Dental care is something that will never go away – people will always need to have their teeth tended to. But with the influx of dental professionals in South Africa and the competitive nature of the industry, it can be challenging to set your practice apart from the rest and win over new patients.
A recent survey found that credibility plays a significant role in the patient acquisition process, and a large percentage of patients chose credibility as a deciding factor in booking an appointment with a new dentist.
So, what is credibility, and how do you get it?
Credibility is what some people call the Trust Factor. Essentially, it’s what convinces a patient that you are qualified, knowledgable and capable before they even set foot in your practice. So, how do you convey credibility before interacting with a patient in person? You let your digital profiles do the work for you.
Wherever possible, answer patient questions online. Questions can come in the form of reviews, comments or posts online – sometimes even direct messages to your inbox or emails.
A lot of dentists don’t even bother responding to questions online, but every single interaction you have is an opportunity to get a new patient. Answering questions online shows that patient and any others seeing your posts, that you know what you’re talking about and you care enough to assist them. Keep the HPCSA guidelines in mind as you answer, and if things get a bit too complicated, ask them to come in for a consultation.
You need to show potential patients that you’re an expert and that they can trust in your skills. Blogging periodically and posting to your social media profiles helps you accomplish this. You can use these opportunities to describe and explain what to expect during specific treatments, keep your patients up to date with practice news and information and publicise any new courses or training you’re doing.
Patients will always try and do some research before scheduling an appointment, so make sure the information they’re looking for is easily accessible on your website and social profiles.
Avily offers content management services for both websites and social profiles, so if you’d like to publish content regularly but don’t have the time, give us a call.
Show your face
Building trust with prospective patients can be hard, but there are some shortcuts. One of them is as simple as a selfie.
A recent study found that patients perceived practitioners who posted pictures of themselves in a professional setting as more trustworthy than practitioners who used stock and generic images. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on professional photographers and editors, just make sure your pictures aren’t blurry and that you’re not posting anything that could be considered inappropriate – always check the background! We also recommend doing short, straightforward videos explaining conditions or treatments – or even of office tour. Get prospective patients used to your voice and practice, so they feel comfortable when they arrive.
Ask for reviews
We mention reviews a lot, but they play such a vital role in the patient acquisition process that it’d be a shame not to mention them again!
Whether it’s by email newsletters, social posts, personal conversations at the practice, SMS blasts or ‘Rate my Service’ cards – ask for reviews!
Patients are much more comfortable booking appointments with practitioners that already have good reviews online. You can publish the reviews on your own website, or ask people to review you on Google or Facebook – just make sure that the reviews are easy enough to find.
Avily has run hundreds of successful review campaigns for dental practitioners, so give us a call if you don’t know where to start. We’ll make sure that your profiles are set up for success and all your positive reviews are easy to find!
Credibility is all about making sure your potential patients are comfortable enough to schedule and show up for their appointments. You want to show them that they can trust you and that you’ll take care of them. If you would like to learn more about how to make the most of your digital presence, be sure to contact Avily. Our patient acquisition systems have helped dozens of practices reach their full potential.