More dental practices are now looking to take advantage of the industry growth forecasts over the coming years through digital marketing. But, at the heart of all dental practice marketing lies a relationship with new and existing patients. Yet relationship management can easily get overlooked as so many practices are already time-poor. So, the use of easy customer relationship management systems or CRM is on the rise. By using a CRM system, dental practices can help improve patient relations, optimise marketing and ultimately help to grow their revenue. 

Picture this – you have are now fully confident in your dental marketing strategy. You built your own dental website, developed your social media presence and obtained excellent patient reviews. You found the perfect target dental SEO keywords for your PPC ads, as well as your blog content marketing. Your dental practice has built up an excellent online reputation. The resulting fantastic online reviews plus additional new patients are doing your dental practice wonders.

Yet, in spite of your stellar marketing efforts, this new patient base that you have worked so hard to obtain is not coming back to you for additional treatments. They are going back to their original dentist instead. Your dental marketing strategies and patient testimonials may yield great short term results. But, to gain the full value of your patient journey and avoid excessive marketing costs requires patients to transact on repeat business. This is when good CRM practice can really help to improve your return on marketing investment. 

Why CRM, or customer relationship management?

CRM platforms can help you to take your new dental patients and transform them into repeat customers without the need for yet more Google ads spend. There are two main methods through which you can use CRM for maximising your returns. The first is responsible data collection to keep track of external marketing and communications with your prospective patients as well as your current patients. The second is by automating routine follow-up reminders and marketing content to grow your dental practice internally.

1. Better insights from responsible data collection 

A good CRM system should enable your dental practice to collect valuable patient data in a way that is legally compliant. Before collecting any data for any form of marketing, dental practices should familiarise themselves with the Data Protection Act 2018. The use of existing and potential patients’ data must be compliant with this legislation, or dental practices risk heavy potential fines. Once you have ensured that you are fully compliant, you can move forward to putting this information to good use. 

Using a CRM system, you can collect information on your new and existing patients from one centralised database. This information can include the client’s location and how they discovered your practice. You may also like to include what dental treatments they are potentially interested in and what treatments they have already received. You could extend this detail to their preferred mouthwash flavour or practitioner preference. Using this data you can really start to understand your customers’ habits and pick up on the tiny noticeable things that you have otherwise missed. 

Great attention to detail alone can enable your dental practice to excel at providing excellent day to day customer relations. Right from the start of your relationship with a new patient, you are seamlessly ensuring that every patient is obtaining the most possible value from your dental practice. Consumers trust online reviews, so you can then convert those glowing testimonials into yet more new patients. But better still, by eliminating many of the related daily mundane tasks, CRM can create a much more positive and seamless working environment. 

2. Automating routine follow-up tasks and marketing content

Once a patient has opted in to your dental practice marketing, you can further benefit from automatically updating them on certain topics. By scheduling automatic marketing or reminder tasks, CRM systems can help to grow your business and can save precious time. Your preferred CRM system may also be able to log the responses to your automated emails or texts and update itself accordingly. Automated appointment reminders are the most common way to generate leads. But you can really get creative with your email marketing strategies. 

A few suggestions that your office might consider are:

  1. Emailing an overview of your dental practice and dental treatments to new patients 
  2. Sending regular dental practice updates to new and existing patients 
  3. An automatic appointment confirmation email and text message reminders 
  4. Setting automated routine check-up appointment reminders every six months 
  5. Offering cosmetic dentistry discounts e.g. 10% off teeth whitening for someone who has used this service previously 
  6. Providing quarterly recommendations on practising good oral hygiene
  7. Linking your emails to your social media platforms and dental blog content 

Short, punchy, well-timed automated emails like these can make the world of difference to growing your dental practice. As you try out these different methods, your CRM marketing strategy will naturally develop over time. You will quickly find out what is working to raise your appointment levels and what isn’t. From there, you can start to eliminate the areas that are not generating more appointment leads and start focusing on developing the ones that are. 

Final thoughts on using CRM for your dental practice

Given all of the potential benefits, it is well worth incorporating CRM into your dental practice. A good CRM system can make the world of difference to both productivity and revenue. When CRM is combined with additional marketing strategies, dental practices can uncover further routes to improve upon their return. This can improve your bottom line and help you to take advantage of the coming years of forecast growth. But, collecting valuable customer data and using this to enhance patient relations will also put you a cut above the rest. You can better attract and serve new patients, generate more appointments from existing patients, eliminate repetitive admin tasks and reduced missed appointment numbers.

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