In general, a good dentist has many opportunities for personalization and experience. At a large corporate dental practice, they don’t get to know many of their patients personally, much less as deeply as a local dentist does. This is because most large corporate practices are run by a large marketing firm, which tends to also specialize in dental marketing. Having such a marketing department means that these large firms are very good at developing personal relationships with patients and potential patients.
From the perspective of the potential patient, a personal relationship means that you have likely been referred by a local dentist to another dentist that they are already familiar with. If you are a young adult just out of dental school and want a filling or teeth cleaning, your dental clinic prospect may have referred you to a general practitioner who they trust implicitly. In turn, the general practitioners will probably refer you to someone else if they feel you could benefit from their expertise. These referral processes are a major factor why many people continue to receive treatment through a local dentist after seeing the dentist through a large dental practice.
Another way that dental offices can personalize service is by offering extra services, such as an after hours emergency care unit or a private exam room. It’s common practice for dentists to offer complimentary cosmetic procedures on a sliding scale basis after hours. Some dental clinics will even allow patients to leave feedback online about the level of their service by awarding them a star. Many people like to see where their star is based online and like to go to the dentists who are rated accordingly. Such ratings are also a major factor in choosing a dental practice over another, especially if the dentists are relatively close to home.
There are some people who have learned to tune out local dentists entirely, since their experience has rendered them too unappealing to deal with. Some corporate entities have resorted to “branding,” or paying for expensive advertisements only visible to members of their staff, in order to turn their offices into recognizable brands. A prime example of this branding strategy is the presence of a corporate dental florist in a local practice. The florist might not have anything to do with the quality of care provided by the office, but if potential patients need a quick trip to the corporate location to pick up a toothbrush or new toothpaste, they will likely make the appointment regardless.
Although the above example illustrates the usefulness of advertising, it also demonstrates the downside of advertising to the general public: all of the customers you’d previously gotten rid of through your private practice can now get their teeth fixed through your dental office. This can be quite frustrating for patients who were pleased with your dental services before, but who now feel that you’ve moved your dental business to a bigger city. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem, and that solution is to hire a skilled advertising agency to advertise for you. Advertising professionals are familiar with the art of brand name promotion, and they know how to target the right clients so that their ads reach the right people, and at the right time.
By hiring a skilled advertising company to market your dental practice, you’ll be able to retain your existing client base while expanding your client base to include a new bracket of individuals who might not have known you were a dentist in the first place. If you have dentists in your area who are already experienced in marketing, contact them today to discuss ways to improve upon your advertising. You might be surprised at just how quickly dentists’ practices can grow when they have the help of an expert.