"I'm in love with the website" - Case Study

We were approached by business owner Angela D'Isidoro who required our assistance with setting up a website for her new company ‘the green bud’. Angela offers high quality, natural and organic baby clothing and accessories made from 100% cotton.

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Reactivating dormant patients

It costs more to acquire a new patient than to keep an existing one so don’t give up on dormant patients without a fight. Reactivation may take a bit of time and effort but it’s worth it.

Do your best to prevent patients becoming dormant in the first place. Try to book them in for their next appointment before they leave the practice. Send out recall letters and follow up with a phone call.

Despite all your best efforts it is inevitable that some of your patients will become dormant.

The first step to manage dormant patients is to identify who they are. Your customer database is a very valuable asset. Make sure you keep it up-to-date. Record the dates of your patients’ appointments so you can identify who has not been to see you within the last 12 months.

There are a variety of reasons why patients may stop coming to see you. Sometimes you won’t be able to help losing patients, for example if they have moved away from the area. These patients need to be identified and removed from your list.

Some patients may have stopped coming to see you if they had a bad experience. If this is the case you need to find out what went wrong and see if you can put things right. Show that your business thinks about the needs of its customers and wants to rebuild the relationship.

Other patients may have just gone quiet because they are busy or because they just forget to book an appointment. These are the patients that you need to focus on.

There are a variety of mediums that you can use to contact your dormant patients. Frequently used methods include telephone calls, letters, direct mail and SMS messages.

Remind patients of who you are, how great you are and what you can offer them. Sell the benefits of coming to your practice. Perhaps send them a copy of your practice brochure if you have one.

You may like to offer a welcome back incentive. For example, 25% off their next check-up or £50 off cosmetic treatment.

Another idea that may provoke interest is to use before and after pictures and testimonials from happy patients who have had treatment at your practice. This could spark interest from patients who would like to have their smile enhanced.

Ask dormant patients why they haven’t attended recently. If they have been unhappy with anything, act on their feedback and let them know. This may encourage them back or at least they will go away with a more positive view of the practice.

Tell patients what’s new at the practice e.g. new staff, treatments, equipment and how they will benefit as a result. A newsletter can be a great communication/reactivation tool. If you have made improvements to the practice as a result of feedback you could include this news as well.

Rather than just using one method of communication try using two or more. Don’t just contact dormant patients once, make it a regular thing. Don’t overdo it though – bombarding patients with daily emails is likely to cause annoyance!

A successful reactivation campaign will take time and effort. To make it manageable you may like to consider spreading out mailings and calls – do a small number each week.

The important thing is not to let your patients forget about you.

If you have any questions about reactivating your dormant patients or would like our assistance with this please get in touch.

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The importance of customer feedback

Listening to customers is invaluable if you want to make your business a success. By finding out what your customers want and what is important to them, you can focus your efforts on meeting and/or exceeding those needs and expectations. Putting your customers at the heart of your decision making can help to generate future revenue and improve customer loyalty.

Feedback can come from any interactions with your customers, e.g. emails, phone calls and social media. Paper and web-based surveys can also be used to provide extremely valuable information.

Consider contacting customers for feedback a few days after their visit/purchase. This way it is still fresh in their minds and it shows you care. Alternatively you may like to try putting a link on every email you send to allow customers to share any observations or feedback.

If you are carrying out a questionnaire keep it short and simple. This will increase the likelihood of getting responses and of respondents answering all the questions. Use simple language and ask the right questions – focus on what is important. Find out about customers experiences. What are your opportunities to impress? Where do you need to target improvements?

Not everyone is keen to give feedback, offering an incentive can increase response rates. Examples include entry into a prize draw, discount vouchers, and money off next visit/purchase.

There is little point in going to effort of gathering feedback if you don’t act on the results. Use your findings to respond to your customers’ needs. This may mean updating your service/product offering and/or pricing options. The feedback should give you an indication of where you might profitably direct your effort and resources to increase the success of your business.

Share your findings on a regular basis, what customers are saying (good and bad), and what you are doing about it. Consider featuring results in promotional material and pointing out what you have done to improve. Use the results to influence your future marketing activities. It may be that customers express an interest in additional products and services – be sure to follow up any leads.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with the development of a customer feedback campaign, please get in touch.

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Ideas for your Facebook page

Facebook is becoming an increasingly popular way for dental practices to connect with patients. Here are some hints and tips to help you make your posts effective.

Consider your audience – what might they be interested in? What is in it for them?

See what others are doing – check out other practices’ facebook pages, especially the ones with large numbers of ‘likes’. Is there anything you can learn from them? What sort of posts are people interacting with?

Keep it short – facebook users are more likely to read short snippets of news and information than reams and reams of text.

Use pictures – using appropriate images with your posts can draw attention. This may not always be possible but it can work well in many cases.

Make it personal – include news stories from the practice such as a staff member having a baby, getting married or doing a charity event.

Consider the frequency of posts – there is a fine line between communicating regularly with your audience and bombarding them with too many posts.

Show off your work – upload before and after pictures of cases to show people the transformations that are possible.

Promote new treatments and/or special offers – facebook is a great way to get these messages out to people, after all it is free.

Encourage action – e.g. call to book an appointment, email us if you have any questions, or visit our website for more information.

Share oral health tips and advice – people will appreciate that you are passing on useful information and aren’t just using facebook as a sales tool.

Add a bit of fun – in addition to helpful tips and advice you might like to occasionally include a joke or a funny picture.

Include testimonials – if you receive a letter of thanks or a thank you card share it on facebook. This is a great way to promote yourself.

Ask questions & encourage interaction – as well as giving information, encourage people to get involved. The more interaction there is, the more people are likely to see your posts.

Grow your audience – ask fans to share posts with their friends and to ask them like your page.

Need more help?

Did you know that Blue Horizons offer a facebook management service? If you are interested in using facebook to promote your practice but don’t have the time to do it yourself please get in touch. We will be happy to give you more information about our service.

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