When making this determination, you really need to put yourself in the eyes of your current and new patients.
Some things you’ll want to consider when determining what sets your practice apart from the competition are:
· When a patient has been referred for the first time, is it easy to find your location?
· Do they have to drive around until they find a space?
· How far is the parking from your entrance?
· Is your receptionist a greeter?
· When this new patient walks in, what do they see?
· Once the new patient has met your receptionist, has seen your office presentation, how does the remainder of your staff communicate to them?
· Does your staff really care about the new patient?
· Are your staff members happy and kind to them?
· Does your staff believe and communicate that dentistry can change lives?
· What kind of dental equipment do you have, and do you communicate about it to your patients?
These questions can be broken down into a few categories:
Those first couple of questions are aimed at visibility and access. New clients begin to form an opinion of you and your dental practice before they even meet you. Your visibility and access should be differential.
Having a personable and friendly receptionist can help to create a warm and welcoming environment your patients will want to be in. This will speak volumes about you and your practice. Putting yourself in the mindset of a patient, would you really want to be going to the dentist? There are many other fun things that you could be doing with your time. Ensure your patients feel welcomed - every single time they visit your practice. Make them feel like they are a part of your family.
When a new patient walks into your office, what do they see? Your office needs to reflect your staff, you and the type of dentistry you provide. Just like the atmosphere, your space should be a warm and welcoming environment.
Another item that should differentiate your dental practice from others is your staff, your team. Are they kind and caring? Do they want to be here? All of those can influence how a patient views your practice. If it’s clear that a member of your team does not want to be there, it will reflect poorly on your dental practice. You and your team need to be on the same page. This will help to make your patients feel more comfortable and at ease, which can really help drive some referrals your way.
As the dentist, you (and your partner, if you have one) need to impress upon your patients that you are knowledgeable, experienced and that you care. Take an interest in your patient’s life by asking questions relating to their hobbies or family.
All of these actions will not only set you apart from your competitors, but it could also land you additional referrals and social media shoutouts - furthering your efforts to build brand awareness for your dental practice.