How much is a patient worth to your practice?

Chances are that a new patient enquiry could potentially be worth tens of thousands of pounds to your practice – they join your dental plan, stay at the practice for several years and have a couple of more complex and/or cosmetic treatments during this time – it all soon mounts up financially. Add to that the potential earnings involved when that patient recommends a few friends and family to the practice and you see why each and every prospective new patient is so valuable. But, is the whole dental team aware of this fact?

Answer the phone!

We cannot stress highly enough how important it is to answer the phone – you could be losing out on potential revenue for the practice.

Many practices have found that moving the phone away from the front desk has proven very successful and profitable. Besides which, ringing phones are very distracting and can make a patient who is physically there at the practice feel rushed.

Focus on patients

If patients feel that the front desk team are there for them, are approachable and calm giving their undivided attention and time, then they will be more inclined to ask questions. Perhaps they’re looking to join your dental plan or have been considering tooth whitening but prefer talking to someone face-to-face. Every patient has the potential to add revenue and therefore profit to the practice and should be treated to this affect!

Regular attendance

If a patient isn’t feeling rushed at the reception desk they’re more likely to book in their next appointment there and then – the impact of regular, consistent attendance has a huge impact on a practice’s bottom line. Booking patients in this way is also far more cost effective then having to chase for recalls.

Find out how new patient’s have heard about you

This is an important question to ascertain what marketing elements are working best for you so that you can apportion your attention and budget appropriately. It could be focusing on a particular marketing channel or realising that you’re missing out on opportunities.

Ask your existing patients for referrals

We’ve written a whole blog post dedicated to encouraging patient referrals, check it out here.

What next?

Instil within your front desk team that it is their responsibility to ensure that each patient (whether in person, on the phone or via email) ends their interaction with the practice with a ‘call to action’ – this could be getting an appointment booked in or setting up a follow up call and/or email.

You may find our previous blog your reception team – the face of the dental practice of use.