One of the biggest changes in the dental industry since coming out of the Covid lockdowns has been that, for the most part, patients are in steady supply. Whether this is due to the closure of NHS practices, or practices limiting their NHS intake, the fact of the matter is that most dentists are telling me that they are busier than they’ve ever been. The caveat to this is, of course, exactly what they are busy with.
For years our focus as a marketing agency hasn’t been on getting just increased volume, but increased quality. We’re well aware that a single Implant or Invisalign patient is worth more, at least initially, than a dozen patients who are just coming in for check-ups. Unfortunately, the nature of the patients that are queueing up to get in to dental practices at the moment are exactly that, those just wanting the most routine of dental appointments. This has led to a strange situation where practices are busy, but not necessarily busy doing work they want to be doing.
It’s also led somewhat to a sense of complacency. When you’re overloaded with patients it seems counter-intuitive to want to put emphasis on getting even more. However, the maxim of quality over quantity cuts through this assumption quite neatly, and some of our practices are starting to come around to this realisation. Those that are acting quickly on this trend are finding that whilst their competitors are busy dealing with vast numbers of general enquiries, by concentrating on high end treatments and marketing accordingly, they are getting the pick of the bunch, so to speak.
Given that this trend is unlikely to go anywhere, we’ve found increased demand for redesigning websites in a post covid world. With a focus on being direct, having defined patient journeys and by placing importance on the kind of treatments a practice wants to do more often, these newer designs capitalise on the fact that many competitor practices have lost their edge because of the volume of people wanting to join. By positioning yourself as the go-to place for high-quality, high-end treatment, there’s a real opportunity to maximise your income based on the increasingly high demand for surgery time.
At the end of summer, we usually start thinking about our goals for the following year. 2024 is looming, with only 4 months to go until Christmas. 4 months is, coincidentally, around the length of time it takes to build a professional looking website from the ground up. As such, if you’ve looked at your own site and wondered if it’s likely to attract the right kind of patients, then it’s worth making preparations to get everything in place for the new year. 2024 is likely to be even busier than 2023, so let’s try and make sure it’s the sort of busy you want.