Orthodontics is changing rapidly. For many years now, orthodontic practice has been a stable specialization where the demand and supply did not change by any extent. Today, however, orthodontics is about to experience a myriad of changes. Many people call this change the Competition Explosion. The explosion is caused by a variety of factors which increase the need for properly focused strategic marketing as they change referral factors.
There are many different sectors in orthodontics where competition is emerging from. Sadly, most practices are not prepared for the contributing challenges which comprise of:
- Normal dentists are involved in orthodontic treatment more than they have ever been- the 2008 recession which led to a decrease in 75% of general practices has partly contributed to this. As a result of the recession, different dentists had to find a new way to gain revenue.
- Orthodontics are being incorporated by dental support organizations at a very fast rate.
- Do-it-yourself orthodontics are present- as each year passes, DIY dentists grow significantly. Besides being convenient, the DIY orthodontics are cheaper. Despite not having a dynamic industry effect yet, the continual opening of DIY dental stores and the high levels of national marketing will make the effects visible.
How to Improve your Orthodontic Practice Quickly
There are a variety of ways in which one can improve their orthodontic practice. If the tactics are well implemented, the patient service and customer service will be improved. Some of these are:
- Send a message to all new patients within 10 minutes after departing from your office- this message will welcome the patient to your practice, offer them a chance to contact a front desk person anytime, tell them how delighted the practice is to have them as a new patient and conclude by telling them the practice is looking forward to their next visit. Very few doctors send such a message to their patients. Such a text goes a long way in creating a positive first impression.
- Hand every parent or patient a request and a custom designed Google card to write a review- very few parents and patients think of writing a review on their orthodontics practice. Handing them a card asking them for a review, telling them to what extent you appreciate them and laying out the step for a Google review is an excellent reminder.
- Give all patients a customized thank you card- a signed card is a very nice way to promote how much you value your patients. Inside the card, let there be a message informing patients how much you appreciate them. Also, leave a space on the bottom lane, where you will include every team member who interacted with the patient during their visit.
- Check and call each patient who was treated- it is recommendable to call each parent or patient the second night after they receive aligners or braces. They are more likely to be experiencing discomfort on the second night and reaching out to them will mean a lot. Despite such calls being unnecessary clinically, they help in showing your patients you have 5-star customer service that cares about its patients.
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Sales and marketing are the two main aspects of orthodontic practice and contribute to its success. A referral marketing program is vital since it attracts potential patients. The treatment coordinator is equally important since it closes cases.
Each orthodontic practice requires a social media strategy plan made on the basis of the most recent techniques. Current social media technology shows that people hate being marketed to but they like feel-good opportunities which create a deeper understanding of the practice.
Orthodontic practice has been in existence for a long time and for the practice to be in place for a longer period, different strategies and standards have to be followed. Each practice should ensure it is competing effectively with the rest. Never make the common mistake of an “off again, on again” mentality when it comes to referral marketing. Marketing programs are not building themselves and putting programs like these and marketing efforts on the back burner will lead to a decrease in growth. Begin competing now!