Dentists and Websites. They don’t sound like they belong together, do they? In the November/December 2012 issue of Compendium, a highly respected dental journal, there is an article by Mark Dilatush and Howie Horrocks entitled, Creating a Dominant Internet Presence for Your Practice. I was late in having a website. It has only been a few years. Marketing, in general, was never part of my practice’s growth. Coca Cola and Pepsi need marketing, right? Not dentists! That is how I looked at this. Until one patient asked me a question and it changed everything.
That patient, Stu from Westport (about 30 minutes from our practice in Stamford, Connecticut), has been a patient of mine since 1994. He was in the hygiene chair five years ago and he heard the rest of my staff cheering and clapping in the room next door while he was getting his teeth cleaned. When I went in a little later to examine Stu he inquired about the commotion. I told him that we just put the finishing touches on a patient that wanted a new smile. We had done veneers and changed her smile to the point that it brought her tears of joy. His comment, “I didn’t know you did that. How do you let people know what you do?” Houston, we have a problem! We were not communicating the services that were available.
Trees were falling in the forest and no one was hearing them. We were doing a lot of fine dentistry but most of our patients were unaware of what we were doing. Referrals were always one-to-one. A happy patient refers a new patient. But things started to change very rapidly in the digital age. Communication has gone rabid and one patient endorsing his or her dentist digitally has an endorsement that goes to that patient’s friends and relatives, and so on and so on. Getting the message out that we have a happy patient that was so satisfied with her Invisalign, porcelain veneers, crowns or dental implants, for example, now can reach a much larger group than ever before. Even services that we do everyday like an oral cancer examination or a TMJ consultation, as examples, were unknown to many of our patients.
So Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and a website all fit in to let our patients, and prospective patients, know what it is we do. It helps with communication, something that can only improve the relationship that we have with our patients.
Thanks for visiting 🙂