When it comes to consumer engagement, dentists are up there with funeral operators and lawyers, with many people only using their services when absolutely required. But how can a business attract customers when its offering isn’t typically thought of as a pleasant or exciting one? I’ll show you how with these five top tips.
Provide great service that impresses and surprises
I don’t need to tell you just how much better it is to have repeat customers than to have to attract many new customers who do not come back. Even a dental clinic can achieve a majority of repeat custom if they provide surprisingly exceptional experiences.
Without effort, customer service only functions as professional politeness – magic happens when you’re proactive about attracting your customers. As with most businesses, if you can provide meaningful and memorable service you’re likely to see repeat custom. By aiming to under promise and over deliver, your customers should find themselves pleasantly surprised.
It’s a business basic but it’s important to always create a friendly, positive space.
A business owner should never walk past a customer without acknowledging them, and neither should your staff. Acknowledging the customer opens the lines of communication and tells them that you are ready to listen to them and meet their needs.
Word of mouth
When it comes to attracting new customers there’s nothing more reassuring than word of mouth via a third party endorsement. Testimonials and reviews from existing customers provide great encouragement for potential customers as engagement inspires more engagement. The key is askingyour customers to provide you with feedback (it helps you improve) and asking your happy customers for testimonials and reviews.
Fostering strategic alliances is a great way to attract new business. You can do this by developing a solid network of partners that support your business. For example, strategic alliances with complementary businesses that share the same values and same ideal customers as yours can help you promote your business or provide useful insights —services that you can reciprocate to those partner businesses.
Another type of strategic alliance is the use of influencers – these are social media ‘celebrities’ that specialise in a niche and have cultivated their audience over time. Given the powerful relationship that an influencer has with their audience, provided your values are aligned, they could be a good fit with your brand. The price for their services ranges from product samples to a marketing fee, so make sure you have a contract in writing that outlines what you expect from them and what you will give them in return.
Build trust through transparency
Often people are at their most vulnerable when in pain. Often the assumption is that a business will take advantage of people in this situation, but there is a way to mitigate this perception – simply be open and honest about the costs involved and try to provide a fixed fee.
Transparency in business is a great way to build your customers’ trust and transparency extends to being upfront about your prices. Many businesses believe a high price is a barrier for a customer, when the more significant obstacle is actually a fear of what the price might be. It has been proven on our website, iNEEDa Dentist, that listing your prices and giving upfront quotes for your services can actually increase sales, as people appreciate honesty.
Find the aspects of your business that customers are excited about. For example, while you’d be hard pressed to find someone excited about a root canal, people are genuinely excited about walking out with whiter teeth. I have found that my customers get excited about straight teeth and whitening more so than any other service I provide. These services are not essential care, and people come in willingly for treatment, are happy to pay the bill at the end and (provided they are happy with the result) tell all their friends and family about it. Aside from the testimonial aspect this sort of customer engagement also means that when a customer doesneed an essential service, they know who to see.
From encouraging transparency with customers to creating a sense of delight, forging strategic alliances, word of mouth and providing fabulous service there are plenty of ways to expand your customer base even your business isn’t considered the most exciting.
About Dr David Hills, founder, iNEEDa
Dr David Hills is the founder of iNEEDa and has almost a decade of experience as a dentist. He created iNEEDa to bring patients and dentists together in a way that rewards transparency, convenience and patient care.