The Importance of Patient Retention (And How to be Successful)

New patients are essential to grow your dental practice. However, retaining your current patients is just as crucial. Not only do you want your current patients to return, you also want these happy, satisfied patients to encourage their family and friends to visit your practice. Patient retention for any dental office should be a primary concern and a focus for any marketing campaign.

Often many dental offices spend a larger portion of their marketing budget for new patient recruitment. While it's important to have an influx of new patients, a strong patient retention percentage is needed to keep a dental practice thriving.

What can you do to increase and ensure patient retention?

  • Communicate and be personable. Take the time to talk with each patient, answer questions personally instead of leaving it to staff. Patients appreciate a dentist who cares enough to explain procedures and who inquires about their overall well-being.
  • Teamwork. Your dental office team, from front desk reception to your hygienists, need to be on the same page — everyone should be trained in patient retention strategies.
  • Annual patient surveys. Conduct annual patient surveys to find out what is working and what may need improvement to help increase your patient retention percentage. Keep the survey short, easy to read, and most of all easy to complete. It may be a print copy filled out at an annual check-up, an online survey, or consider giving your patients the option of choosing which format they prefer.
  • Engage with patients between appointments. Ongoing communication with your patients helps foster a relationship and increase patient retention. Postcard reminders about appointments or an email newsletter with helpful dental health tips lets the patient know they're important to your practice.

 How Can SmileMakers Help with Patient Retention?

SmileMakers products are designed for your dental practice as helpful tools to increase your patient retention percentage. Look to SmileMakers for custom postcards perfect for appointment reminders but also as a way to engage with patients. Offer customized toothbrushes as well as special goodie bags for kids — parents appreciate the smiles these thoughtful items bring to their children who may have had nervousness or even fear prior to their appointment.

Let SmileMakers help keep your dental practice information front and center with items such as custom bags, dental floss, and kid-friendly giveaways like tooth holders and easy-grip infant/toddler toothbrushes. With SmileMakers dental practice products you can increase patient satisfaction and improve patient retention.