I was recently at the Yankee Dental Congress and had a conversation with a dentist who was telling me that his primary need was new patients. I asked him how many active patients he had in his practice, and he said, “3500.” 3500! And he’s a solo practitioner! Not sure where to begin, I gently suggested that perhaps he should start contacting his current patient base, and focus on his pending treatment before spending money on advertising. But I was stunned! He has almost three times the patients as the average solo dentist, and he thinks he needs more bodies coming in the front door to solve his production problem.
Let’s face it, he probably needs to get a whole lot better at case presentation. And he probably needs to get much more accurate about who’s really an “active” patient. Many practices never deactivate anyone in their software, even if it was a one-time emergency or they haven’t seen the patient in ten years. But he also needs some tools to help him bring all these patients back in. So I recommended he get an automated digital communication application. (Naturally, I suggested Patient Activator, since it’s my product, but I also said, “At least use one of these services–ours, Revenue Well, Lighthouse, whoever–just don’t do none of them.”)
The reason is, one of the key features of these services is that they have a separate function for dormant patients, where they look at your patient base every day, determining who hasn’t been in the office in over a year and doesn’t have an appointment, and sends them a text or an email (or in the case of Patient Activator, it can also do an automated voice call) that says, essentially, “It’s been over a year since you’ve been in the office. We miss you. Why not give us a call?” This works. And it happens automatically every day.
But now we’ve added a new service, called ReActivation Pro. Because we use live operators at 1-800-DENTIST, and have a massive phone room in Los Angeles, we decided to create a service where we call through your dormant patients and try to find out, first, if they’ve moved away, and if not, if they have a specific reason why they haven’t returned. Sometimes they don’t understand the cost, or the treatment, or they just let it slip from their priorities. And then we try to appoint them. I suggested this to him as well, and he’s doing both. I suspect he will not need to advertise for quite a while.
ReActivation Pro works amazingly well for two key reasons: we use well-trained call center operators who spend all day talking to people about going to the dentist, but we also call the patients between 4 and 8pm, so we have a much better chance of reaching them. We have experienced tremendous success with this in the first few months of testing, and are now making it available to dentists nationwide. Some dentists may say, “My staff should be doing this already.” Yes, they probably should. But do they get to it on a daily basis? Are they consistent month after month, or do they do it haphazardly when they have time? Do they stay late and do it after hours? Probably not.
If you want different results, sometimes it’s not about trying to do the same thing harder and harder. Sometimes it requires doing things differently. If you’ve got a number of patients who aren’t active, consider ReActivation Pro. Don’t let that existing patient base and all that pending treatment go to waste.