As a practice manager or owner, you must ensure your dental practice is delivering a premium patient experience as the demands of your potential patients are changing. Many patients who previously received NHS dental care are now turning to private practices as 30% of people in the UK can’t access NHS dental care, and out of those who can, 58% say getting an appointment is more complicated than it was in the past.
Patients used to paying NHS prices are now having to spend more on dentistry as they’re moving towards private practices. This means you must ensure your private dental practice provides a premium service, above and beyond what they received at their previous NHS dentist. Ensuring a premium experience also benefits your business, as it’ll encourage patient loyalty and make it more likely they’ll recommend you to their family and friends.
Take a look at these four ways to position yourself as a premium dental practice and ensure everyone leaves your surgery with a smile.
Harsh fluorescent lighting and uncomfortable plastic chairs don’t belong in a high-end dental surgery. Create a comfortable and spacious waiting area by including features such as in-date glossy magazines, soft lighting, and contemporary colour schemes.
Finishing touches such as a cold water dispenser, plants, and artwork will add to the luxurious feel, and the area should be meticulously clean and free of clutter. Ensure any music playing is soft and not intrusive, so it provides a distraction for nervous patients without making them feel overwhelmed.
Provide a personalised service
Greeting every patient in a warm and friendly manner will help them feel comfortable and at ease. Giving them an idea of how long they’ll be waiting and letting them know about any delays shows you understand they’re busy and respect their time.
Asking patients questions about their family, work, and hobbies when they first lie down on the chair is a great way to relax them and build rapport. It may also provide valuable insights into their lifestyle and overall health.
When positioning yourself as a premium dental practice, you must provide excellent customer service with every step of the way. Also, consider sending a regular email newsletter to registered patients, giving valuable hints, tips, and recommendations around oral health. This will make them feel part of an exclusive club and present yourself as a true expert within your industry.
Invest in high-end equipment
To provide a premium patient experience, you’ll need to invest in top-of-the-range tools and equipment. This will help make procedures faster and minimise discomfort, and high-quality diagnostic tools can identify and treat issues before they cause problems.
Your surgery rooms should be clean, pleasant, and uncluttered, and tools should be stored out of sight until needed. Ensure everything is in good condition and working as it should, as damaged or broken equipment will damage the impression you’re trying to create.
Investing in the best tools for the job is wider than those used within your practice rooms. Paying for a modern and professional website will demonstrate that you value quality and attention to detail, and this is where potential patients will learn more about what you offer. Also, make sure any social media accounts reflect your branding and the image you want to present.
High-end dental practices are likely to attract busy patients who juggle multiple responsibilities. Therefore, you must make accessing your services as convenient as possible and allocate plenty of time for each appointment so patients are only waiting for a short time.
Review your opening times and consider opening late a couple of evenings a week or offering Saturday appointments. This benefits patients who have demanding jobs and struggle to attend appointments during the working day.
Getting your equipment regularly serviced reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns, which can cause significant inconvenience in terms of delayed or cancelled appointments or procedures taking longer than expected.
Enabling online booking means people can quickly book appointments whenever needed, and you could include an option to pay in advance. This eliminates the need for patients to revisit reception after their appointment.
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Providing a luxury experience will delight your patients and help them recognise why the price is typically higher than the NHS counterpart. Giving each patient an enjoyable experience will also help you build a loyal patient base.
If your practice requires some TLC before you start positioning yourself as a high-end provider, get in touch to learn more about our services.