We know that in the business of healthcare, garnering the trust of your patients is critical. Educating them on good oral health habits, the pros and cons of various alignment options, and the details of surgical procedures are just a few common ways dentists and orthodontists provide information to build trust with patients during care.
But what if you knew you could gain their trust before coming in for treatment?
We know that safety is on the forefront of patients’ minds today. That’s why it’s critical to communicate to both your new and returning patients the ways you’ve upgraded your safety and hygienic protocols to make your office environment safer than ever. Messages like this will build trust during this time, and can pay off in strong online reviews, return visits and new patients.
Whether it’s through social posts, emails, video, phone calls, and even texts (for a nice personal touch), there are many ways to foster a closer relationship with your patients.
Here are three key messages you should be incorporating that will resonate now more than ever.
Safety: First and Foremost
Since the pandemic began, we have seen more patients choosing to visit their dental provider, or choosing a new provider on the basis of safety.
If you're looking to establish trust with your patients, let them know exactly what COVID-19 protocols your practice is adhering to. Whether you have a new air filtration system, you are spacing patients apart to allow turnaround time to disinfect exam rooms, or require additional PPE; make it clear that your team is committed to making these changes for the benefit of your patients.
Pay special attention to the changes you’ve made that your patients will notice, and the changes that they may not see right away. An empty waiting room, available hand sanitizer, and a simple electronic intake experience are things patients will notice right away that will go a long way to building trust when they arrive.
But stay one step ahead by communicating these changes before they arrive. Video is a great way to make a personal connection, while showing patients the office environment so they know exactly what to expect.
Social posts, and an FAQ page on your website are other ways you can stay in front of patients and build trust, even when they are not in your office.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some people may be putting off their regular dental appointments out of mistaken belief that oral care is less of a priority than other medical care.
But evidence shows that good oral hygiene has tremendous general health benefits, such as a lowered risk of, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and stroke. Well-maintained oral hygiene can also improve cardiovascular health and promote general wellness.
The importance of oral health care has taken on an even greater salience due to the coronavirus outbreak. For example, a recent study detailed in Dentistry Today revealed that coronavirus patients suffering from periodontitis have a greater likelihood of dying from COVID-19.
And given the fact that COVD-19 tends to show more severe effects in people with underlying conditions, patients need to know that oral care should be a paramount concern right now.
So let your patients know that now is not the time to avoid coming in to see you. In fact, it’s the best time to schedule a visit. Whether it be through website blog posts or social content, reinforcing the value of oral care in the lives of your patients is a good way to build trust and let them know how important regular visits can be.
Innovate New Ways to Sustain Business and Build Trust
2020 altered many lives, and as an oral healthcare professional, you have an opportunity to build trust with your patients by adapting your practice to the realities of this time. You want to let people know that you are innovating to provide a safer, more convenient, and more affordable experience during this uncertain time.
For starters, now is a good time to ramp up your office’s telehealth capabilities. Telehealth technology and intraoral cameras provide safe ways for patients to have consultations or examinations from the safety and convenience of their own home.
Additionally, many practices are introducing a variety of payment plans for patients struggling financially or have lost their insurance due to a lost job. Given the events of the past year, it provides a great deal of comfort to economically anxious patients that you’re willing to work with them on the cost of service. It’s also exactly the kind of thing that builds trust between a practice and its patients.
There are other ways practices have innovated to meet the moment, including selling products directly in the office and arranging for home delivery of aligners or other similar oral care products.
Building Trust with the Help of a Marketing Partner
Establishing trust between your practice and your patients is easy to do when you have the right tools at your disposal. Working with a digital marketing partner can also make the process easier, and provide the insight and know-how needed to craft strong messaging.
Once that trust is there, the benefits to your practice are manifold, with a pool of loyal returning patients, solid online reviews, and a steady stream of new referrals.
If you want to know more about how you can use digital marketing to build trust with your patients even before they come into your office, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our medical marketing experts at Scorpion. You can also sign up for our email newsletter to receive helpful marketing tips in your inbox each month.