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Testing, Testing, Testing!

We have seen so many dental websites lately that simply don’t “work.” Our very good friend Dr. Michael Barr of www.RevUpYourMarketing.com says in order for a website to be “working,” it needs to be making you money. And there are three important components you need to consider to reach that goal. First, people have to be able to FIND your site. This is typically done by ranking high with search engines on keywords that people are searching on. Next, there needs to be a reason to STAY on your site and actually see what you have to offer. This takes place with compelling information. Lastly, there needs to be a way for your visitors to take ACTION. This would be some type of offer or reason they need to set up an appointment, request a free report, etc.

Another very important thing to consider. With all of the different types of computers out there running different operating systems and browsers, how does your site appear on everyone’s computer? Of course your webmaster does the best job testing this, but the bottom line is that you never really know unless you ask. We recently had our email template redesigned (the one you are reading now). We actually had no idea that in some older versions of AOL mail readers, our heads were totally chopped off. And there were other issues as well. Thanks to Dr. Brian Kvitko of Columbus, OH for letting us know.

The best thing you can do is to ask your patients to check out your site for you. In doing so, they not only get to help you test, but they get to see all of the cool things you are offereing that they perhaps did not even know about. How cool is that?

Along those lines, could YOU do us a favor today? Could you please go to our website, www.madow.com, and check it out to make sure it looks OK on your computer? Take a look at random pages and if there is anything that simply does not appear right, we would love to know!

While you are there, please check out this very special page. Drs. Bodak from Media, PA actually wrote this and we would love for you to take a look. Oh, and by the way, if there is anything on our site that does not appear right on your computer, could you please let us know today? Thanks so much.

An Old Nissan, Five Dollars and Your Dental Practice

“Here’s the scoop,” writes futurist, marketer, speaker, CMO and frequent blogger Greg Verdino in a post at his blog. “I drive a Nissan Altima and I’ve been reasonably happy with it. It’s neither the best car I’ve ever owned nor the worst, but I’m not a car guy so if it gets me from point A to point B safely without costing me an arm and a leg in gas money I’m satisfied. The Altima more than fits the bill.”

This may not be the world’s greatest endorsement, but it is most likely representative of how many Nissan owners feel about their cars – it’s not amazing but it certainly works well. Like it or not, this also may be how many (or most) of your patients feel about your practice. Let’s keep going here.

One morning Greg realized that his $315 lease payment was due THAT DAY! “Luckily,” he recalled, “Nissan offers an online payment option—so I logged onto their site and authorized an electronic deduction from my checking account.” The catch? Nissan charged a $5 fee for the convenience, and even more for using a credit card.

Here is Verdino’s take on the situation.

“In terms of dollars and cents this charge may be smart business. But in terms of perception and sense, I’m not so sure. Like I said, I’m a pretty happy Nissan driver but this morning I’m pretty annoyed with Nissan as a company. Even a minor inconvenience (in the form, ironically, of a convenience charge) takes its toll on how I feel about the brand itself and my experience as a customer. So much so that I’d not consider trading in and trading up to another Nissan when the time comes? Maybe. I’m not sure. But if that were to happen, wouldn’t the lifetime cost to the company (in the form of lost opportunity and lost business) outweigh the near term $5 windfall?”

Customers (and patients) expect to be rewarded for doing things right – not penalized. Nissan’s accounting department made a decision that the customer service department may feel is horrible! The explanation? What is comes down to is basically – “Sorry – that’s our policy!”

So how about your dental office? Do you have any procedures or policies that may make sense financially or even clinically – but could be turning off your patients?

Here’s a classic. Say this loudly in your best snooty tone.

“In OUR office, no new patients can get a cleaning on their first visit. They must be examined by the doctor and then reappointed.”

Is that the ideal way to do it from a purely clinical standpoint? Most likely. But how about from the potential new patient’s perception of how they would like to be treated? Is it convenient for them? Does it make sense? Is it making them jump through an unnecessary hoop to become a patient in your practice? Absolutely!

How many policies or standards do you have that may be 100% correct but are turning off your current patients or cutting off new patient flow? Probably more than you think! Even something that appears to be a nice service (i.e. offering “in-house” financing) can turn patients off when it comes time to make that collection call – and they most likely will stop coming in and certainly won’t refer their friends.

So take a few hours to brainstorm with your team things that you are doing, big or small, that may be “right” theoretically but in practical terms are turning off your patients. Remember – next time you see Greg Verdino he will be driving a Toyota!!

Special treat: If you are not seeing as many new patients as you would like – chances are you are doing many of the same things that Nissan did to Greg. Our new program will help you figure out how to eliminate them and increase your production like crazy! Check it out by clicking here!