• Log In To Your Member Portal

Creative Ways To Increase Patient Volume

increase patient volume

Did you know that less than half of the American adult population goes to the dentist each year? Whether it’s their busy schedule or dental phobias holding them back, it seems like many patients postpone checkups until they need a root canal or a tooth pulled.

So, how can you increase patient volume at your dental practice? If you’ve been emailing appointment reminders or mailing the same appointment reminder cards since 2009, you’ll have to get a bit more creative to boost your patient pool.

Retaining loyal patients and acquiring new ones is critical to scaling your practice. Thus, in this article, we’ll give you creative and smart methods for increasing the number of patients who walk through your door.

You can’t increase patient volume without a little help

Let’s face it, you didn’t spend years working tirelessly in dental school to become an expert at business marketing and SEO techniques. Thus, the first step to boosting your patient pool is understanding that you should surround yourself with a team of professionals.

But, your receptionist who focuses on scheduling appointments and patient processing isn’t likely a secret marketing whiz or content writer. This is why you must assess your in-house staff to understand what skills you’re looking for when you hire outside help.

Social media is your greatest asset

Social media is where most people receive information about businesses today. Gone are the days when driving past a billboard for a dental practice or getting a pamphlet in the mail was enough to motivate you to pick up the phone and make an appointment.

Utilizing social media platforms/channels is one of the most creative ways to increase patient volume. Plus, they attract nearly two billion users every single day. Thus, it’d be silly for any business to ignore the power of having an Instagram profile or Facebook page to represent their brand.

Increase patient volume by promoting on the right channel

You have to be smart about how you leverage social media to attract new patients to your practice. If the platform you’re marketing on isn’t frequently visited by your target audience, your efforts may be rendered useless. So, with the help of a social media marketing person on your team, you can find answers to the following questions that will help you attract the right patients to your practice.

What social media channel do your target patients visit most often?
What type of information do your target patients seek from this social media channel?
In what ways do your target patients engage on this social media channel?
Which types of posts are your target patients most attracted to or influenced by?

Create a blog page

Blogging is a fantastic way to attract and engage patients in your practice. For starters, you can make keyword-rich content to ensure your dental business shows up in Google search results. Plus, the better your blogs are, the more people will want to read them and share them with friends. Thus, blog posts are a great way to increase patient volume by garnering new leads and converting prospective patients into appointments.

What should your blogs be about?

You should have blogs that showcase your practice. For example, if you primarily work with kids, you can post blogs that parents would read, such as “How to Get Your Kid to Floss Every Night” or “The Top Low Sugar Snacks For Kids That Taste Good Too”. Moreover, if your specialty is performing root canals, you could produce blogs like, “Don’t Wait Until You Have to Make an Emergency Dental Appointment” or “What’s Causing Your Severe Tooth Pain?”

It’s important to note that you don’t need to generate blogs yourself. Unless you’re a savvy content writer, hire a freelance writer who can produce quality content for you that’s informative and engaging.

Consistency is key to increase patient volume

When it comes to blogging and social media posts, we can’t stress enough that quantity does not equal quality. It’s all about achieving consistency with your content so your audience feels like they can rely on your business to share blogs/posts regularly.

Even if this means you’re only posting on social media one or two times a week and only uploading a blog to your website once a month– that’s much better than having weeks when you post every day and then months when you post nothing.

Give your website a makeover

If your website looks like it was created in 2006, it’s time for an update. As search engines are the most popular way for patients to find a new dentist, your brand must be well-represented online. So, make sure that your website’s colors, fonts, copy, and images all fit your brand personality to a T. Likewise, you need to ensure that your website is showing up on Google so your efforts aren’t wasted.

Again, you don’t have to do this alone. It would be in your best interest to hire an SEO expert and a web designer or content marketer to make some tweaks to your site.

When updating your website, make sure your appointment scheduling process is simple and easy to follow. If a visitor has been on your site for longer than one minute and still doesn’t know how to schedule a dentist appointment, they’ll give up. Our digital patience is a lot shorter than you might think. In fact, recent studies have revealed that even a mere six seconds of waiting for a web page to load will turn a user away.

Get mobile-friendly

Let’s be honest, if your business’s website isn’t compatible with smartphones in today’s digital era, you’re not setting yourself up for success. So, if the only way for your patients to schedule a dental appointment is via your desktop site, your outreach will be greatly limited. This is why one of the smartest ways to increase patient volume in today’s day and age is to ensure your site is mobile-friendly.

Optimize your dental appointment cards

It’s not fun to admit, but most dental cards get tossed in the trash. At best, they get put up on the refrigerator or they lay in a shuffle of papers on the kitchen counter for a week or two. But eventually, they get thrown away.

However, this isn’t because no one likes getting dental reminder cards. It’s because most dental cards just aren’t designed very well. If your cards only talk about your new dental missed appointment policy or booking same-day dental appointments, they won’t do the job of capturing the reader’s attention. In order to increase dental appointments, you need to include colors and fonts that are eye-catching and add a call-to-action that stands out on the card.

Additionally, one of the top strategies to increase patient volume is to offer discounts on your dental cards. There’s no denying that everyone loves a good discount. People like knowing that they’re getting the best bang for their buck. So, provide an incentive for patients to book an appointment with you, such as a special limited-time offer teeth whitening deal.

Know your competitors

Conducting competitor analysis is a huge part of marketing– no matter what business you’re in. You can’t know how to increase patient volume in a dental office if you don’t know what the deals the dentist down the street is offering.

Thus, make sure to do your due diligence and find out your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, so you know how to market yourself against them.

Cultivate good relationships with your patients

At the end of the day, the best way to get regular appointments scheduled at your practice is by developing strong relationships with your patients. While this doesn’t rank as the best way to boost the number of patients who walk through your door, it’s by far the best way to retain the new patients you acquire.

None of your marketing efforts will last very long if a patient isn’t happy with their experience once they’re sitting in your chair. So, take the time to communicate patiently with them. Listen to what’s bothering them and any anxieties or dental phobias they may have, and answer their questions. A good conversation goes a long way in strengthening a relationship.

The bottom line

Coming up with creative solutions to increase patient volume is a team effort. When you’re confident in your team’s ability to expand your practice’s patient pool, use a combination of the strategies we’ve mentioned to expand your patient base. Before you know it, you’ll be keeping your chair full and seeing new smiles consistently walk through your door.