I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER HEARD A DENTIST SAY “NO” when asked if they
needed more new patients. We all need a constant influx of new patients for our
dental practices to be successful. The more new patients you get every month,
typically the more revenue your practice will generate.
We find that most single-doctor practices see about 12
to 20 new patients a month. I advocate that a healthy
number of new patients is 70 per month. There are specific
things you can and should be doing in your practice to help
bring in more new patients.
NO. 1: 40% TO 50% OF YOUR NEW PATIENTS
SHOULD BE FROM EXISTING PATIENT
If your number of referrals is lower than 40%, then your
patients are probably not having the experience in your
office they are wanting. Your patients may not say anything
to you about what they did not like, but they will vote with
their feet and not come back, or refer.
What do your patients want and expect? A clean, modern office, new technology, convenient hours, friendly and
caring doctor and staff, fair fees, same-day dentistry, appointments within a few days, no sticker shock from having
too much dentistry presented too soon, gentle dentistry,
no confusing dental jargon, acceptance of their insurance,
staged treatment that fits their budget, offering multiple
dental services, and more.
You and your team must meet your patients’ expectations. If your referrals are low, then you and your team are
probably missing the mark somewhere.
NO. 2: YOUR NEW-PATIENT PHONE-CALL-TO-APPOINTMENT CONVERSION RATE SHOULD BE
AT LEAST 75%.
How many potential new patients call your office and
don’t schedule an appointment? Over the years, we have
recorded and monitored many different dental offices’
inbound new-patient calls. We have found that the call
conversion rate of caller to new-patient appointment averages only 30%.
This means that seven out of 10 potential new patients
who call the office don’t make an appointment. The reason
for this is the staff person answering the phone has not
been trained how to inspire the caller to make a new-patient
Correcting this problem alone can immediately double
the number of new patients on your appointment schedule
NO. 3: INCREASE YOUR CASE ACCEPTANCE RATE.
What does case acceptance rate have to do with increasing
your number of new patients? We find that dentists who
have a low case acceptance rate also have a low referral
rate. Why is this?
Here are 4 things you
should be doing
Michael Kesner, DDS