As we wind down 2022, it’s the perfect time for dentists to review and reevaluate what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to practice growth. Are there hidden sources of revenue that have yet to be tapped or missed opportunities to discover? Let’s take a look at 10 potential avenues to explore in the coming year that may inspire creative and profitable changes for your practice.
1. Raise Fees
Increasing fees for your service may not be popular, but it’s an appropriate and sometimes necessary response to tough economic times. Evaluate which services aren’t achieving an ideal return on their investment and adjust for the new year. Small incremental increases in certain areas may make a big difference on the books.
2. Reduce No-Shows and Cancellations
The biggest cause of gaps in a practice’s schedule is patients who cancel or don’t show up. This unplanned downtime can be costly, but there are steps to take that can staunch the production loss.
- Automate a system to remind patients of appointments, via text, email or phone.
- Initiate a fee for missed appointments or cancellations within 24 hours.
- Fill the gaps with emergency appointments or patients on a cancellation wait list.
3. Increase Treatment Plan Acceptance
In order to help more patients and create a reliable revenue stream, it’s vital to increase treatment plan acceptance. This can be improved by creating a good rapport, communicating clearly while listening to the patient’s concerns, and educating them on the benefits of treatment, as well as any options.
Have a system in place to follow through if a patient leaves the office without setting up the necessary appointment(s).
4. Engage Patient Reactivation
People leave their dentist for various reasons, however, proactive patient reactivation can prevent losses in revenue.
First, reach out to the lapsed patients reminding them of their last appointment. Use multiple methods, if need be, including phone, email or postcards. Offer incentives such as discounts on first visit back or free whitening services. And as always, follow up and follow through.
5. Provide New Services
Offering new services or treatment options is always a good way to expand your patient market. Evaluate the potential return on investment for adding implants, aligners or sedation to your practice.
6. Offer New Products
In addition to offering whitening kits and treatments, look at other professional-grade dental products that patients couldn’t get in a retail setting. Partnering with a brand you believe in also helps improve your patients’ oral health and ultimately generate more referrals.
7. Consider Teledentistry
Remote consulting through teledentistry became a necessity for many during the pandemic but has proven to be a time-saving and cost-effective way to evaluate and follow up with patients – particularly in rural areas. Appointments tend to be shorter which means a more productive schedule.
8. Software and Automation
Staffing shortages have highlighted the need – and money-saving benefits – of automation and digital tools to handle certain tasks. Revenue management software can track the income and expenses of your practice while automating billing and collections. Save time and money by setting up systems to remind patients of upcoming appointments and other follow-ups that won’t take staff away from where they’re needed.
9. Purchasing Power
Supply chain issues in the past year have added another potentially expensive complication to dental practices. There are options for increasing your buying power that will also save you money, including Group Purchasing Organizations and establishing loyalty relationships with suppliers.
10. Dental Marketing
The value of employing a marketing person or team with expertise in the dental industry can’t be overstated. Just as there are advances in dental technology, the tools for targeting your ideal patients continue to evolve, including:
- Website retargeting
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and more
“We know dental practices and have over $100 million in media buying experience to yield results for our clients,” says Joe Barton, RAMP Vice President.
At RAMP – The Dentist’s Marketing Company, we’re committed to helping you find hidden sources of revenue while giving you the freedom to focus on your patients. Give us a call or email us today for a complimentary review of your current marketing strategy.