As the fight with the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected directly or otherwise. Some businesses have temporarily closed and you might be wondering if there is a way to keep your dental practice running somehow.
Many businesses have been hard hit by this pandemic and the medical field is no exception. The unprecedented disruption in everyday operations can have devastating effects on your bottom line and the general outlook of your practice. It’s all looking gloomy right? Not so! There has never been a better time to reinvent your practice and bounce back better than before.
This article takes a look at 6 simple things you can do to keep your dental practice running during these trying times and hopefully keep you prepared for the inevitable return to normalcy.
1. Keep communication going
Communication with patients is key to not only keeping them as patients but also updating your medical records. Find out any challenges that your patients are facing and help them in the best you can. Make use of various online platforms for communications.
Show your patients that your care goes beyond them visiting your practice in person. Teledentistry is booming, use the first-mover advantage.
In line with communication, when last did you visit your website?
As you communicate to patients you get to reinvent your website and incorporate relevant information that will drive more web visitors. Update team member biographies and get personal with your patients; let them know that you are thinking of them in these trying times.
2. Adjust your auto communications
Most practices are running automated systems that manage scheduling. As such you need to double-check and make sure you turn off all scheduled appointments that are linked to automatic payment platforms.
Ensure that you do not have a tonne of complaints and inquiries on your hands when you finally get back to your practice.
3. Keep your website up to date
The fact of the matter is, you will need a full schedule for when this pandemic is finally over. In order to achieve this, you need to keep your patients aware of the services and offers at hand from your practice.
Don’t go dark on your patients. Keep your social media pages active, offer self help dental tips, and let them know that their oral health is still safest in your capable hands.
4. Make social media your friend.
A large number of your patients are on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many more. If you didn’t have the time or need to invest in social media now would be a good time to do so.
Create engaging content that keeps patients coming back.
Create online groups where patients can engage in conversations and you can use that platform to address any questions that your patients might have. You can have question and answer segments or simple trivia. In truth, the avenues to explore via social media are as endless as the benefits you get if you invest in it.
Be on the lookout for reviews. Social media is the best place to get an honest opinion from your patients about what they think about your practice and what you can do to improve even in this time of social distancing.
5. Keep your team active
Just as you are keeping your patients engaged and busy, your dental team also needs to be kept on their toes. This is the time to sharpen every aspect of your team.
Invest in online classes for your respective team members. Have them improve on converting patient calls. Meet with your team every so often through online platforms and keep their minds alert with brainstorming sessions.
6. Prepare for the inevitable bounce back
There is no easy way to say this; chances are when you return you might be facing a slight recession. That being said you can get ahead of the curve by setting up counter-measures to soften the blow.
Keep your dental practice running in the meantime, doing audits and planning for the bounce back. And when it does come you can also consider doing the following:
- Look into more flexible payment plans for your patients
Like we highlighted earlier, there are no exceptions to this pandemic. As such you need to make sure that you generate revenue upon your return to normal business while not making it a tall order for your patients.
Flexible plans make it easier for your patients to pay for their procedures and you lessen the unsettled bills.
- Better warranties.
Patients need to feel secure. Offer warranties on some procedures. You earn a patient’s trust and possibly win over a few patients that were still on the wire about coming to you for dental services.
- Extended working hours
I know what you are thinking. But there might be a need to go the extra mile in order to get the most out of your return. Establishing a slightly extended time of service might be necessary to accommodate all those patients that are running round to return to normalcy as well. This might be the small sacrifice you need to make to reinvent your practice for the better.
The pandemic we are facing can feel overwhelming but it is still very possible to keep your practice alive and ready for the inevitable bounce back. You needn’t go this alone, now is the best time to consult with companies that specialize in virtual support services in marketing, accounting, and website management so you can have a well rounded and specialized plan for your practice.
Learn more about in-sourcing from the free guide.
SupportDDS is a leading Texas-based in-sourcing company that provides virtual assistants and administrative support for dental practices. Moreover, we provide both short and long term virtual outsourcing services customized to suit your business process needs.