When dentists lose patients they usually put it down to “that’s life”, or “you can’t win them all” type excuses. How true is that really?
When you look at the number of patients that a practice loses every year (the attrition rate) it’s usually a significant number. It’s reasonable to assume around 4% will be lost due to people dying or moving. Anything more than that, however, should be a cause for concern. Most practices have rates that are much higher. Over 25% is common. When you analyze the numbers, a lot of these disappearing people only came once. This is not a hard statistic to figure out.
My experience is that around 35% of your lost patients attended just once. You lost them at “hello”.
First Impressions Count
Let’s assume your new patient is nervous. That’s not a stretch. They come in, sit in your reception room; they can feel their heart galloping. Neuroscience tells us that fear reduces the function of the higher thinking processes. In this state, they can’t think very clearly, so their emotions take over. We know that 1st impressions are disproportionally important. Your new patient’s “emotion-based” first impressions tend to stick hard.
This begs the question: What are you doing to shape these emotions?
Channel D was created to tackle this issue head on. One of its aims is to flip the patient’s emotions into positive territory as soon as they enter. We want a positive vibe immediately.
The videos are colorful enough to be eye-catching. They are short enough to allow the patient to stay focused. We have clever scripting that is designed to create both insight into a clinical problem, and a smile at the same time. Patients will approach the dentist grinning, and then ask really well informed questions about topics that you wish every patient wanted to talk about.
The aim, however, is much more than education. Pure education is a cerebral effort. Nervous people find that a challenge. Trying to educate people is okay, but if we can educate and lighten the mood at the same time, that’s gold.
If you knew the actual cost to your practice of losing these patients unnecessarily, you’d take immediate action. The problem is, these losses are hidden to you. They are buried in your management software. Do yourself a (huge financial) favor and research into your own situation. After you recover from the trauma, sign up for a free Channel D trial and discover how different your future can be.
First things first. Go to the top of the page and click on “Samples” and imagine you’re a nervous patient and this is your first impression of the practice. If you end up with a smile on your own face, go to ‘Get Started” and start your 30-day free trial.
By Dr. Michael Sernik