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Dental Tribune United Kingdom Edition

March 11-17, 201324 Practice Management United Kingdom Edition Curasept ADS 0.2% CHX Conventional chlorhexidine mouthwashes lead to discolouration. Curasept, with it’s patented Anti Discolouration System (A.D.S.), is proven* to prevent almost all yellow-brown discolouration of the tongue and teeth without altering the anti-plaque and antibacterial action of Chlorhexidine. Alcohol free Does not alter taste perception Increases patient compliance *Compare the studies at with A.D.SAnti Discolouration System Follow us on Facebook Special promotions available through your dental wholesaler Curaprox_Curaspet_A4P_TR_019_12.indd 1 05/09/2012 15:14 P reviously, I outlined a suggested practice de- velopment programme based on an eight-step patient journey. Here, I shall discuss step one – how a prospective patient finds out that you and your practice exists. Arguably, this is the most important step; it’s the old ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ saying. Maybe in this case it should be a jour- ney of a thousand smiles… Let me state straight away that I do not know ex- actly what you need to do to attract a regular flow of potential new patients. I know from first-hand experience some of the things that work and can suggest ideas you may care to try. By common consent, word of mouth referrals are the most effective at bringing prospective new patients to your door – or at least to the telephone. By most effective, I mean a high conversion rate from recommendation to new patient appointment. Word of mouth referrals are a sort of informal network mar- keting. And network market- ing has produced many large and successful companies (think Herbalife as just one example). While word of mouth mar- keting might be highly suc- cessful in terms of quality, it can be difficult for dental practices to generate suffi- cient quantity. You’re going to be very lucky if even 10 per cent of your patients actually recommend you. Simply ask- ing patients to recommend you is unlikely to be very ef- fective. You need to incentiv- ise them – perhaps a free hy- gienist session or free electric toothbrush for each recom- mendation that results in an appointment. You should also take a leaf out of network marketing ac- tivity and give your patients some particular benefits of at- tending your practice which they can pass on. Consider a postcard-size card with, say, a photograph of the practice team on one side (so much friendlier than an image of the inside or outside of your prac- tice) and three or four bullet points on the reverse. These could be: • Family-friendly practice – we love kids! • Tooth whitening and cos- metic dentistry a speciality • Low-cost monthly payment plans • Late evening and weekend openings For excellent examples, look at the ‘Thank you’ cards and invitation cards Knight Dental Design includes in its information packs about its laboratory. Don’t overlook including something as apparently mun- dane as ‘free parking’ – espe- cially if you are a town centre Turn your good practice into a great one – part two Jacqui Goss continues with your journey toward practice perfection! ‘While word of mouth marketing might be highly successful in terms of quality, it can be difficult for dental practices to generate sufficient quantity’