Let’s face it, it’s been a rough couple of months. Your dental practice has likely faced many new challenges — trying to keep your staff and patients safe from coronavirus exposure, staying connected to your loyal customers as fewer and fewer of them visit the office, maybe even having to close the office completely.
This is a stressful time for everyone, and we know you have felt it in one way or another. We are all figuring out how to reopen safely following the outbreak. Keeping up with the CDC regulations and restrictions to prioritize patient safety has been on everyone’s minds.
If you’re feeling frustrated after all the changes we have seen, you’re not alone. While you focus on the best solutions and protocols going forward, your patients are having the same frustrations and concerns for their own health.
To get your patients back into the office, you will need to shift your dental marketing strategy and focus more on how your patients are responding to this crisis.
Notify your patients of your new safety protocols
Keep open communication with your existing patients. Notify them of your recently updated cleaning and disinfecting procedures through email communications, social media, and weekly newsletters. Inform your patients about what to expect when they arrive for their appointment. Make this information easily accessible to prospective patients as well by including this on your website or Google My Business listing.
We recommend including specific protocols for the following practices to ease your patients and set expectations:
- Hand hygiene
- Contact surface disinfection
- Personal protective equipment
- Safe injection and anesthetic practices
- Sterilization of instruments
- Education and staff training
Dental offices were once a place of high cleanliness and strict sanitation before this pandemic. So take the time to show your patients that has not changed –there really is no safer place to be! By addressing their safety concerns, you can rebuild trust and loyalty that will encourage your patients to return with confidence.
Stay connected outside of the office
Since you haven’t been seeing as many patients in the office, it’s important to make a plan for staying connected outside the office. Use this opportunity to connect using social media platforms and email marketing. You will be able to highlight your office’s daily safety routines and actively engage with patients.
Make the content you provide personal and a space of positivity. It’s going to be hard for everyone to find a middle ground and navigate through our new normal. Ultimately, be thoughtful and compassionate in your communications, ensuring your patients that you are here for support –we’re all in this together. By showing genuine interest, your patients will see just how much you care and want them to feel safe.
Understand their fears
Lastly, our advice to you, think like a patient. Strategize your marketing to focus on what matters most to them. What is it that they really care about? Their fears of the coronavirus are very real and are guiding their actions through all the uncertainty. Think about the things that would make you feel confident and reassured.
Many are going to feel reluctant to return to your dental practice because of the risk of contracting COVID-19. Emphasize the safety measures you are taking to minimize the risk of exposure and be a trustworthy resource for your community.
If you’re feeling more than a little overwhelmed with creating a new marketing plan amid managing your staff, enforcing new cleaning procedures, staying educated on rapidly changing guidelines, and the back-end management you do on a daily basis, don’t lose heart.
UpSwell is a leader in marketing specifically for the dental industry, with years of success and experience backing us. We can help you get started with a free marketing assessment to evaluate your current methods and set you on the right path to getting your patients back to the office.