The number of patients seeking care from an orthodontist has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. Even if your practice had some of the best orthodontists in the world, if you are not advertising the right information these patients are looking for, you may be missing out on a large group of clientele.
Review these 7 things patients are looking for in an orthodontist to ensure that you and your office are their first choice.
1. Access and Availability
Are you open on the weekends or before/after normal business hours for those on a Monday-Friday 8-5 schedule to be able to squeeze in an appointment? Being recommended to an orthodontist after taking time off work for a regular dentist visit can be agonizing and a practice that offers more flexible hours will be appealing. Also, as they say, location is everything. Being able to find your office without having to drive to a faraway or unfamiliar location is often important to a patient.
2. Online Presence
Do you have a Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram? How comprehensive is your website? Can a patient schedule their appointment online? We live in the digital age and patients love the convenience of being able to get all of their questions answered by looking at your website, reading reviews on Facebook, and viewing open appointment times. Include your website or ask patients to “add” your social media sites on your direct mail postcards.
3. Certified Specialists with Early Interceptive Treatment
Another great thing to add on your direct mail postcards, business cards, website, and stationary are the logos of any orthodontic organizations you belong to and the words “Certified” or “Specialist”. Patients need to be able to distinguish you from a general dentist. Also, clarify if you offer early interceptive treatment for children referred to an orthodontist as some may assume you provide only teen and adult care.
4. Latest Technology and Options
This digital age includes digital dentistry and the latest orthodontic technology. Not only are patients seeking paperless offices that offer digital X-rays and online dental records for personal review, but the latest options in braces as well. Ensuring you offer the latest, most discreet, and least painful braces options may garner the most interest in your practice.
5. Affordable Payment Options
Braces often stigmatized as overly-expensive. This can deter many patients from seeking the orthodontic care they need. Families and individuals are seeking great care at an affordable price and offering one comprehensive fee for all follow-up after a procedure or affordable monthly payment plans could make you a patient’s top choice.
6. Clean and Friendly
Any medical procedure can be incredibly daunting, so patients are often seeking an office where they feel safe, secure, and free from getting any infections. Keeping your practice bright and clean, while maintaining a friendly and compassionate staff, will ensure a safe and inviting environment patients feel comfortable entering.
7. Continued Outreach and Familiarity
Being able to see the same faces at the front desk and have the same orthodontist doing your following check-ups is vital. Patients want to feel that their orthodontist personally values them and their health enough to be available. You can reach out via direct mail postcards to check up on them or send follow-up reminder texts after procedures.
If you are an orthodontic practice looking to make a few changes to garner prospective clients, you may want to consider improving your technology, adjusting your payment options, or extending your hours a few days a week. Just remember: patients are searching for just the right orthodontist and you need to make sure the quality of your practice’s staff, technology, and services is apparent.