denTEL's Guides

How to Increase your Dental Patient Retention

patients in full waiting room graphic

If you’re like many dental offices, you might already have a stable client base, but be wondering: How do I grow my practice? The key is not just to get new patients in the door, but also to keep patients coming back again and again. 

While you can focus on getting new people interested in your services, this alone won’t cut it. If you lose patients as quickly as you gain them, you aren’t really growing. Cultivating loyal patients can also build your reputation in the industry as a reputable and trustworthy practice. 

Instead of watching your patients turn to a competitor, get them back through your doors — and have them returning again and again — with these dental patient retention strategies. 

1. Create a Seamless Booking Process‌

If it’s a hassle to book an appointment with your practice, a patient might think twice before deciding to do it again.

To keep patients coming back, you should have a smooth and seamless booking process — whether it’s an online booking platform or you’re taking appointments over the phone. Offering both can be a great way to meet clients’ varying needs.

2. Make a Great First Impression‌

For most patients seeking dental care, the first place they’ll turn is Google. This means the first impression they’ll have of your practice is your website. Make that first impression a good one. 

You don’t need an expensive website with fancy graphics, but it should look clean, organized, and professional. Include helpful information and an easy navigation system, as well as a few images showing the best of what your practice has to offer. 

3. Offer All the Waiting Room Essentials 

An important part of patient retention is keeping your waiting room comfortable. No matter how prepared and efficient you are as a practice, your patients will be spending some time in the waiting room. Make the space open and inviting with comfortable chairs, pleasing decor, entertainment options, and free Wi-Fi.

‌4. Stick to the Schedule 

While patients can expect a short period of time in the waiting room, it’s important to keep things running on schedule. If patients are left with long wait times, it sends a message that you don’t value their time. 

Keeping appointments moving can help improve patient satisfaction — and leave them with a stellar impression of how you run your practice. 

5. Don’t Forget the Little Things 

The little things can make a big, lasting impression on your patients. As soon as the patient steps through your doors, it’s important to make them feel welcomed and valued.

This can look like: 

  • A friendly attitude from all your staff 
  • Greeting patients by name 
  • Smiling and making eye contact in the office 
  • Offering a bottle of water while they wait
  • Being clear and communicative about the timeline for their appointment 

When a patient thinks about whether or not they want to return to your practice, the way they were treated in the office can play a huge role. No matter how good your services are, they need to come with a great patient experience. 

The Bottom Line 

These might seem like small strategies to focus on, but they can add up quickly. When you put effort into creating a great patient experience, you can boost your retention and build your practice. Not only will patients be more likely to return, but they might also recommend your practice to friends and family. 

Looking for more ways to help your practice reach its full potential? Our platform can introduce your practice to the new patients you need to keep your business growing. Sign up now to grow your practice with denTEL. 

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