LA Times about the declining revenues for dentists caught my attention. The article is about the new marketing efforts of dentists who are seeing their profits drop as patients are skipping cleanings, fillings and other dental work.
Their response is to seek new marketing strategies. They are paying marketing consultants to tell them about social media, upgrade their websites and even to add spa like amenities to their practices.
That's why Vines hired Steffany Mohan, a fellow dentist and marketing consultant who says that keeping patients satisfied is as important as persuading them to walk through the door.
Mohan emphasizes personal service: Dentists should offer sedation to patients nervous about pain, and make dental care feel like a trip to the spa with amenities such as scented neck wraps, moisturizing lotions, heated massage pads and video screens mounted on the ceiling above dental chairs.
"People don't necessarily remember what you said or did, but they'll remember how you made them feel," Mohan said. "We're going for giving them an experience they'll remember so they won't go anywhere else."
Vines said he expects to spend $35,000 to $50,000 over the next year on Mohan's marketing strategies.
Okay. The economy has tanked, 10% of the population is unemployed, even more are underemployed. Companies are cutting benefits right and left and we all know that having dental insurance is pretty much a joke because , beyond a couple of x-rays and cleanings, the cost of any procedure is prohibitively expensive.
I have had a broken crown for 3 years. I finally had a job with benefits and opted for the dental so I could get it fixed. The difference in cost with $100.00 a month insurance and no insurance? I would "save" $435. on the crown, making my out of pocket cost $600.00 for the insurance and $985.00 for the crown. The crown, by the way that the same dentist supplied me about 7 years ago. I still have a broken crown and am cancelling the insurance in January.
My experience is that dentists are big on price fixing. Have you ever called around to see if you can get the services for less? Don't bother.
If my business was losing revenue, I might look at my pricing, my hours (our dentist was closed on Friday, closed for a week at Thanksgiving and 2 weeks at Christmas - making it impossible for my college kids to see her when they were home. We now have a new dentist) and better financing options for my patients. Hey, how about some evening or weekend hours so people don't have to skip work to have an appointment? How about offering some kind of discount to people without insurance who are paying cash?
Personally I would not be soothed by warm scented towels, I would be wondering how much the damned thing was costing me.
2 weeks ago