Every dental practice knows that to retain clients you have to build a good relationship with them. And the hardest age group to understand and connect with these days is millennials.
The millennial generation, ranging from age 18 to 34, is the largest living generation according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. In fact, they project that the number of millennials will grow to 75.3 million in 2015.
If your dental practice hasn't already been paying attention to Generation Y, now is the time to learn how to better understand and connect with them.
The first thing to know about this generation of patients is they were born during the digital age. They've grown up with the Internet and all the high-tech gadgets, making them very tech-savvy and constantly connected to their family, friends, and a stream of information. This is both good and problematic for your practice.
Problematic because this influx of information makes them feel thoroughly informed and empowered, which in many cases causes them to believe they don't need to see the dentist as often as they should.
They are good for your practice because, when you use the same technology that millennials are so dependent on, you're better able to market to and connect with them and maintain your doctor-patient relationships in a way that makes them far more comfortable.
So if you want to build a better relationship with your millennial patients -- and to earn some more while you're at it -- follow these four technology tips.
1. Know what technology millennials use
Millennials use their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and social media platforms to communicate, find answers to questions, and for just about everything else. When they want information, they want to quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly be able to get it. You need to provide the needed information to your millennial patients and prospects, such as the services you offer, office location, office number, answers to common dental health questions, etc., on your website, social media platforms, and blog.
Ensure your website and blog are user- and mobile-friendly and kept up to date, and make sure you have a presence on social media. Don't just create an account on every social media platform just to cover your bases. Do research to find out which platforms your millennial patients spend most of their time on and stay active on these platforms.
2. Share user-generated content
As was mentioned earlier, this generation searches online for everything they want to know. And more often than not, it's not businesses that they go to first and trust -- it's their peers. Millennials look to other millennials to see how they feel about their dentist and the experiences they have.
Use this user-generated content to your advantage to earn more patients and revenue. Provide great treatments and customer service, then encourage your happy patients to share their opinions and experiences with your practice online. You can also share testimonials on your website, so when millennials come to research your practice online, they find that it's not just you saying you're the best practice in the area, it's your patients as well.
3. Offer online discounts
Another good thing to note about Generation Y is that they use their researching skills to find the best deal before making a purchase. They look for online coupons and discount codes for any and everything they can to help them save money. It's no secret that dental treatments aren't inexpensive, so if you compete on price, offer discounts online to better reach and attract this age group.
4. Connect using text messages and emails
While millennials keep their smartphones attached to them 24/7, studies show they prefer not to actually talk on their smartphone. They'd much rather communicate through text messages or emails.
Many practices pick up the phone and call patients to remind them about appointments. This may be the favored communication method for older generations, but it's not for millennials.If you want to connect with these patients, give them the option to be reached for appointment reminders via text message or email right through programs such as Dentrix.
With the prediction of millennials becoming the largest living generation this year, you can't afford to miss out on having as many of them as possible as patients. Don't be afraid or simply choose not to use technology in your office. Follow these four tips and use technology to your advantage to better connect with and form a good doctor-patient relationship with these tech-savvy patients.
Dayna Johnson is the founder of Rae Dental Management with more than 20 years of experience in the dental industry. She is a certified Dentrix trainer.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.