How we operate dental practices in America may never be the same. Our patients are living in a pandemic and post-pandemic world and have new focuses and concerns. As business owners, it’s important to understand our patients’ needs and adapt quickly to our ever-changing environment if we wish to succeed.
Health and Safety
It almost goes without saying, our patients are now extremely focused on personal safety, sanitation and disease prevention. Many are hesitant to schedule routine dental appointments and are holding off on essential fillings, root canals and other procedures.
Those who do venture out to your dental practice may be hyper-vigilant about cleanliness, personal protective equipment and new protocols.
Be open and welcome questions about your health and safety practices to build confidence among your patients, and consider preemptively sharing resources about your process on all of your communication channels. Consider a special graphic for your homepage, a pinned post on Facebook, an email campaign and a physical mailer. All of these will help your patients feel comfortable that they’ll remain healthy and safe when visiting.
Millions of Americans have taken significant financial hits since the start of COVID-19 due to job losses, furloughs and loss of health insurance. As a result, many of these people have put dental care on the back burner.
Share your knowledge, and helpful articles, with your patients to help them understand how critically important regular dental care is for their overall health. Remind them that dentistry is not just a cosmetic choice, but is essential for preventing gum disease and reducing the risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Perhaps most importantly, listen to your patients’ questions and concerns. Though your job may feel quite routine, a dental visit is infrequent for most of your patients. Building rapport and confidence with each person during their semi-annual visit is essential to keep your business thriving.
Stay positive and try not to minimize any concerns. Repeating their thoughts back to them shows that you’re listening and working to understand. Provide your insight and share some solutions, if possible. Some patients might be in a financial predicament; share your payment plan options, if any, or consider offering a deferment. This is a great way to build goodwill and develop life-long customers.
As your head your dental practice back toward normalcy, these measures can help renew patient confidence and bring your business long-term success.