Marketing: where to begin?
This summary is based on the article published in Dental Economics: Marketing-where to begin? (August 2013)
Many factors determine whether a business can be successful in a particular area, such as demographics, socioeconomic status, major employers, competition, insurance participation, and demand for services. As any other dentist, you want to grow your practice and feel the need to apply some “fertilizer” in the form of marketing, but you don’t know which fertilizer to use. I recommend that you start with some very deliberate internal marketing fertilizer: Customer Service.
Here are some wonderful internal marketing methods that are cheap and effective:
- Recognition of patient birthdays
- Personal phone calls after difficult or extensive procedures
- Warm welcome when they walk through the door
- A little social chit-chat
- A smile and handshake
- Regular newsletter
- Patient of the month recognition
- Ask for Internet testimonials
- Recognition and a tangible expression of thanks when you receive referrals (refer to your state board rules)
- Recognition of patients when they receive honors that are publicized (One office laminates news articles that appear in the local paper and mails them to the patient.)
- Free giveaway once or twice a year for a drawing in your office where patients drop their appointment cards
- Anything that is given to the patient to take home has your office’s name and website/phone number on it
- Condolences in the form of a card and possibly a flower or donation to a charity when a patient experiences a death in the family
- Get-well card for any patient with illness, hospitalization, or rehabilitation
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