Despite dental practices gradually being allowed to offer treatment in the UK, the level of interest in available services like emergency treatment is still a far cry from where it used to be. The need for these services hasn’t gone away; the drop is most likely due to the patients’ fear of catching the Coronavirus when they visit the practice.
The longer patients have this fear and reluctance to visit, the more likely their dental health problems are to worsen. To stop this from continuing, and no doubt, resulting in an eventual influx of severe dental issues that require treatment, dental practices must reassure patients that their practice is a safe place to visit.
Already we can see many dental professionals doing their best to redesign their treatment processes to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19. However, what they also need to do is to effectively and clearly communicate this with patients. You must make sure that your dental patients understand and are fully aware of the additional precautions you’re taking to ensure their safety when they visit your clinic.
This can be tricky when different people prefer different methods of communication. If you send this out in an email, some may read it, some might not. You don’t want your most important update of the year so far to go unread in an unused inbox, so how do you get around this issue?
Communicate the message with them across every channel:
Consider having a page on your website dedicated to the updates you will be posting surrounding the changes due to COVID-19. Having a comprehensive guide such as this one available on that page along with other helpful resources like online medical and dental history forms can make it easy for you to direct patients to the latest information.
Having your new safety process displayed with clean, concise points and accompanying visuals, helps make the new information easier to digest and understand. View our free infographic here.
Chances are, you have each of your patients email addresses. Put them to good use by sending a notification directly to them. If you’re stuck for inspiration, use our sample wording which you can find here.
As above, if you have their mobile number, this may be the best way to contact them directly. You could even include a link to the COVID related information on your website.
With social media usage increasing dramatically throughout the pandemic, people are turning to these platforms for the latest updates and information. Don’t miss a trick with our free social media templates, ready to use here.
If your patients are worried about seeing you in person, having the option to speak with you from a safe distance (i.e. online) helps to open the conversation. Using virtual consultations will allow you the time to discuss their dental problem as well as what you are doing to keep them safe at the practice. Find out more here.
For those actively researching dental treatment, make sure your practice appears with an accurate message in the search results. Updating existing or launching new Pay Per Click campaigns catered to how you are operating in the ‘new normal’ will help patients to understand what and how you are offering your services.
If you blog regularly, your patients likely rely on your blog as a source of useful information. Updates such as these are perfect for adding to your blog page, especially if patients are notified when new content is added to it! Check out a great example of a blog from one of our clients here.
The above are all great ways to tell your patients what they can expect when they come back to your clinic. Though, the best way you can depict this change is to show them what the experience will be like. Prepare your patients for their next appointment with a ‘real life’ example of what to expect.
By creating a practice walkthrough video, patients will feel less nervous, better prepared and risk will be reduced. Our videographer Claire tells you how to create, edit and publish your own video here.
For more help with communicating the change in your practice to patients and more reopening resources, visit the resources hub on our website here.