One of the key demographics for making a practice busy and prosperous is families, particularly those with young children. Marketing your practice towards this group can seem difficult, but a few simple additions to your current routine can make all the difference.
The great benefit of families is that they tend to be loyal dental customers once a good relationship is established, which means going the extra mile is well worth it.
Just as you would provide reading material for adults, consider providing amusements for children in your waiting room – including those who are too young to read. A few children’s books and toys (second hand if cost is a concern) can make the wait much easier for parents, and also provides a welcome distraction for child who is anxious or outright afraid of the dentist.
Of course, you know that there’s nothing to be afraid of, but little accommodations can make a big difference in how the visit is perceived, both for parent and child.
For older children, age-appropriate leaflets on taking care of their teeth are another good thing to have on offer, as it helps them to feel grown-up, while teaching them healthy habits. You can also include leaflets for parents about how to look after the teeth of younger children, as this can often be an area of confusion.
Posters with clear, basic information about teeth and gums are also a good way to engage families, as well as providing easy answers to the child who always wants to know why something is a particular way.
In addition to this, a more practical consideration is to make sure that it is easy to block-book regular check-ups for the whole family, as this is a simple way to make a busy parent’s life much easier.
When a child comes in for a check-up or another procedure, they will normally have their parent with them, and the adult will be the one who makes most of the decisions. However, this is not a reason to talk over the child. Taking a little extra time to explain things to the person in the chair is a good way to win over the whole family.
Being equipped to handle small children is another thing that will count in your favour. Tricks like an amusing puppet to persuade younger or more reluctant children to open their mouths can significantly cut down on tantrums and stand-offs, as well as making the overall experience happier.
The reason that these small touches are so important is because a lot of parents choose their family dentist based on recommendations from other parents. This means even though it is indirect, making a great impression on your existing patients is one of the most effective forms of marketing when it comes to this demographic.
Tailoring elements of your practice to be family-friendly is a great way to take advantage of a well-developed grapevine, but should always be part of a wider marketing strategy to ensure that you get the best possible results.