your practice? Reach out to us. We’d love to have a one-on-one conversation with you to see if we’re the best fit for your needs.