Two doctor practice in a fairly competitive environment. Father retiring. The practice never really did any form of consistent organized external promotion. Pretty much grew from within.They were still growing but new patients were down to about 20-25 per month and we wanted to push that towards about 50 for a 2 doctor practice. They just wanted good quality new patients, who value and appreciated a long-standing family practice. They didn’t want shoppers! (pretty smart for two young dentists!)
Fairly competitive dental market (about a 6 or 7 on a scale from 1 to 10).
Dentists who had never budgeted for a serious marketing plan before.
An odd tradition of physically moving the new patient from the doctor’s chair to the hygiene chair during the same visit. Some hesitation on the doc’s part to change.
An existing management consultant with their own views on how they should operate.
Capacity restrictions caused partially by not blocking or painting enough slots for NP growth which was coming, as well as an unusually long and difficult to manage NP appointment flow.
We had a ton of challenges
But we also had assets
The Treatment Plan
Prioritize their first real budget. We split it about 60/40 offline/online.
Target the mail properly (top 40% of the available households nearest the practice – completely ignore the bottom 60% of the local market).
Right messaging: This practice didn’t need 50 new patients a month. They wouldn’t have known what to do with that many new patients. But they did want new, younger, families who care more about their mouth than an insurance deductible. So, we barely mention a get acquainted offer. We focused instead on getting people to choose the practice based on their services, amenities, conveniences, technologies, and public relations assets the practice already possessed.
Build a new website: The new website was built out with many individual pages. This is done purposely, as it helps search engine optimization as well as making the visitor experience more pleasant. With fewer pages, visitors have to scroll more. Less pages. Less scrolling. Better experience. We also purposely added an expanded “Meet the Dentists” section so existing patients could still see their father was with the practice. This is important during transitions like these.
Search engine optimization. This is almost always a recommendation in moderately to severely competitive dental markets. The cost/benefit is very predictable and positive over time.
Online review & rep management software to automate the process of making their existing and new patients visible online advocates of their practice.
Online scheduling to minimize missed new patient calls and improve not only the new patient experience but also the existing patient convenience.
The Treatment Outcome
We worked with the consultant. We worked with Marlise. The doctors were very reasonable. They didn’t fight the changes we were suggesting. We checked in at the beginning about every month, just to do capacity checks and make sure there was enough room in the schedule for the front desk to offer new patients and the online scheduling had enough openings to offer those who scheduled online.
They recently left a review in their own words here.
Collected & analyzed data from dentist
Created a treatment plan
Changes were made to allow for increased NP capacity.
Increased NP Volume + Same Work Hours = Less Stress
How is Sheron Dental doing today?
A happy Marlise. She doesn’t have to worry about being a marketing expert. And, she knows we’ve got her back if she has a question or runs into another bottleneck somewhere.