Marketing your Dental Practice: If it moves…measure it!

dental business consultant, dental business marketing, marketing dental practice

Sure, you’ve heard the old adage ‘if you want to improve it, measure it’…

You’ve been told how you should measure your new patient figures, recall rates, treatment conversions…

But before you skip over this blog post, stop for a moment.

Have you really considered just HOW powerful and beneficial this process can be?

Allow me to tell you about a real-life practice owner and how measuring just ONE of his marketing numbers helped not only to improve his profits, but also aided the growth of his practice, increased his patient lifetime value and enhanced his team’s sense of fulfilment.

Back in April 2013, this dentist measured his hygiene recall rate for the first time. It was 55%.

Now, this is a dentist who recognises the significant potential of hygiene for his practice. So it was a bit of shock to know that nearly 50% of his patients weren’t benefitting from hygiene support.

And it was eye-opening to work out the level of potential revenue he was missing out on.

This dentist decided to set his team a target of improving the hygiene rate to 65% in one year. He even set up a whiteboard in his team room to track progress against this target.

Then he encouraged his team to test and measure some enhancements to his hygiene recall process on a monthly basis, including:

• He got help to write a more effective recall message for his patients
• He highlighted the patients not seeing the hygienist on his day sheets and instructed his dentists to discuss this with them
• He made sure his dentists were armed with visual aids to help them show these patients why they would benefit from hygiene support
• He made sure his dentists shared the BPE scoring system with these patients and what scores they would like to see the patients achieve
• He created a ‘perio pad’ – an easy to use tear off sheet which allowed the dentists to give the patients a reminder of what their current BPR scores meant

So you see he did a number of things – he got creative!

All the time, measuring the effect each change he was testing had on his recall rate.

His monthly rate slowly climbed.

It wasn’t all plain sailing of course. Some of the actions he took didn’t improve his recalls, but he and his team stuck at it.

The result?

After 12 months of testing and measuring, his hygiene recall rate had risen to 84%. He had blown his target out of the water. He had almost an extra 30% of his patient base seeing the hygienist compared to a year ago.

Wondering if all this effort is worth it?

Take a minute to calculate what 30% your patient base could represent in additional hygiene revenue for you…

Whats more, I believe the less obvious benefits he has seen from the process are even more impressive than the financial benefits:

• His hygiene books got busier of course and, as a result, he was able to negotiate a transfer from an hourly rate agreement to a percentage-based remuneration package with his hygienist. This cut out paying his hygienist for any empty slots in the diary and motivated her to keep on ‘doing her bit’ to keep it full – so the hygienist’s salary went up alongside the practice revenue!

• He saw his team come together and work purposely in the pursuit of a business target. He was able to keep them motivated to reach it with some small but powerful team incentives along the way. He noted a real ‘buzz’ amongst his team.

• He noticed his patients had become more engaged in maintaining and improving their oral health and talked to others about the information they were getting from the practice. This resulted in less patients leaving the practice and more new patients being recommended by existing patients.

More growth. More profits. More motivation.

And all through measuring and improving just ONE marketing metric.

What are you measuring to improve in your practice?

What is working for you or what do you need to measure?

Please share your comments and thoughts below.

Need my advice on your practice marketing? You’ve got it! Just email me at:, or call me on 01249 712074. I’ll gladly have an informal, no obligation chat with you.

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Original Article: Marketing your Dental Practice: If it moves…measure it!
Clear Vision

About Clear Vision

The traditional method of setting goals and gauging the success of a dental business does not automatically provide you with what you need and want. As the dental business owner, it puts you last in the queue. Clear Vision believes that your business should deliver the lifestyle you want. So when you work with our friendly and vibrant team of accountants and business advisers, it starts with you. What you want. How you want to create a difference in your life. Tell us your goals and we’ll work to help you develop a strong, positive dental business which delivers the life you want for you and your family. We have worked with dentists all over the UK since 2001. Dentists who share the same challenges and issues as you. And we’ve seen what factors will really make the difference in improving your results and increasing your rewards. So you benefit from what we know works and doesn’t work. For a taste of the insights we share check out our blog for dentists: We’re ready to share our experience and insights with you. Simply call our friendly team on 01249 712074 for an informal discussion. You’ll have our ear, our understanding and the considerable expertise which comes from successfully improving the lives of dentists like you.