Eliminate verbal discounts and price-negotiation on treatment
In many cases, office managers, treatment coordinators, and front-desk personnel find themselves in difficult situations where they are attempting to close a $1,500 treatment case for a patient without insurance. If there is no membership plan in place, the staff must resort to offering a one-time discount, negotiate pricing to lower the out of pocket expense or rely on a financing solution in which the patient may not be granted approval. Memberships help streamline the treatment presentation process while also setting a foundation on how your practice presents treatment to cash-paying patients.
Your program will give the patient two options. They can either sign up for the membership plan and receive their savings right there at the time of service OR they can pay full price straight out of pocket. Presenting the transparent savings in the membership will significantly increase the chances of the patient (member) moving forward with their necessary dental work.
Limit your reliance on the new patient specials
While you may feel that new patient specials entice new patients to come through your doors, oftentimes, it’s a quick visit where the patient is looking to get their free oral exams, x-rays and cleaning at an extremely low rate (we’ll say $59), and then they’re out the door never to be seen again. We typically encourage our partners to eliminate the new patient specials BUT if you are adamant about offering a special to “lure” the patient into the doors, then we highly recommend that you UPSELL your new patients and enroll them into the membership. Ideally, your membership plan and your new patient special correlate with one another and create an easy pathway to transition the new patient into a member of your exclusive program.
Enhance the overall patient experience
Historically, visiting the dental office can be an anxiety-filled experience for many people, which is why it’s vital to promote an inviting experience where your practice feels more approachable. First, it starts with the staff. If your dental team can create an inviting culture where patients feel welcome and comfortable, you’re off to a good start. As a dentist, your staff will likely spend more time with your patients than you do, so make sure that your patients are left in good hands with a staff that is kind, courteous, well-mannered and well-trained.
Also, many dental practices are now thinking outside the box and using Netflix among other tools to relieve the anxiety of their patients. We even have some partners who offer a comfort menu that include blankets, headphones, eye masks, and phone chargers to make their patient feel more at ease. It’s also imperative that you show your patients that you’re adhering to the PPE protocols and requirements related to COVID-19. Now more than ever, it’s vital that you’re transparent in your efforts to keep your patients safe. Anything that you can do to create a more comfortable atmosphere for your patients, the higher the chances that they’ll return and also refer others to visit your practice in the future.