The impact of 2020 on dental clinics cannot be ignored, especially for those planning to open new clinics. Dentists have been significantly affected by the extra costs of personal protective equipment due to the pandemic, reduced patient visits, and subsequently decreased clinic revenues.
According to a recent study by Oral Health, 46% of dentists consider the most significant impact of COVID-19 to be the loss of income, while another 19% believe the increase in personal equipment expenses is the main issue. 86% of dentists state that their revenues between April and September 2020 were lower than the same period in 2019.
Many dentists believe that returning to pre-pandemic conditions is not very likely in the near future. Unfortunately, half of the dentists anticipate that post-2021, revenues will continue to be as low as in 2020. Another factor contributing to this concern is a U.S. study revealing that three out of five individuals have a fear of dentists.
If you are a dentist planning to open a new clinic, don't let these challenges discourage you. The situation is not expected to persist, and there are opportunities for those willing to adapt. 25% of dentists believe they will close the year in 2021 with a much better financial outlook than in 2020. Additionally, 22% of dentists see new opportunities arising as a result of the pandemic. Therefore, dentists opening new clinics can capitalize on these opportunities with the right strategies and tools.
Invest in Your Clinic
Throughout your career, you will likely invest more time and money in your team, equipment, and education than ever before. A crucial criterion for a successful clinic is having a skilled and qualified clinic team. Ensure that you work with the right people and provide them with proper training. The qualifications of your team are vital for the success of your dental clinic.
Hire the Right People
While every dental clinic strives to select the best employees, finding the perfect team member may not always be easy. Evaluate candidates thoroughly from all aspects. Make sure the person you are hiring possesses the competencies required for the position. Conduct in-depth interviews rather than keeping them brief. Since you eliminate unsuitable candidates by reviewing resumes, spending more time on interviews will not be a significant time investment.
Take every new hire seriously, check their references, and aim to find individuals who are not only qualified but also compatible with the atmosphere and working environment of your clinic. Remember, working with compatible and qualified individuals is crucial for effective dental clinic management.
Ensure an Adequate Number of Staff
Having the right people is essential, but the number of staff members on your clinic team is also critical. Even if you have the best front desk team, they won't be able to make incoming patients feel important, valued, and safe if your team is constantly dealing with phone calls and patient records.
Insufficient staff is a concern for many healthcare centers, including dental clinics. The last thing you want is a damaged clinic reputation, stressed employees, and poor patient satisfaction. Ensure you have enough staff members to provide a positive experience for your patients.
Train Your Team
Equip your team with the necessary information to engage in informative conversations when potential new patients call your clinic. Create a script that guides communication and includes basic dentistry information. Your team should be able to provide information about the names of treatments, average treatment durations, and pre-appointment instructions.
93% of dental practices state that such scripts benefit employees directly. Ensure that your front desk staff can communicate effectively and provide essential information about your products and services to patients.
Focus on SEO
Approximately 76.6% of clicks go to the top five links in a Google search. If you want your clinic to appear at the top of Google search results, you may need to invest time in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank high in Google search results. When people search for dental treatments, 18.4% prefer the clinic that appears first in search results.
There are two types of SEO: on-page and off-page. On-page SEO refers to optimizations made on your website to make it accessible to users. Off-page SEO involves marketing optimizations outside your site to attract visitors and potential patients.
For both on-page and off-page SEO efforts, you should always consider who you want to reach, what services you offer, and whether visitors to your site will encounter useful information.
Manage Your Reputation
Reputation has always been essential for dentists, but now, access to online review platforms and feedback sites has never been easier. Potential patients often base their dentist choice on online reputation, so ensure you make a good impression from the beginning. 77% of patients check online reviews before selecting a new dentist, and 87% believe online reviews provide reliable feedback.
Take online reviews seriously, and respond to as many as possible. A positive response like "Thank you for your positive review!" can go a long way. Address complaints in negative reviews promptly to resolve issues. Online reviews have a more significant impact on people than you might think, with 60% of potential patients preferring to book an appointment with a clinic that has positive reviews.
In summary, what people see first about your clinic when searching for a dental clinic nearby is likely online reviews. Therefore, it's crucial to manage your online reputation from the beginning. Google, Yelp, and Facebook are platforms where potential patients will learn about your clinic, so pay attention to the reviews and respond appropriately.
If you want to increase your patient capacity and offer a better experience, consider innovative dental clinic management programs. With the cloud-based digital clinic management system Medicasimple, you can efficiently manage your new dental clinic from the start.
Patients visiting your clinic for the first time will appreciate the convenience of the online appointment system, the clarity of treatment planning, and the options for payment plans. If you want to improve the patient experience in your dental clinic and believe that innovation is necessary, contact Medicasimple now at +90 212 281 69 64 or firstname.lastname@example.org.