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35 Patient Retention Strategies for Dentists and Medical Spa

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

1. Know Your Patients

The number one strategy that you can use to retain patients is by knowing them. You need to keep a record of all your patients. Know your patients by their names and develop a relationship with them by communicating with them in and outside your facility. Develop a plan to help your staff members remember patients. Ask your staff to create a comprehensive list of all patients with their photos attached. Assign a staff to periodically call each patient to ask about their well-being. Remembering each patient who steps into your facility will help them feel valued and appreciated. They will feel a sense of belonging and care from you, which will make them want to remain with you.

2. Give Patients Quality Time With You

As a dentist or medical spa owner, you should always give patients quality time with you. Of course, your time is valuable, and your patients know this. By giving your patients one-on-one time, they feel more comfortable with you. They also feel that you take their needs as priority. In contrast, when they don’t get the opportunity to spend quality time with you, it sets a tone that they’re not very important to you. They may feel bad and withdrawn. Allowing your patients some time with you can make them feel happy and important. Try as much as possible to set aside a few uninterrupted minutes for each patient and allow them to talk about anything they wish say.

3. Be On Time

As a dentist or medical spa therapist, time is of the essence. You should always keep to time for appointments. You need to understand that even your patients are things to do with their time. If you run behind your schedule every day, it won’t take long for your patients to notice your incessant lateness to appointments. This could discourage them from coming back. You should be known as a dentist that always keeps to appointments. A patient shouldn’t wait for an extra 30 minutes for an appointment because you came late. You could end up losing your patients if you’re always late for appointments.

4. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Every patient that walks into your facility wants to feel adequately attended to and appreciated. A patient can either feel welcomed or not by the way he or she was attended to by the receptionist at the front desk. Proper customer service starts from the front desk. You should ensure that your staff members attend to patients in a professional and welcoming manner. A patient should feel welcomed when he or she steps into your facility.

Ensure that your staff members are well-trained on how to attend to patients from the moment they step into your facility until they step out. Always provide excellent customer service if you want to retain your patients.

5. Reassess Your Patient Hand-Offs

A lot of patients slip through when messages aren’t correctly communicated from one staff to another. Effective communication among staff members is key here.

Staff should use the patient’s name during hand-off to other staff, and always reiterate the patient’s needs or upcoming appointment protocol with the next staff member. This will prevent misinformation and appropriate treatment routines. A patient should also be informed of the next staff member that will be taking care of him or her if the previous staff member wants to handoff. This will keep the patient aware of the new person that will be in charge.

By doing this, you’re subconsciously reinforcing to patients that they’re important even when the smallest decisions or steps are taken. You’re also keeping them aware of any changes. This can increase their trust in you.

6. Make Appointment Scheduling Fast and Easy

You need to make appointment scheduling fast and easy if you want to retain your patients. If your patients have a difficult time scheduling an appointment, they may get upset or discouraged to complete the process.

You may end up losing patients if your appointment scheduling platform is a tedious one. It should take only a couple of minutes for patients to schedule their appointments. This will encourage them to keep coming back.

7. Follow-up

Following up on your patients is an effective way to retain them. After providing a service to a patient, don’t just forget about the patient. You need to periodically and consistently follow up with patients to know how they’re recovering. You can automate a follow-up system or assign a staff member to follow-up patients to keep them engaged. Keep patients that are scheduled for follow-up appointments engaged by sending them newsletters and other useful content.

8. Have A Clean Office Space

Most patients will not come back if your office space is dirty and unkempt. An environment where you care for patients with various health concerns should always be kept clean.

Your office environment should be very clean and with a nice smell. Patients should feel comfortable when they come into your facility.

9. Have A Welcoming Waiting Room

The appearance of your waiting room can also influence the decisions of patients when deciding if to come back or not. If your waiting room is not comfortable or looks unkempt, patients may feel reluctant to come back. Your waiting room should have comfortable chairs and space where patients can relax. The environment should be clean and serene. Your waiting room should have a nice ambiance. Patients should feel welcomed when they enter your waiting room.

10. Provide Enough Parking Space

As irrelevant as this may seem, you can lose your patients if you don’t have enough parking space. You need to pay attention to parking space.

This is because patients want to have a safe and comfortable space to park their cars. They need to know that their cars are safe while inside your facility. Provide enough parking space where patients can comfortably park their cars while in your facility. Make arrangements for an open and secure parking lot where patients can park their cars.

11. Consider Modifying Your Financial Policies And Insurance Protocol

In order to reduce collections and minimize past-due accounts, it is vital to have an established financial protocol. However, if those policies are discouraging patients from returning to your office, it can be detrimental to you. To minimize the risk of losing patients while modifying your financial policies and insurance protocol, it’s important to take a step back and look at the circumstances as if you were a patient. Are there things that need to be changed? Do you need to change or improve the way you communicate those policies with your patients? You need to find a better way to explain things to your patients so that they can easily understand yet still financially beneficial to them. When you do this, you’ll find out that informed patients will be able to comply with your financial policies without going elsewhere.

12. Provide Payment Options

A lot of patients may seek alternatives if they’re not able to afford your cost. A lot of adults don’t seek dental care due to the cost. Consider offering a more convenient way that patients could pay for their treatments by creating easier payment plans or offering CareCredit.

13. Ask Patients What You Can Do Better

As a dentist or medical spa therapist, getting feedback from your patients is very important. By asking your patients what you can do better, you will be able to know their thoughts about your practice. You will be able to know the areas to improve on. It never hurts to ask your patients what they would like you to do better. You can ask your patients in person, send out survey forms, or place a suggestion box in your waiting room. Ensure that you work on the areas that patients gave their feedback on.

14. Send Useful Content To Patients

Become a source for health-related information by sending out useful health-related content to your patients. By doing this, you keep them informed and provide them with useful health-related information that they may not know about. Apart from showing your patients that you’re experienced in your field, you also show them that you want them to be abreast with useful health-related information so that they can stay healthy. These will encourage them to remain loyal patients.

15. Prompt Response To Calls And Emails

Prompt response to incoming calls and emails is very vital if you want to retain patients. It is very frustrating for patients to call in or send emails but didn’t get any response. Avoid calls going to voicemail or not responding to emails. Assign a staff member that will always be available to receive and respond to calls. Emails from patients should be timely responded to. The person responding to incoming calls should be very professional and friendly to patients.

16. Treat Your Patients With Respect

It is very important that you treat your patients with respect if you want them to come back. Train your office staff to always treat each and every patient with respect. The way they speak and relate with patients should be professional and respectful.

When patients feel a sense of respect from you and your staff, they will be happy and be more willing to return to your clinic or spa.

17. Know How To Handle Patients That Are Upset

As a professional, you should know how to handle patients that are upset. When you observe that a patient is upset, try to be as professional and empathetic as possible. If someone appears upset, know why they’re upset and find a possible solution. Try as much as possible to calm them down and make them feel good again. Show a little sympathy and show them that you care. Be involved in their well-being at that moment. Care for them and show interest. Make them feel better.

18. Post Opt Calls

Multiple healthcare studies have shown that calling patients the next day after their treatment to check on them goes a long way in how patients perceive the care they received. Additionally, it will help healthcare providers identify any issues with the care the patients received. Furthermore, post-op phone calls also help to reduce malpractice lawsuits. Post-op phone calls make patients feel taken care of. It’s the simple things like these phone calls that patients take to heart. They will definitely appreciate it and this will help you create loyal patients.

19. Engage With Patients On Social Media

Social media is a platform where you can get friendly with people. As a dentist or medical spa therapist, you can get friendly with your patients by engaging with them on social media. You can comment on their posts, like their posts, and share social media moments with them. You can send them private messages and cheer them up to make them feel happy. Imagine communicating with your patients on their social media pages. This will definitely make them elated.

20. Respond To Reviews

A lot of patients give reviews about their doctors or caregivers. Make sure that you always respond to reviews given by your patients. Even if you can’t respond to all reviews by yourself, assign a staff that will always do that on your behalf. Responding to reviews has many benefits. It helps you rectify negative comments about your practice, makes people see you in good light, and also encourages people to trust you.

When you respond to reviews from patients, you should them that you care about their thoughts and suggestions.

21. Always Have A Listening Ear

Providing a listening ear to your patients can go a long way to encouraging them to remain with you. Most patients have a lot of things to say to their doctors. They have questions to ask and inquiries to make. Always listen to your patients. Provide a comfortable environment for them to say anything they want to say to you. Let them feel comfortable to ask any questions that they want to ask. Let them know that they’re always free to talk to you about anything bothering them.

22. Little Things Go A Long Way

The little things you do can go a long way. Look for little ways and things you can do to make a big impact on your patient’s overall experience. Show that you care by doing little things that can wow your patients. Small things such as offering a bottle of water, juice, or cola during a dental exam or treatment can lighten up a patient. Try to do the little things that will make patients happy during their time with you.

23. Take Patients Through Their Treatment Plan

It is important to always explain to patients in detail their treatment plans. First, you need to explain to them what is wrong with them and then explain their treatment plans to them. Explaining helps to relieve a lot of stress. The patient will be more relaxed knowing what to expect.

24. Provide Discounts And Freebies

It can cost so much to have dental treatment or medical spa treatment. Encourage patients to remain with you by offering discounts or freebies.

When you offer discounts, you give patients the ability to get treatment at a lower cost which they can’t find elsewhere. This will make them come back to you. Everybody loves free gifts. When you give your patients free gifts, you have given them something of worth. In return, they naturally feel that they need to return the favor in some way. Most of them will return the favor by remaining loyal patients to you.

25. Provide Free Community Treatments

Taking a day out of your schedule to go into your community and provide dental treatments can help you gain loyal patients. While a lot of patients don’t do this, doing this can make you different.

26. Provide Free Seminars

You can also gain loyal patients by providing free seminars. Organize seminars where you give lectures on health-related topics. Let people attend for free, particularly your patients. This can further encourage them to stay put with you.

27. Send Birthday Messages To Patients

Everybody loves to celebrate their birthdays. You can celebrate with your patients on their birthdays by sending out personalized birthday messages to them. With their contact details, you can send beautiful birthday messages to them on their birthdays.

This can mean a lot to them. They will surely appreciate your birthday wishes. It is also a gesture that shows that you care about them.

28. Send Christmas Cards

Just like birthday messages, you can also send Christmas cards to your patients during Christmas holidays to wish them best wishes. Patients will surely feel elated when they receive Christmas cards from their doctors.

29. Show Patients A Sense Of Belonging

As a dentist or medical spa therapist, you need to let your patients feel as though they’re family. Take them as priority and always show care. Give them a shoulder to cry on when need be.

Provide useful health-related advice to them and guide them on how to keep their dentition and body healthy.

30. Familiarize Patients With Your Modus Operandi

As a dentist, it is good for you to familiarize your patients with how you operate in your clinic. Let your patients know the things you do and the treatments you provide.

Show them around your facility if possible so that they can have a look at your medical equipment and your office environment.

When you do this, you create an atmosphere of friendship between you and your patients. Your patients will feel more at home when they come to your clinic.

31. Introduce Your Staff To Patients

Another effective strategy that you can use to retain patients is by familiarizing your staff with them. Staff members should introduce themselves to every patient that walks into your facility, particularly staff members that will be having one-on-one interaction with the patient.

While doing this, staff members should be friendly with the patient and use a subtle tone. This will make the patient familiar with each staff member and know them by their names. Patients will feel more at ease knowing your staff members by their names.

32. Follow Your Patients On Their Social Media Pages

As a dentist, always ask for the contact details of your patients including their social media handles. Follow your patients on their social media pages including their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Following your patients on their social media pages will definitely make them elated. Engage and communicate with them on their social media pages.

33. Memorize At Least One Fact About Each Patient

If you want to make a huge impression on your patients, memorizing at least one fact about each of them is definitely a way to do it. Knowing at least one fact about each patient and telling them when the need arises will definitely make them feel special.

34. Talk With Your Patients About Their Interests

Show your patients that you’re their friends by talking with them about their interests. You can also share your interests with them so they can know your likes. Develop a friendly environment with your patients when having this conversation with them.

35. Continually Train and Educate Your Staff

Continuous education and training of your staff members are very vital if you want to retain your patients. Retaining patients doesn’t depend on you alone; it takes the combined efforts of your staff.

Have meetings with your staff to discuss and get suggestions from them on the best ways to retain patients. Train your staff on how to serve and care for patients.


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