Most of us are feeling the effects of inflation in at least one area of our lives. Because of this, many of us are cutting back on dining out, vacationing, and other non-essential purchases. One of the things people might cut is orthodontic procedures, as these are seen as more cosmetic and less medically necessary. As an orthodontist, how do you deal with the decline in business due to inflation?
Tip #1: Offer Payment Plans
If you haven’t been doing this already, now is the time to start offering affordable down payments and monthly payment plans. Lots of patients aren’t able to pay the full amount of treatment upfront, so make treatment more accessible to them by giving them options. People who otherwise would forgo orthodontic treatment may now reconsider. Make sure potential patients are aware of these plans—include them in your marketing material and let current patients know in case they have a friend looking for treatment. This will help patients understand how affordable treatment can be, even while the economy is suffering.
Tip #2: Accept Insurance Plans
Some patients have the benefit of their dental insurance covering part of their orthodontic treatment. If your practice accepts most available insurance coverage, your number of potential customers increases astronomically. People will go to an office that accepts their insurance, so make sure your practice is at the top of their list. Greyfinch even offers help with understanding insurance coverage and taking the burden of processing it off your hands through our work with a dental clearinghouse.
Tip #3: Review Practice Costs
When the economy is going downhill, use it as an opportunity to consider your practice’s expenses. Review your staff and reallocate tasks as needed—you might find there are positions that can be combined or cut completely. Look for ways to save money on supplies—consider switching to a cheaper vendor or supplier, or implement goals to reduce supply waste among your staff. Make sure your team understands why cost-saving measures are necessary to ensure they support your initiatives.
Tip #4: Explain the Risks of Putting off Treatment
Often people view orthodontic treatment as purely cosmetic, but, as all orthodontists know, this is not the case. While treatment does have the cosmetic benefit of giving you a straighter smile, it also helps with reducing jaw pain, making chewing easier, reducing cavities, and a host of other benefits. It is important to make sure your patients and potential patients understand that delaying orthodontic treatment can lead to costlier treatment in the future, as their dental issues will likely only get worse with time. So while it may seem like a bad time to start expensive treatment, there is actually no better time, because it is still the cheapest it will ever be.
Offering the best treatment and customer service is more important than ever when potential patients are feeling the squeeze of inflation. Discover how Greyfinch can help you improve the patient experience at your practice today!