Dental patient incentives – Free consultations and refunds on initial assessment fees

If you are looking to sell more cosmetic and/or aesthetic treatments at your practice, have you considered offering a free consultation and/or a refund on the initial assessment fee? Used sparingly and appropriately, offers and incentives are a great way to pull new patients in.

Having a data-capture form on your website such as ‘Free consultation for all cosmetic treatments’ is an excellent incentive to attract new patients to the practice. Often, those who are thinking about cosmetic treatment may well be searching the internet when the practice is closed (for instance, in the evening) so by having an easy to use enquiry form on your website, it ensures that you’re helping the patient take that next step, rather than relying on them to make a note of your telephone number and call you when the practice is open and when they are available to make a call.

Be explicit

Clearly explain to prospective patients on your website what the consultation and/or assessment process is. For example, you may decide to have a two stage consultation process, whereby the initial consultation is free, and then the next stage, when x-rays are taken and a treatment plan is put together, there will be a charge.

Many practices worry that offering free consultations is devaluing their services. However, it should be viewed as a step in the patient journey and built in as part of the overall service. From a patient’s point of view, a free consultation helps them feel more in control, particularly with an involved treatment such as implants.

You may also want to consider utilising a Treatment Co-ordinator to deal with and carry out consultations. Check out our previous blog on why you should consider hiring a Treatment Coordinator.

Doing things right

With GDPR, it is important to be explicit as to how you intend to use someone’s email address, for example, on a data capture form on your website....... By clicking send you are consenting to us replying and storing your details. Please see our privacy policy for more details.

If someone is willing to provide you with their email address, then they are making that initial step to engage in a relationship with you so it’s important that you reciprocate!

Make use of email addresses

Ideally, you should regularly email your patients and prospects - check out our previous blog on the importance of regular communication here.

Even if a prospect hasn’t taken you up on the initial offer, it may well be that the timing wasn’t right for them. By adding them to your email marketing list, you ensure that your dental practice is at the forefront of their mind, when and as the timing is right for them.

Monitor & Adjust

The beauty of websites is that activity can be tracked and monitored and adjustments made accordingly. If you find you are being inundated with enquiries coming through (and enviable position of more than you can manage) you can temporarily remove the offer from your website.

An effective follow-up process

The following blog posts may be of interest:
- Converting enquiries to patients 
- Dealing with new patients 
- How to talk to patients 

Finally, don’t forget your existing patients

Remember to remind your existing patients about any offers or incentives that are running, or consider offering special offers just for them – patients can feel under-valued if you are always seen to focus your attention on attracting new patients.