Ian Eslick explains why your practice should be aiming for three out of three when it comes to your brand…
The larger than life singer, Meatloaf once famously sang that ‘two out of three ain’t bad’. It’s a great song, but when it comes to the brand of your practice, I’m afraid I have to disagree with the ‘Loaf’.
The brand of your practice is what drives your reputation. It is the catalyst to how people talk about your practice when you’re not around. Of course, you want them to be saying all the right things and recommending the practice to their friends and relatives.
If you work on Meatloaf’s theory, there’s always a ‘but’ at the end of a sentence…‘I go to the dentist on the high street, they’re all lovely people and the dentistry is great, BUT the practice is a bit shabby.’ That’s two out of three, but which is the bit that sticks with you?
People focus on the negatives far more than the positives, and if you’ve ever searched for a hotel online and then read the reviews, you’ll know how that works. The hotel can be in a great location, have a wonderful restaurant and pleasant and helpful staff, but one mention of a bit of mould on the shower curtain and your decision is made. So, when it comes to building the brand of your practice it should be three out of three every time. And the three are:
The quality and delivery of your dentistry
Of course, from a patient’s perspective, this is an absolute given – every patient expects and deserves to receive dentistry of a very high standard, anything less and they are being short-changed.
The layout, decor and ambience of your practice are hugely influential in setting the scene for the dentistry that follows – they can help to relax a patient or instill them with a sense of confidence that they are in the right place, or the opposite! Ask yourself this question: is the look and feel of your practice adding to your patient experience or detracting from it?
The people and personality
The success of every dental practice rests on its people, not just the dentists and hygienists and the skills they bring, but every single person the patient comes into contact with. Which is why your front desk team is so important. They are the first point of contact by telephone or in person and that makes them the guardians of the first impression, and we all know how important that is.
But that’s just the start of it. As the patient moves through the practice, it’s about how they are greeted and taken through to the surgery, how they are communicated to by the dentist or hygienist and what follow-up they get. All of these are critical elements in providing a seamless and memorable experience that patients enjoy and want to talk about.
Get these three things right and you have a strong and unique brand for your practice that will result in happier patients and more referrals.
And once you have these three elements right, you can start to shout about them through the fourth piece of the branding jigsaw – your marketing communications. Developing your website, practice brochures and social media is so much easier and more powerful when you genuinely have something to tell the world about.
So, take the time to really look at all aspects of your brand and make a conscious effort to make them work in harmony with each other, or you might find your patients are leaving faster than a bat out of hell!