The best and easiest way to make your existing patients come back and attract new patients would be by evolving into a ‘Patient Friendly’, ‘Patient-Centric’ dental clinic where all your services are designed to maximise patient comfort, satisfaction, accessibility to services and inclusion in decision making.
Some of the steps dentists can take to achieve this are:
1. Giving utmost importance to patient comfort and satisfaction
• You can ensure this by getting oral and recorded feedback of the patient after every visit
• training staff on how to be courteous, respectful, empathetic and engaging.
• Arrange for post-visit review calls and appointments
• Explaining the procedure and treatment plan to a patient clearly and effectively
• Make sure any followup visits in case of discomfort or issues post-treatment are addressed properly and do not charge them for these visits unless necessary.
2. Individualised treatment plans
All of us need to understand that no two patients are the same and hence, every individual is entitled to choose their treatment plan after careful explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of every option available.
Patients should feel empowered to have a say in their treatment plan and this would give them the confidence to keep coming back to the same place for further treatment.
3. Giving maximum value for a patient’s time
• In this fast-paced world, no one has an excess of time to spare and dentists should keep this fact in mind while allocating appointments. The number of appointments should be kept minimum unless a longer treatment duration is medically warranted as in the case of orthodontic braces or re RCTs.
• A minimum time of 15 mins at least should be given to patients who come in for a consultation and should be extended accordingly based on the treatment initiated.
• Single-visit dentistry should be practiced wherever possible and the number of revisits to complete treatment should be kept minimal.
• Take time to answer the patient’s questions patiently and make sure the patient is convinced with their treatment plan.
• Make sure the front office staff are trained to explain any delays and increased waiting times to patients in the best way.

4. Practice holistic dentistry
Patients would always think twice about visiting a clinic where certain treatments or services are not performed. If a patient needs a treatment that you do not specialise in, make sure you have different consultants from other specialisations who would perform these treatments in your dental clinic. By doing so, a patient does not have to be referred to an outside clinic and he/she will hence save money, time and effort by not having to find another dentist or dental clinic for that particular service.
5. Offer membership benefits for regular patients or referred patients
• Any patient who is regular to your dental clinic should be occasionally recognised and rewarded for their loyalty. However small this gesture is, it would always encourage them to keep visiting your clinic. Rewards could be anything ranging from a thank you card to a discounted service or product.
• Likewise, any patient who refers your clinic to someone else should be identified and recognised similarly. This would always give way to more referrals and more loyal customers.

6. Build a one to one relationship with patients
Everyone loves to be remembered and kept in touch with. Always try to remember your patients by name and address them by using it. Also, keep in constant touch with patients using SMSs or other messaging apps to remind them about upcoming appointments, wish them on birthdays, update them about the latest clinic developments, offers on treatments, etc. This would allow them to be in constant touch with you and the clinic and will help to increase their trust and loyalty.

7. Allow various payment options
In the present world, limiting the patient to pay by only one or two treatment options would cause major discomfort for a few. Payment options like third party payments, part payments, etc., should also be introduced or the convenience of the patient. Keeping in mind that dental treatments can be expensive, consideration for those who want to pay by different methods should be made.
Above are some of the best ways to engage your existing patients, improve their loyalty with your clinic, allow them to refer new patients and most importantly, ensure a steady clientele and revenue for your clinic. Most of these methods are not completely achievable just by you and this is where we at Curie Health will be very useful for improving your clinic and working towards a patient- centric approach.
Be it bulk SMSs, marketing, appointment reminders, feedback collections or a platform to connect Dentist in Chennai and Bangalore with your patients, Curie Health has got it all sorted! Log on to https://curie.health/ for a free demo.

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