Opening and running your own dental practice can be a lucrative career move, and very rewarding for a budding dental entrepreneur. However, opening up your own dental practice and leading with the relevant qualifications is only the beginning; there are many key things you need to maintain to ensure your practice succeeds.
Once you’re qualified as a dentist and eager to get your own practice up and running, it’s important not to rush your planning. You should ensure the following areas are always met and work on building your positive reputation and expertise on many levels. This counts for the dental procedures themselves, but also the practice experience as a whole.
If you’re looking to give your new dental practice the best chance when up against the competition, here are six things your dental practice should focus on to succeed.
1Good Customer Service
A successful dental practice will go beyond the actual treatment in the dental chair. Providing a positive experience for your customer, from the moment they first contact you to the follow-up, will make all the difference to your practice’s success. That’s why good customer service is so essential and can set you apart from the competition within the dental field. No matter how exceptional the dental treatment itself is, it may not matter if your patients experience negative customer service in general from your practice.
With this in mind, make sure that your customer service is up to scratch by:
- Ensuring reception staff understand good customer service and positive patient communication
- Providing affordable price plan options for all patients
- Helping patients to understand treatment information, payment options, and more
- Being sure to answer any and all queries from patients or potential new patients
- Answering queries in a timely manner
- Providing a positive experience overall in the waiting room as well as in the treatment room
2Flexible Appointment Times
Healthcare appointments can be very tricky to meet for busy individuals who need to work all day. The more flexible you are with appointment times for patients, the more positively your practice will be received. Especially if you’re up against a competitor practice who is less flexible with appointments, this can give yours the all-important edge.
Flexibility doesn’t just mean with initial appointment times, but also in making sure you react in a timely and flexible way if patients need to amend any appointment times, even last-minute.
3A Focus on Marketing
Good marketing is vital for any budding business, and your dental practice will need to focus on marketing to succeed (and continue to succeed). Even though dentistry is a healthcare service provided in person, digital marketing is still very much needed and can be crucial for having your dental practice found by the right patients.
If you’re specializing in a specific dental area, such as cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics, you need to make sure that you’re advertising your dental practice as the number one choice. You can find well done orthodontist marketing from Hip Creative.
4Positive Company Culture
Having a successful dental practice is also about the internal relationships, too. Your practice can’t run successfully if it doesn’t have the right team members, no matter how well your patients rate you. That’s why providing the best company culture for your employees is vital. This is beneficial in many ways, including:
- Giving employees a reason to stay working with the practice, meaning employee turnover is reduced
- Providing a more positive workplace for employees so that their working mentality will be improved and therefore service to patients will be improved
- Reducing the risk of employee absence
- Having your employees positively promote your practice through word-of-mouth recommendations
- Building the reputation of your dental practice to be one that cares about its patients and employees in an equal way
Healthcare services need to aim to improve constantly, and one vital way to achieve that is through patient feedback. To succeed, grow and learn, you should try to gain feedback from all your patients. This might not be at the top of your priority list for a busy dental practice, but it can make a difference to learn about a patient’s experience and how you might improve your service.
To gain relevant feedback from patients, you may wish to send a feedback form through email to patients after they have had an appointment or ask them to fill out a feedback form in the waiting area or at their leisure. You may even want to reach out through social media with polls for your followers and patients. Any way you can gain feedback will be valuable information for your practice.
This is what will make your working day flow as it should and ensure no appointment delays are made, or any other delays to your practice service. Bad communication can easily snowball within a medical service, meaning problems for patient appointments, missed equipment orders, chaotic waiting rooms, and more.
Good communication will help everything run smoother, which means a more pleasant experience for your patients and for you as a dentist, medical attendant within the practice, or the practice owner. Good communication is also essential when working with your patients so they know exactly what you are doing, and can be put at ease, particularly if they are nervous of dentists.
In Summary: Key Points
For successful running of your dental practice, the key points to take away are:
- Good customer service
- Flexibility with appointments and times
- Put time, care, and effort into marketing efforts consistently
- Take the time to create a positive company culture
- Gain as much patient feedback as possible to learn about what you can do better
- Ensure good communication between your practice and patients, and also between team members and employees
Exploring these key areas will help you to keep on top of the patient experience, continually learn about what you can do better, and ensure that your practice is always working at the right level in everything it does.