Between juggling the diverse needs of all your locations, acquiring new practices, and reporting data to your stakeholders—it’s easy for patient growth to fall to the bottom of your list. But you can take simple steps towards accelerating growth that move the needle and help you meet your administrative responsibilities.
Above all else, any new approach for your DSO needs to be scalable. Tools need to fit into your existing integrations and be easy to implement across all your practices. Increasing patient flow is important to growing your revenue, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of adding an undue burden on you or your practice administrators.
First, let’s look at how practices get more patients in the modern dental landscape. Then we’ll cover why DSOs are uniquely positioned to get more patients in the door.
Most patients looking for dental care start their search in the same place: online.
The first step most prospective patients take is to Google a phrase like “best dentist near me.” This brings up a list of results that they will scan quickly, looking for one that stands out.
Patients want to see offices with great reputations, lots of 5-star reviews, and modern messaging options that make it easy to ask questions, request appointments, and get in touch with providers.
When patients search on Google for a new dentist, you want your practices to be at the top of the list. How can you improve their ranking on Google and stand out from other options? It’s all about reviews.
Not only do patients care about what reviews say, but Google weighs review numbers and quality, too. According to their policies: “Review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business' local ranking.”
Nearly 2 out of every 3 searchers will click on one of the top five options that come up in their search results (Impact Plus, 2021). So getting near the top in your local markets should be your goal.
As a DSO, you have access to tools, automation, and expertise that can help your practices build a reputation quickly. It doesn’t take long to get your practices from the bottom of search results to near the top.
Plus, once you’ve run through the process with your current practices, you’ll be able to demonstrate proven growth and make your DSO even more appealing for new practices you want to acquire.
DSOs have an opportunity to take over complex administration (including reputation management) so your practices can direct their focus to their patients. Plus, you can choose a platform that also manages all patient communications in one inbox, automatically sends text messages to patients, and funnels data from all practices into one dashboard.
Anything you can take over for your practices allows them to focus on their specialty: providing excellent patient care. That means more happy patients. And those patients in turn are the ones who write great reviews.
It’s a cycle that benefits everyone: you, your practices, their current patients, and the future patients who have an easier time selecting a great local dentist.
Once you have positioned your practices at the top of Google’s search results page, what happens next? In order to get patients in the door, the website they land on needs to be set up for success.
If prospects don’t see the answers to their top-of-mind questions or have a super quick way to request an appointment, it’s easy to lose them. This is where things like webchat and appointment scheduling can save the day.
If you implement those tools across your practices, you won’t be losing prospects that you fought so hard to get to your websites in the first place. From there, you can hand those new leads over to your practices and they can start seeing new patients and providing great dental care.
Just like there are tools that help you with insurance processing, there are also platforms that can supercharge your practice growth. As we’ve discussed in this article, reviews are the biggest no-brainer way to advertise your practices and get in front of the eyes of patients looking for a local dentist.
By automating the review gathering process, your practices can rise on the map quickly and get in front of treatment-seeking patients where they are looking. Choosing the right software can make your life a lot easier and help you offer more to your practices and show stronger financial results for your stakeholders.
So how does it work?
A reputation management platform can help you set up text campaigns to request reviews from patients who recently visited. You can configure automatic follow-up texts to recipients who didn’t engage with the first message. Patients can then click a link in the text and quickly submit a review in just a few clicks. As an administrator, you can see all the reviews as they come in and even respond to them from one dashboard.
What should you look for in a reputation management platform? It’s important to pick a software that can scale easily across all your practices and is built for the specific challenges you face as a DSO.
Here are a few things to look for:
Your DSO can succeed by putting growth on autopilot, which in turn empowers your practices to see more patients and achieve better results.
Swell is a reputation management and customer engagement platform that can help your DSO master the formula for local growth. Learn more about Swell.