Social media has become the go-to place where people go to communicate.
You may not like it but this is how it now is!
Be there or be square.
If you want to be part of the world of communication in your business and with your patients you need a social media presence.
Now you have an opportunity to communicate and develop a link with your patients as well as with people looking to be your patient.
If you do things the right way.
Because there is a right way and a wrong way to use social media for your dental practice.
What I saw today on a Dental Practice’s Social Media page concerned me greatly.
I contemplated contacting their office to see if they needed some help.
Social media is not the place to post the rules to follow in your dental office.
But that is exactly what this particular Dental Office was doing.
I have written numerous times about the term “Cancellation Policy”.
Everyone knows my belief when it comes to throwing this “policy” in the faces of your patients.
There will always be a few of your patients who continually cancel and fail to attend their appointments but for most practices who are attracting the right patients, and building rapport and trust and setting appointments up correctly, the number of these recalcitrant patients is quite small.
This is where I get very confused.
Why are some practices still placing so much focus on the patients doing the wrong thing when so many of their patients are getting it right?
Why are we not thanking the patients who get it right?
Why are we not placing the focus on what is right in our practice to encourage our New Patients to follow the behaviour of keeping their appointments.
What I saw recently on a social media page was a huge post explaining the dental practice’s “Cancellation Policy” and what would happen to anyone who ever cancelled your appointment.
The good news is there was no gaol sentence involved!!!
As I read the post all I could think about was that this practice has a big problem with patients cancelling their appointments.
It was very difficult reading this post, because I know why they have this problem!
Sadly, any prospective patient checking out this dental practice’s social media page will read this post that is telling them off for cancelling their appointment, even though they haven’t even made one yet.
Is this a great way to build that first relationship with a prospective New Patient?
Isn’t it really a threat and won’t a post like this scare patients away?
The post sent a message to all readers:
If you don’t do these things then this is what will happen to you!!
I know there are dental offices that will tell me that their cancellation policy works but how many patients were put off calling a dental practice after seeing this sort of “policy” displayed on a website or on social media.
Can you measure this loss?
No, unfortunately you cannot!
Now I know there are many people that respond to a threat and do the right thing [e.g. a speeding fine], but is this really the best way to start a relationship with a New Patient?
The other message that a cancellation policy gives to patients is that it is ok to cancel as long as you cancel at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment.
Great! This is still a cancellation but now the person on the front desk has the whole day to rearrange the appointment book and fill the cancelled appointment.
I just don’t get why someone who owns a business and is trying to attract people to their practice would think that a publicly displayed cancellation policy would work, especially on social media.
Social media is there to connect, communicate and build a positive relationship with people. I know if someone wanting to start a relationship by telling me the rules I am probably not going to be their friend or do business with them!
Your social media posts for your Dental Practice need to be patient centered and team centered.
When you post anything on your business social media pages, ask yourself this one question:
“If I read this would I do business with me?”
This blog features simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Dental Office, impacting immediately on your Patients’ Dental Phone Experiences, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.
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