Getting your practice fixed up is exciting, isn’t it?
Psychologists tell us that one of the most powerful words for the human brain is ‘new’. And if you’ve got a renovation at your practice, this provides an excellent new opportunity to boost patient numbers at your practice.
In this article, we look at how to maximise the marketing return from your renovation.
Life before renovation
In his book, ‘Financial Success for Dentists’, long-time dental accountant, Graham Middleton makes an interesting observation. He noted that if a practice remains unrenovated for an extended period, two things typically happen.
Firstly, existing patients who have formed good relationships with you probably keep coming to the practice. They’ve known you for a long time and come to the practice to see you, rather than to enjoy a modern practice environment (which doesn’t exist).
Secondly, however, patients become less likely to refer their friends and family to you because they’re less proud of the physical environment and less wanting to be identified with something that’s a bit tired looking.
Fortunately, as you renovate, you can also reinvigorate the desire for your loyal patients to refer to you.
Make your very own version of ‘The Block’
One of the reasons why realty TV shows like The Block have such great success is because they take something complex and put it into a simple form that everyone can understand. They lean on a model that dentists can use too – before and afters.
Everyone understands a before and after, and we love the transition of old made new.
To maximise the return from your renovation, make sure that you get lots of photos (and even video) of the renovation as it progresses.
You don’t have to turn it into a TV show, but what you can do is tell a story via social media by posting the progress photos/video in a concentrated fashion over a period of weeks – in the same way The Block turns a much longer project into a few weeks of viewing.
Typically, you’re going to have to boost these social media posts, but you can build interest and excitement to your ‘opening’ and invite new patients to the practice.
Tell your peeps
This one is relatively simple but that doesn’t mean it is to be ignored. Apart from doing something in social media, the new renovation is a good time to engage your existing patients.
Things you could do are really only limited by your creativity, but options include:
- a patient appreciation event at the practice – a few drinks and nibbles can go a long way
- emailing your patients with details of any changes as a result of the renovation – maybe you now offer free phone charging, a patient refresh station, or new dental services. The key is talk up the benefit for the patient
- invite people to drop in, check out the renovation and pick up some kind of freebie while they’re with you – branded toothbrush, keyring etc.
Ask for referrals
I’ve already alluded to this above, but it’s quite possible that some of your old faithful patients had stopped referring to you because they were no longer proud of the aesthetic of your practice. Now that you’ve fixed the aesthetic, it’s time to ask your patients to invite their friends.
You could ask them to refer their friends or family along the following lines – “How do you like the new look of the practice?” (positive answer) “Great, would you have friends or family that would benefit from coming to see us in this lovely new environment?”.
To take it to the next level, have a ‘reopening’ special. I’m not a fan of discounting, but giving something ‘extra’ to anyone who comes in can work really well.
For example, “book an appointment in the next month (new or existing patients) and get a free bamboo toothbrush hand-carved into the shape of our new reception area” – okay, I was joking about the last part, but you get the idea.
Apart from the joy of getting to work in your newly renovated practice, there’s no reason to let the benefits stop there. Get on the front foot, document the journey, and use a boosted social media campaign to build interest among potential patients at the new experience you offer.
Next, use your renovation as an excuse to bring your existing patients into the practice or at the very least, email them to get them thinking about you.
Finally, use your renovation to proudly ask for referrals into the practice. Do this, and you might just get a two for the price of one return from your renovation.
Angus Pryor and his team at Dental Marketing Solutions are the winners of the 2023 marketing award from the Australian Dental Industry Association. Angus is Australia’s number one Google-ranked dental marketer. He is a #1 Amazon bestselling author and international speaker. Visit www.DentalMarketingSolutions.com.au for more information.