You might have a lot of great ideas for your dental practice. The main question is, how do you go about implementing all that strategic stuff that you’ve been developing?
Here are two strategies to improve your dental practice for staff and patients.
Early Adopters: The drivers of success
The diagram above represents a cross-section of people within an organisation. And, if you’ve got more than seven or eight staff members working in your dental practice, it could represent your business. The Leaders (green) are at the forefront of change – driving the business forward. They live and breathe the dental practice, which is great, but sometimes they’re so far out there, they can leave people behind.
The Laggards (red), are those people who resist change with all their energy (you know who they are!) and they can be a negative and disruptive force in your business.
The people in the middle (grey) are stuck in a tug-of-war between the Leaders and the Laggards, it’s a battle for hearts and minds. That’s when you need your Early Adopters.
Early Adopters are the people who ‘get it’ – they understand the big picture, but they have the ears of other staff to bring them on board. They constantly endorse and live out the vision that you have created and, in doing so, inspire others to do so whilst alienating the Laggards. You probably know who these people are in your practice – all you have to do is nurture them, keep them informed, treat them like the progressive lynchpins they are and empower them to implement your vision and they will send ripples of positivity through the practice.
Sometimes the most powerful marketing results can be achieved by looking at low cost but high impact ideas for your practice.
Adding value – without adding cost
A non-dental company we once met spent £15,000 on a snazzy, all-singing, all-dancing website. It looked fantastic. However, when we asked them how likely their customers would be to search for a service like theirs on the internet. “Oh hardly any”, they said! Apparently, theirs was such a specialist service that more than 90% of their business came from long-standing contracts and the rest came from referrals! AAARRRGGHHH! A very high cost… but ultimately, a low value exercise if ever there was one.
Sometimes the most powerful marketing results can be achieved by looking at low cost but high impact ideas for your practice. Of course, there are times when you need to invest in the high cost, high impact things – a new chair for your surgery, a new premise, the hiring of a treatment coordinator, and that’s great. But on a day-to-day basis, try concentrating on the small things that make a big difference in the eyes of your patients.
Here’s a thought. What if you were to charge 1% more for your services (that’s just £1 for every £100 spent) and then re-invest that additional income straight back into your clients? What added value could you achieve?
Here are a few thoughts to get the juices flowing…
£1: Give every client their own newspaper • Give every customer a new toothbrush • Have free fruit on reception • Install a drinks fridge and stock it with free bottles of water or fruit drinks • Branded chewing gum • Branded dental floss
£5: Free choice of magazines for each patient • Comfort pack with toothbrush, face wipes and floss • A free branded toothbrush holder • Pay for your patients’ parking
£10: Free meal at a local restaurant • Shopping voucher • iTunes voucher • Voucher for a car wash • Memory stick with pre-installed video about the practice • Complimentary treatment (manicure) at a beauty spa • Access to battery chargers for mobile phones
Think about it – how much more value would these things create in the minds of your patients than reducing the treatment by the equivalent amount? Over to you.
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