During a recent podcast interview, Will Guidara, renowned author of the national bestseller “Unreasonable Hospitality,” shared valuable insights on maintaining strong relationships, both in personal and business contexts. Will stressed the importance of continually pursuing one’s spouse or partner to keep the bond strong in your intimate relationships, a sentiment that also with dental practices and their patients.
In our personal lives, the concept of pursuing our romantic partner daily serves as a powerful reminder of the effort required to maintain a strong and loving relationship. Just as showing consistent affection, appreciation and care towards our significant other helps keep the bond thriving, the same principle applies to our relationships with dental patients. Just as pursuing our loved ones nurtures love and trust, actively pursuing our patients fosters loyalty and a sense of belonging in our dental practice, ultimately leading to better patient experiences and lasting relationships.
In is common for dental practices to attract new patients with special offers and welcome packs, ensuring a positive initial experience. However, it is also important to sustain and nurture these patient relationships over the months and years ahead, rather than taking them for granted.
Here are some actionable ideas to enhance patient pursuit and strengthen the bond in your dental practice:
- Celebrate Milestones: Send physical anniversary cards to your long-term patients, expressing gratitude for their loyalty and celebrating their journey with your practice. Small gestures like this show that you value their trust and commitment.
- Regular Feedback Surveys: Conduct patient satisfaction surveys every two years to gauge whether you continue to meet their expectations. Actively seeking feedback demonstrates your commitment to improving the patient experience.
- Loyalty Discounts: Extend loyalty discounts not only to new patients but also to those who regularly attend recall treatments. Recognising their continued loyalty encourages patients to stay committed to your practice.
- Warm Welcomes: Ensure that your team interacts with returning patients in a way that exudes familiarity and warmth. A friendly and welcoming atmosphere goes a long way in making patients feel valued.
- Priority Appointments: Ensure returning patients are aware of priority appointments if they require urgent care. This not only demonstrates your commitment to their well-being and convenience but also shows that they are valued and receive extra attention in honour of their status as returning patients.
- Express Gratitude Personally: Take the time to personally convey your appreciation to patients. Saying words like, “Thank you for your continued loyalty. We love having you as a patient,” can make a significant impact.
- Christmas Cards for Top Patients: Extend the gesture of appreciation by sending personalised Christmas cards to your top 50 returning or highest-spending patients of the year.
- Continuous Improvement: Always strive to build on the patient experience, ensuring that it is constantly improving. Regularly assess and refine your services based on patient feedback and changing needs.
Incorporating these strategies into your dental practice operations can help you maintain strong patient relationships, ensuring that they never feel like mere numbers in your waiting room. Just as Will Guidara advises in “Unreasonable Hospitality,” pursuing your patients with dedication and care is a recipe for enduring success in both business and personal relationships.