Search their feelings

The world is changing, and rightly or wrongly, people are less and less interested in ‘facts’ and more in about how things make them ‘feel’. As an audience of dentists who come from a scientific background this may not be what you want to hear, but it is true nonetheless. For your practice message to get across effectively, you need to speak to your patients’ emotions rather than their brains.

Another impact of this change is that the general public is less deferential to medical professionals than they once were and expect to be in charge of their treatment. They will also expect the service that they experience at the practice to be first class. As I have mentioned before, dentistry in the 21st century is going to be less and less about the technical skills (although these are still vital) and more about how you make patients feel and the whole ‘customer experience’.

As we move forward, your practice’s message has to be somewhat more sophisticated than ‘I am a dentist’.

First of all you have to decide what makes you different? Is it the services that you offer, the type of care, dedication to customer service, geography, treatments that you offer and other local practices don’t and so on. You need an angle that will interest people – yes you are ‘a dentist’ but makes you different is x.

Then, you need to focus on the benefits of particular treatments and services rather than them themselves. For example:

  • implants are not a new titanium root upon which a crown is placed; they are the abillty to eat rare steak or an apple again
  • regular hygiene visit aren’t just important to oral health; they make your teeth feel really clean and the lack of bad breath can make you more attractive to the opposite sex
  • crowns and veneers aren’t a way of creating a perfect smile; they are a way of giving you the self-confidence that you’ve always wanted

and so on.

It is worth bearing in mind when writing any form of practice communication to always bear in mind the journalists’ 5 Ws (and one H):

  • Who is it about?
  • What happened (what’s the story)?
  • When did it take place?
  • Where did it take place?
  • How did it happen?
  • Why did it happen?

Whether you are writing your website, welcome pack or advertisement, if you bear these in mind then it will put you in your potential patient’s shoes and hopefully mean that your are more relevant to them and their feelings. It will also lead to a huge increase in response – something that any business welcomes!