By digital marketer, Petya Ivanova
The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 changed the pace of normal life for millions of people around the world. The dental sector did not remain untouched as well. With practices shutting down or limiting to emergency cases only, many dental professionals found themselves stuck at home.
If you are in a similar situation, there are still ways to put your time to good use while away from the practice.
In the infographic below, we’ve outlined some ideas for things to do at home during the coronavirus lockdown. They will not only keep you busy in these challenging times but also help you make a strong comeback afterward:
Engage with patients online
Social media is a favorite pastime for many, and now even more than ever. With that in mind, it presents a good way to stay close to patients. Share posts on your page or tweet regularly, at least several times per week, to keep followers engaged. Some suitable topics to cover are oral hygiene tips, curious dental facts (a few ideas here), advice on tooth-friendly food choices, patient testimonials, and reviews. You can even organize a giveaway. Remember to keep your posts positive as people are overwhelmed by disturbing news at the moment.
Run a live Q&A (questions and answers) to have a real-time interaction with patients. For example, make a live video and answer the questions left in the comments. Many platforms enable you to do that – you can simply use Instagram or Facebook. It is recommended to have a specific topic and prepared material to kick off the conversation.
Another way to engage patients is email marketing. You can send campaigns with a promo for specific treatments or in-house membership plans. The period to use the promotional services should be longer than usual, as it is not clear when things will get back to normal.
Improve online presence
Are you listed on the popular online directories relevant to your region? Dedicate some time to go through existing profiles, update any outdated information and enrich them with eye-catching photos of your team or the facilities at your practice. Moreover, search for any new medical & dental directories where you don’t have a profile yet – for example Dentacoin Trusted Reviews. Presence on high-quality specialized websites will make you easier to find for patients.
Social media profiles
Your social media profiles and business page deserve attention as well. Enhance them with images and videos from your office, fill in any missing information in the “About us” section such as opening hours, description of services, etc.
How up-to-date is your website? Does it need a revamp? Now is a good time to act in that direction. The results from recent research by DentaVox can help you understand which elements of dental websites are important to patients. For the implementation of new features, you can hire a specialist to work remotely on your project. However, if you are cautious about extra expenses at the moment, there is plenty to do yourself. For instance, you can check and improve content such as service descriptions, outdated contact info, opening hours, or add new photos to the gallery.
Catch up with the new trends
It’s a good opportunity to catch up on the latest trends in treatments, technologies, practice management, and other new developments in the field. Now you have the time to go into more detail and plan how to implement the useful novelties in your practice. Innovative solutions like Dentacoin, the first patient engagement platform, powered by dental currency, can be interesting to look into.
Dental market surveys
Surveys from national and other organizations often provide valuable insights into the state of oral health and hygiene habits. Moreover, you can learn a lot about patients’ attitudes and perspectives on different dental topics. One platform with free access to statistics from such surveys is DentaVox.
Take an online course
A lot of websites for online education are currently offering free access to courses in support of the stay-at-home measures by local authorities. You can take advantage of one of these initiatives or find another option. In either case, it’s a good opportunity to enrich your knowledge in areas that otherwise may be overlooked in favor of treatment. These include practice management, dental marketing, improvement of dentist-patient relationships.
Optimize patient communication
During normal workdays, it is quite common to have your primary focus on treatment. Now you have the time to turn more attention to the service aspect. Effective communication with patients is at the core of a more patient-centric approach. It has many benefits for your practice such as higher patient retention, improved case acceptance rates, and optimized operations. Try to put yourself in the patient’s shoes and review your current processes. Some of the aspects to look into are appointment management, patient arrival and waiting experience, info on treatment options (planning, cost, outcomes), and after treatment care.
Provide teledentistry/ online consultations
With 78% of patients willing to use teledentistry services, it is evident that there is potential for dentists in virtual dental care. Although impossible to substitute face-to-face treatment, teledentistry can be used for an initial consultation, to follow up on treatment, advice on prevention and other non-treatment appointments. Some of the service options require a specialized teledentistry platform and the use of connected equipment. However, there are also some more simple options. For example, you can provide online consultations to patients via chat or WhatsApp video call. It is an easy way to get started.
COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the normal way of life for millions of people around the world. Dental practitioners are heavily affected by this “new reality”. While adhering to the guidelines for home isolation and emergency treatments only, it is essential to use the time productively and prepare for a strong start when things get back to normal.
We hope that the ideas presented here will help you channel your energy in the right direction and occupy your time with constructive activities.