Patient cancellations and no-shows are an issue for nearly every dental office in the country. They cost money, they waste time and they cause headaches for dentists and their staff. On top of these issues, dentists also face the task of winning returned business from new customers. To do so, they must present a comfortable experience in hopes of converting new dental patients into returning customers.
Here are a few ways that dentists can reduce cancellations while winning over new customers and business:
Send Out Reminders
Appointment reminders are one of the most effective tools dentists can use to reduce cancellations and no-shows. Many patients schedule appointments well in advance, often up to six months. A simple phone call, email or postcard is enough to remind patients that their appointment is coming up.
Simplify the Rescheduling Process
Patients are more likely to skip an appointment if your rescheduling process is drawn out and complicated. Things happen in life that force patients to reschedule at the last minute. Dental offices should make it easy to move appointments and get patients back on the schedule immediately.
Allow Patients to Pre-Pay for Appointments
When patients schedule their next cleaning or checkup, give them the option of pre-paying. This will give them an added financial incentive to ensure that their keep their appointment.
Create a Memorable Experience
Patients have a large amount of choices when it comes to their dental care. When it comes to winning return business, dentists need to create a memorable experience. Everything from the clinic furniture in the waiting room to the way dentists treat is a part of the entire patient experience.
Start by creating a comfortable and welcoming waiting room experience. Then follow up with that comfort during treatment. Use dental chair accessories like memory foam headrests to ensure patients are properly positioned in dental chairs and comfortable. These types of products also help reduce patient anxiety by keeping them secure and comfortable in dental chairs.
Following Up is a Great Practice
The patient experience doesn’t end when they walk out the door. Follow-up emails, phone calls and postcards are a great way to keep in touch with patients and encourage them to make return visits. Thank you notes, upcoming appointment reminders and other office notices are good options to send out on a regular basis in order to stay ahead of patients and remain at the top of their minds.