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Local Search: The Key to Dental Practice Success

With so many different online marketing options available, a dental practice can easily get overwhelmed when attempting to get the word out to potential patients. No matter what options you choose, however, you should never lose sight of the importance of local search when it comes to recruiting patients. Making sure that you appear to people in your immediate area is the key to recognition, recruitment, and ultimately success.

Getting on the Map

Perhaps the biggest benefit that local search offers is the fact that it literally puts your office on the map. Online services such as Google and Yahoo provide maps and street views that give people a chance to see where exactly their business listings are. This provides two major benefits. First, it gives customers who are searching for a dentist in your area a direct view of your office. Once they see that, they might recognize the area as familiar or simply take note of the building the next time they drive by. Secondly, a local listing provides easy instructions and map point utilities that allow potential new customers to find your office without any confusion. Showing up on the map gets customers in the door.

Generating Local Reviews

Online reviews are a great way for potential patients to find the practice that works best for them, but their anonymous nature also means that many people disregard reviews that seem to glowing in their praise. This stops being a problem when you focus on local results. When you do that, reviews stop coming from people that your patient base is unlikely to know and start coming from friends, family members, and acquaintances of your next potential patient. Because the results and reviews are both local, the impact is much more significant among those who are most likely to use your services. By focusing on local search, you can make sure that each positive review goes a long way.

Providing Flexible Payment Options

A lack of dental financing plans is one of the reasons that people tend to avoid changing offices. Many people fear the overall cost and know little about medical financing companies that can reduce the financial burden. Local search helps you to mitigate this problem because it gives you a chance to advertise your available dental payment plans to those who need them the most. This is especially important if you have a no down payment, no credit check option that can enhance patient financing such as those offered through By putting dental finance options front and center, you send a message to your local patient population that money will not be a problem – the only thing you worry about is making sure they have a healthy smile.

If you want to build your dental practice, the most important place to start is right in your backyard. Focusing on local search can help increase your regional visibility, help you get the most out of patient reviews, and highlight marketing points such as patient payment plans. These elements will give you the best chance possible to recruit new patients.

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5 Habits of Highly Effective Dental Front Office Patient Coordinators

Coordinating a dental office is not for the faint of heart. A successful dental front office patient coordinator needs to have excellent attention to detail, the ability to handle a fast pace, and the foresight to properly delegate work and manage multiple tasks all at once. These qualities require more than just a knack – they require the formation of good work habits. Here are five habits that the most effective front office patient coordinators tend to develop.

1: Create a Time Budget

A front office patient coordinator has to deal with a variety of different tasks, many of which require immediate resolution. At the same time, this individual needs to be comfortable with handling the reception area and with helping patients. The only way to do this effectively is to budget time appropriately. A good patient coordinator knows how much time needs to be spent on individual tasks and adjusts daily schedules to make sure everything gets done. The coordinator is not shackled by the time budget, but having a plan laid out every day provides much-needed flexibility.

2: Fast Turnaround Time on Communications

Whether you are a patient or a professional, slow communication is one of the most frustrating things you can experience with a dental practice. The front office patient coordinator serves as the main contact point for both dental staff and incoming patients. As a result, this individual cannot ever make somebody feel like they are not being heard. A good coordinator is in the habit of returning calls and emails quickly, even if only to let the other person know they have been heard and that a full response is pending.

3: Brushing Up on Financing Options

Having a good set of dental payment plans is essential to attracting new patients. Because the coordinator often serves a customer service role, this individual should know about all dental financing available in an office and be able to provide suggestions to enhance patient financing. This includes regularly reviewing patient payment plans and the medical financing companies that provide them. Developing this habit helps improve office efficiency and gives the coordinator the skills needed to direct patients to the dental financing plans they need.

4: Finding the Right Place to Communicate

While communication between the front office patient coordinator and the patients is essential, there is also a time and a place to share personal and confidential information. A good coordinator develops habits that keeps private conversations private. The best place for this is often a designated consultation room that allows for clear sight lines and has plenty of windows so the patient doesn’t feel confined.

5: Finding Optimism Every Day

A dental office is often a fast-paced, challenging environment that doesn’t fit everybody. Even when things get challenging, a coordinator needs to be able to look on the bright side. That is why successful individuals in this position make a habit of finding optimism even in stressful times. Oftentimes, an upbeat attitude can make the difference between success and failure.

A good dental front office patient coordinator needs to have many traits, but forming the habits listed above can make a major impact. Once these habits are in place, success often follows.

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5 Ways to Stay in Touch with Your Dental Patients

Finding reliable dental patients is important, but keeping them is even more essential. Once you establish your patient base, you need to do your best to keep in touch with them. Ideally, you should use dental payment plans and other features to make sure that your patients want to come back to you time and time again. If you are unsure of where to start in terms of keeping in touch with your patients, consider the tips below.

1: Establish a Strong Online Presence

Your patients may only sit in your office chairs a couple days out of the year, but they are on the Internet virtually every day, sometimes for hours at a time. If you keep your website and social media channels active and updated, you will be able to keep your patients engaged. Whenever you have new dental finance options or similar special offers, make sure to communicate that with them through your online channels.

2: Provide Great Financing Options

If you enhance patient financing, you will give your patients a strong monetary reason to keep them engaged and interested in your practice. You can also advertise patient payment plans and similar options as a way of increasing overall interest among a potentially new customer base. Even patients who don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their dental health know that saving money is essential. If you can offer something that medical financing companies don’t generally provide, patients will always pay attention to news about your practice, if only to take advantage of the dental financing plans you offer.

3: Provide Frequent Follow-Up

If you want your patients to care about what you offer them, you need to make sure that you show them you care as well. This means taking the time to reach out to them in traditional ways, such as by snail mail and telephone. A thank you card for an appointment can go a long way. A telephone call to follow up after a procedure can provide similar advantages and can also help you determine if additional work needs to be done.

4: Hold Events

Once or twice a year, you can hold special events to bring people into your office space. This allows you to show your fun side and to get to know your patients. An open house or a patient appreciation day can do wonders. Since you control the catering, you can even use this as an opportunity to subtly reinforce good dental habits by avoiding high-sugar foods and treats that might cause dental problems down the road.

5: Get Involved in Your Community

If you want your community to take your practice seriously, it’s time to get involved. This means sponsoring local events, participating in special occasions, and providing free giveaways. Whether you are new to your area or an established presence, your patients will be more receptive to your practice if they see you actively taking a role in community involvement throughout the year.

The tips above can help make sure that your patients see you as more than just a place to go for annual checkups. The more you engage with your customers, the better your relationship with them will be.

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5 Marketing Ideas for Attracting Anxious Dental Patient

If you are in the dental profession for any length of time, you will notice that some people have a lot of anxiety about visiting the dentist. While a little nervousness is to be expected, this can turn into a major problem that causes patients to skip appointments or ignore their personal health if it goes unchecked. There are a few different methods to help attract anxious patients, ranging from office presentation to affordable dental payment plans. Consider the tips below.

1: Provide a Comfortable Office Environment

Your office should be a comfortable and welcoming place for patients. While the office won’t draw in patients who wouldn’t step through the front door to begin with, you can help put people at ease once they finally give a trip to the dentist a chance. By making sure that your office has comfortable seating, a friendly staff, and plenty of natural light, you can make sure that newcomers feel at ease and have less anxiety from the start.

2: Watch Your Online Reviews

People who are anxious about going to the dentist are more likely to look through online reviews before they go. This allows them to analyze whether other patients were welcomed and comfortable throughout their appointments. Do a search for online reviews of your practice. If there is criticism there regarding anything from your dental finance options to the quality of service you provide, take that criticism seriously. If you can generate more positive reviews than negative ones, you will have a more comfortable patient from the very beginning.

3: Provide Better Financing Options

Cost is a huge source of anxiety in a typical patient base. If you can enhance patient financing and make sure that even complex procedures are affordable, you can score a major victory when it comes to attracting new patients. Ideally, you should offer flexible patient payment plans that mainstream medical financing companies don’t. Dental financing plans that start at zero down payment and a low interest rate will leave your patients feeling happy rather than nervous.

4: Gather Local Testimonials

A patient testimonial can be a powerful tool, as it provides an authentic look at why your practice is so popular and essential in your area. If you can put a local face on your practice, you can convince people who might normally bypass you to give you a chance. If you have an existing nervous patient who you won over, you should seek out a testimonial from that person. Any testimonial is likely to appeal to people who find themselves in a similar situation.

5: Target Local SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is an essential digital marketing tool that helps to determine how many potentially new customers view your practice. When planning your digital marketing strategy, make sure to include your location among your SEO keywords. This increases the odds that local customers will find you. This is important because it helps to reduce stress and travel time among anxious patients, taking one step closer to putting them at total ease.

If you can do your best to appeal to patients who normally would not go see a dentist, you can greatly expand your patient base. Even more importantly, you can make sure that more people have healthier, happier smiles.

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