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While now is not the time to take advantage of a situation fraught with tension, fear, and loss to promote your practice, it is the time to ensure that your patients and your prospects alike are reassured that when this has passed, you’ll still be there for them – and in the meantime provide useful, practical and meaningful information to support them through these times.
What’s the point?
As with any planning, you need to know what the point is – this can tie in with your original marketing plan, your practice’s elevator pitch, or even just your practice’s USPs. At the base of it, though, you should be looking to:
- Build trust
- Build confidence
Who to contact.
Firstly, you’ll need to get that list of all the leads and prospects you were nurturing before the lockdown.
For those of you already using DenGro, you’ll be able to do this by filtering your Lead List page to view all active leads in your account. Based on the volume of leads in your account, you might find it easier to segment your list by treatment type, focusing perhaps on the higher value treatments like Invisalign or Implants.
If you’re on a more traditional spreadsheet or post-it note system to manage your leads, the concept is the same, but the process might be a bit more involved – find out who has enquired, what they enquired about, where they were in the lead journey, and are they relevant to this communication plan.
How to do it.
With face-to-face meetings out of the question, it’s time to fall back on some traditional and new ways of communicating. While some of these – the calls in particular – may seem like a mammoth task, if you have a large volume of active leads, take your time, it will pay dividends to give your leads the time and attention they deserve.
If you’re a DenGro user, you can make this easier by breaking your list of leads down into more manageable chunks, using the automated task flow to set a daily list of leads to contact.
What to say.
Now that you’ve got hold of your leads, what do you say? This will largely come down to how you’ve decided to run the practice during the lockdown.
The aim is to give the lead a call to action – whether that’s booking a telephone/video consultation for a ‘quick chat’; booking a consultation for the summer; or encouraging the lead to follow you on social media to stay up to date; or even sign-up for a special ‘COVID-19’ newsletter that will help them stay in touch.
If you’re a DenGro user, don’t forget to use the note section on each lead’s task to record the details of the conversation and set reminders for future follow-ups or appointments.
How to keep in touch.
The standard of creativity across businesses in all industries recently has been astounding – and that’s the key to remember when creating your own communication plan: be creative and be personable.
- Regular newsletter highlighting a specific treatment; a dental top-tip; team update; patient review.
- ‘Did you know’ treatment videos presented by the dentist/nurse/TCO talking through the pros, cons, and processes for individual treatments the practice offers.
- Live Facebook/Instagram sessions answering patient FAQs on dental treatment, hygiene etc.
- Quizzes or raffles for leads/patients to receive a prize or coupon for discounted treatment in the future.
- Recommend or promote local businesses that are offering helpful or additional services during this time.
Time to relax.
Sadly not. A communication plan is never ending, it’s about reviewing, tweaking and improving. So the final step comes down to monitoring and reporting on the success of your communication plan.
While this is about playing the long game, as a DenGro user, you can use your in-app reports to both review your recent lead conversion funnel and identify areas to improve your internal processes, but also monitor your lead conversion in the months to come.
- How many leads responded
- Which call to action worked best
- Which content got the most engagement
A communications plan like this isn’t a band-aid to a short-term problem that you’re currently facing. While it may seem like a lot of work and effort, these are the building blocks for your continued practice growth and development, not just as a COVID-19 response, but for the months and years to come.