August 25, 2018
By: Trude Henderson
In today’s blog, the last in a three-part series, we will deal with the “Attention Cluster” of emotions as enumerated and described by Colin Shaw, and how your dental practice should address them. Interested, Energetic, Stimulated, Exploratory and Indulgent are the chief emotions found in this group, and are the ones most likely to generate only short-term spending if not properly handled (which includes that first call). Properly dealt with, however, these feelings can have a tremendous effect on a dental practice’s cash flow and overall success.
In the course of its 3-year pilot study, ToothFairy has gathered and reviewed tens of thousands of data points relating to this cluster of emotions at orthodontic practices in the Western US. Overall, the study revealed that 43% of new patients are eager to start treatment on day-one and 72% within 7 days. This validates our research, so we recommend that you put strategies in place to ensure that your practice attempts to convert patients within this critical 7-day window.
This result from ToothFairy’s pilot study helped leaders in one practice pinpoint a problem and develop a strategy that improved their conversion ratio by 27% within only 6 months. Although 70% of the patients in this office indicated via our consumer profiling platform that they were ready to start treatment within 7 days, less than 40% of them actually did so. Upon closer examination, via data reviews and interviews with patients and Treatment Coordinators (TCs), it was discovered that the key reason why these patients disengaged or delayed the start of treatment was that TCs and doctors didn’t communicate compelling value and/or identify emotional triggers and buying motivations during the exam/consultation. Then, after patients left the practice without starting treatment, a secondary problem occurred - staff failed to follow up.
Below are three tips that can help you utilize the “Attention Cluster” to demonstrate more compelling value, resulting in an increased number of dental patient conversions.
As patients have more options open to them than ever before, it’s important for everyone in a dental practice to understand and appreciate the value the practice has to offer, and to act quickly and with confidence to convert patients. This is best accomplished through inspirational leadership, management of the practice’s systems and ample patient follow up. If patients don’t grasp what you have to offer right away, they might choose a competitor whom they believe provides better value. That competitor may be right next door or on in another state, but there are people prepared to travel to get better value.
Shaw’s takeaway: these critical 20 emotions, divided into the 4 clusters, have an important influence on your customer experience, in ways that are not always at first apparent. Once, however, you understand the type of emotional engagement you have established with your customers and how it drives or destroys value for your organization, you can design an emotional experience, not leave it to chance.
We at ToothFairy want to leave you with the following to chew on: The reality is that practices will lose some patients no matter what, but why not try to convert and retain as many as you can by taking proactive measures that help promote patient loyalty? Staff and doctors need to understand the simple fact that what they say and do directly impacts patient loyalty and their production goals. Finally, they should remember that when it comes to dental treatment, much of which consists of elective procedures, today’s patient has a host of options, and if unhappy with the treatment he/she is receiving, can blithely get up and go somewhere else.
--Read Part (1) Advocacy and Recommendation Clusters
--Read Part (2) Destroying Cluster
--Read our other articles on topics such as Operational Excellence and High-Reliability Concepts:
Ten Steps You Can Take Right Away to Improve the Reliability of Your Dental Practice
High-Reliability Concepts: Insights of Value to any organization.
Trude Henderson is the co-founder of ToothFairy, a startup elective dental and medical practice improvement software company which delivers an unparalleled customer experience that inspires delight, loyalty and positive emotional connections to improve the lives of patients and the practices they visit. In 2016, she was the first to introduce High-Reliability Organizational Concepts to the dental industry. For questions, contact her directly at Trude@GetToothFairy.com. Follow Trude on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trudehenderson/ (no email required).
Go to ToothFairy's website: www.ToothFairySoftware.com
Find the latest ToothFairy news, press releases and updates here!