Dental Asia Sep/Oct 2018

Dental Management DENTAL ASIA SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018 18 T he whole purpose of a business is to attract and retain a customer pro̬tably. This involves two things in a dental practice: 1. Everything revolves around delivering the patient the solution they want. 2. It needs to make a pro̬t. To attract a customer generally requires an investment in marketing. This could be a ̬nancial investment, such as an advert, or a time investment in networking and business cards. Regardless of which investment one chooses, it needs to be maximised. Modern advertising and marketing has changed because of the huge number of media channels that are seen daily – TV, radio, Google, Facebook and magazines. This means customer’s attention is fragmented and they are used to ignoring things, therefore it is essential to make the most out of the customers the dentist already have and take a slightly di ̫ erent approach to promoting and marketing in order to attract new customers. This is called lifecycle marketing. There are seven stages to lifecycle marketing and they are all concerned with delivering the right message at the right time to the right person. 1) Attract tra ̮ c The purpose of the ̬rst stage is to attract targeted attention. Hence, adverts should be direct response adverts and not ‘branding’ adverts. This means the advert communicates a solution to a speci̬c problem and provides a way for the interested person to respond to the advert and to the dentist. In a practice, collect patient’s contact details to be able to keep in touch with them. 2) Capture leads The second stage is collecting interested people’s contact information so that dentists can build a relationship with them over time. Without this step, a practice is just wasting the majority of its marketing investment. Very few people will see an advert and immediately buy, thus wasting the investment on all the people that could have responded. 3) Nurture prospects The third stage is to send targeted information that is relevant to the customer at the time they are most receptive to the message. This could be via letters, emails, targeted phone calls or amixture of these. The clever part of this stage is that it can intelligently respond and communicate with the potential customer according to their demonstrated interest level. For example, with the marketing software tools, the practice can monitor if a customer opens their emails and clicks on links that have been placed. Additionally, the practice can keep track of how many emails and clicks the customer responded to within a speci̬c time period. The practice can also set up an alert so that if any customer clicks on ̬ve emails within 48 hours then it sends an alert to the clinic’s receptionist to call this customer to see if they have any questions. It could also trigger an email to prospect customers o ̫ ering them free information by post if they give their address (allowing the practice to keep in contact with them via postcards – and showing that the practice is investing more time and e ̫ ort in marketing depending on the customer’s interest level). 4) Convert sales The front desk team is responsible for this stage - how the phone is answered, the in-clinic experience, if the patient feels understood, the options presented and how they are followed up afterwards. Marketing automation software can help in sending di ̫ erent targeted messages to customers that come for a consultation but didn’t continue with the suggested treatment. This allows the practice to follow up with speci̬c time sensitive o ̫ ers, if the patient chooses to go ahead with the treatment. By automating messages, the practice could even get someone else (not your main front desk staff member) to be solely responsible for following up with these people, which takes the strain away from the front desk sta ̫ /team. 5) Deliver and satisfy This stage delivers the main service while making sure that the patient is delighted and satis̬ed with their experience. It is possible to add experiences to speci̬c customer group’s experiences via automation software, such as orthodontic patients receiving a free oral hygiene pack each month in the post, or receiving speci̬c brace cleaning tips and advice. Again, this allows the right message to the right person. 6) Upsell customers This is an important part of lifecycle marketing considering a Lifecylce Marketing Made Simple By Dr. Aalok Y. Shukla , BDS ƌ͘ ĂůŽŬ ^ŚƵŬůĂ ĞdžƉůĂŝŶƐ ƚŚĞ ƐĞǀĞŶ ĐƌƵĐŝĂů ƐƚĂŐĞƐ ƚŽ ŵĂŬĞ ƐƵƌĞ ƚŚĞ ĚĞŶƟƐƚ͛Ɛ ŵĞƐƐĂŐĞ ƌĞĂĐŚĞƐ ƚŚĞ ƌŝŐŚƚ ƉĂƟĞŶƚ Ăƚ ƚŚĞ ƌŝŐŚƚ ƟŵĞ͘