A New Lockdown But Dentistry Remains Open

A New Lockdown But Dentistry Remains Open

Keeping Patients Informed And Booking New Treatments

Unfortunately we find ourselves in another full national lock-down brought upon us by increasingly infectious Covid variants and arguably compounded by questionable crisis management, together with lack of compliance amongst some members of the general public. Whatever the causes, undeniably we are in another very difficult situation which has to be managed extremely carefully if we are to emerge in reasonable shape at the other side. Fortunately vaccines are on the way and hopefully they are effective quickly and sustainable.

Another piece of positive news is that dentists can remain open and whilst there are still concerns around new levels of risk, at least business can continue. So from a business perspective, we are actually in a much better place than when dentistry closed overnight back in March.

That said, dentists still have to be aware that the general public will be reeling from the rapid announcements and the confusion that brings. Indeed we have spoken with several dentists in the last couple of days who advised that several of their patients believed that dentists had also closed down. So we need to act quickly to ensure that the message that “dentistry is open” is out there and that business can continue in the best ways possible.

Here are some quick actions to get in place:

Update dental website notices and protocols:

This may seem like an obvious one but we are still aware of clients who have the old ‘lockdown 1’ messaging in place on their websites despite prompting from us. It’s essential to make sure that your website is updated to reflect the recent changes and to reassure that you are still open for business. If there are any new restrictions or protocols you’ve had to implement, make sure that these are displayed so that patients know what to expect before they arrive for an appointment.

Remember that just like in earlier months, it essential to try to instill confidence and reassure patients that your environment is as safe as possible, so make sure that this is prominent in any communication. Indeed, with the news of new Covid variants and increased levels of infection, this type of reassurance is even more important than before.

It’s probably also worthwhile auditing the protocols you have in place to make sure that everything is still robust. Compliance with procedures can become lax even in the best run businesses, so auditing compliance, particularly for something so safety critical, is very important.

Announce via e-newsletter

We’ve helped many of our clients set-up the MailChimp e-newsletter system and these are now being used to great effect to broadcast important messages to patients. This morning alone, I’ve checked over thirty update newsletters specifically designed to advise patients that their dentist is still open and adhering to the strictest “Covid Secure” protocols. I’m guessing that those e-news updates will reach well over 70,000 patients with many more to come as further e-news updates are pushed out in the coming days.

If you need help to get set up with your own e-news system, please get in touch with our team.

Update your social media

This is another obvious one for regular users of the likes of Facebook and Instagram but so many dentists still don’t use those platforms. It’s also a good idea to boost a few posts to ensure that your message actually reaches as many people as possible. Remember that less than 4% of people who “liked” your Facebook business page get to see what you post organically, so you’ll need to spend a little bit with Facebook to boost the reach of those posts.

Roll out paid ads selectively

This might seem a little bit odd given the present circumstances but let me assure you that it’s not. Web savvy dentists know that people are still keen to get dental treatments, even complex cosmetic enhancements, and are seizing the opportunity to reach those potential new patients using paid ads on Facebook, Instagram and Google. Indeed they are capitalising on much lower competition as others withdraw their ads.

We have several dental clients who kept their ads rolling to great effect during the previous lockdowns, booking new patients and treatments using video consultation and online smile assessment (SmileMate) tools. We’ve helped to fill several open days for implants and Invisalign as well as a maintaining a flow of regular website enquiries, even with the restrictions in place.

Showcase your enhanced safety protocols with video

Our video team has been busy filming at several dental practices over the last few months, helping practices to showcase their new Covid safety protocols. Whilst this does require a reasonable investment, the effects have been profound with patients commenting very positively about the proactive response and leaving favourable Google reviews to express their gratitude. Informative video of this type can be added to your website, blog and linked from your e-newsletters to help give patients confidence and show that they are in safe hands.

Please contact us to find out about video for your own practice.

Summary

We are once again into national lockdown and it’s time for dentists to re-iterate to existing patients that they remain open and on hand to assist with dental needs. But it doesn’t stop with essential preventive and emergency treatments. There are also great opportunities to book new lucrative dental treatments using a variety of techniques designed to reach those people who are still keen to replace lost teeth, straighten misaligned teeth or otherwise improve their smiles.

This is yet another hurdle placed in our way by Covid-19 but there are plenty of tools available to help overcome it and keep your dental business running and prosperous.

Please call our team on 01332 672548 to see how we can help.