word-of-mouth marketing“Oh, I just love my dentist!” Wouldn’t it be great if all of your patients had the same reaction when the topic of dental offices comes up in their casual conversations? Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to gain new patients—those who are referred by friends, family, or co-workers are much more likely to keep their appointment times and continue scheduling regular appointments.

So what’s the secret to getting your patients to rave about you in their social circles? First and foremost, the attitude and personality of the doctors and staff makes the biggest impact. But second to that is the type of experience your patients have at your practice. Even just a couple decades ago it was okay to offer the same basic services as every other dentist. But in today’s competitive marketplace, patients are drawn to dental offices that go above and beyond to make sure their experience involves far more than just treating teeth. Going out of your way to incorporate creature comforts that make your patients feel pampered during their visit is a surefire way to get them to keep talking about it even after they’ve left their appointment. Here are some ideas:

Nail the first impression – The impression that first-time patients get when the initially walk into your practice sets their attitude about what they think their visit will be like. Does your waiting room seem cold and sterile, or is the décor welcoming and inviting?

Aromas make a difference – For a lot of people, even the smell of a typical dental office can trigger fear or anxiety that they remember from past dental offices or experiences. Make it a point to ensure that your practice smells pleasant from the moment patients walk in. You could accomplish this with air fresheners, diffusers, or candle warmers. Or, if you want to really go above and beyond, you could even use a small toaster oven with pre-made cookie dough to entice patients with both the smell and taste of freshly baked cookies upon their arrival.

Incorporate Technology – Patients love to have distractions during their dental treatments. If you haven’t already, make the investment into TVs, remotes, and headsets that patients can use while in the chair to watch TV or movies. In today’s culture, this added bonus is almost expected by a lot of patients as part of their dental experience.

Take Pampering to New Level – Would it surprise you to learn that some dental offices take patient pampering as far as offering warm blankets fresh from the dryer when they first sit in the dental chair? Or that they offer them a warm, moist washcloth after their treatment to clean up their face if needed? These are examples of unexpected creature comforts that will win patients over because they aren’t expected in the first place.

Give Away Goodies – Everyone loves freebies and dental patients are no exception. With the amount of free samples big brands are willing to give dental professionals, patient goodie bags can really be put together with minimal costs. Giving each patient a small goodie bag with a standard toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste, and perhaps the latest floss, mouthwash, or even whitening products sends them away with an extra memento of what was (hopefully) an enjoyable experience at their practice.

These are just a few examples out of dozens that you could incorporate into your office to really “wow” your patients. What’s important is that you put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would see as your team really going above and beyond as a dental practice. Making the investment to ensure that your patients feel like VIPs while at your practice can help bring big returns through word-of-mouth marketing for years to come.