If you’ve made the decision to establish a dental membership plan, you’ve likely weighed the pros and cons and realized how it could change the game for your practice. The following quick-start guide will be helpful as you establish your plan.
Be Clear About Your Financial Goals.
The first step is to answer the following: What do you hope to gain from establishing a dental membership plan? Dig deep and be specific and clear on your goals.
Following are some example goals—and questions to help you think through the specifics.
- Create a benefit for my patients. (How will your plan benefit your patients?)
- Grow my practice. (How do you envision it growing?)
- Increase practice revenue. (How would a revenue increase benefit your practice?)
Analyze Patient Demographics.
What do your patients need? Having a firm grasp on this will be crucial as you design your plan. The answers won’t be the same for every practice and patient population, of course.
If you work in a community with more senior citizens, flashy cosmetic treatments probably aren’t the best thing to include in your plan. More restorative ones like dentures and veneers would probably be a better fit.
Work through your patient roster and research statistics for the city your practice is in and nearby communities. Then use this information to figure out what would work best to include in your membership plan.
Outline Your Ideal Membership Plan.
Now it’s time to make an outline of your membership plan. Here are a few important questions your first draft should address.
- What services do you want to include?
- How much will it cost?
- Will you offer monthly and annual plans, or only one or the other?
- How do you envision the plan evolving if it’s successful?
- Should you include special promotions for new patients who sign up for the plan at their first visit?
Don’t worry if you don’t have exact answers to all your questions at this point. The process of thinking about what the result will look like is what’s important here.
Decide: DIY or Software Platform?
Will you run your dental membership plan in-house on your own, or will you work with a software platform? This decision will heavily influence how much and what type of extra work your team will need to take on. For example, DentalHQ is a software platform that simplifies plan management, automates patient communication, and auto-charges patients on subscription, among other things.
Explain the Details to Your Team.
Sharing your membership plan outline with a few trusted team members is a very good idea. This will enable you to get second opinions and ideas while there’s still time to edit the plan without creating confusion.
If you have associate dentists on your team, have a separate conversation with them about how it might change their compensation for the better.
Once you’ve nailed the final draft, determine exactly who will be doing what tasks. Then schedule a meeting with your team to explain all the details of your membership plan.
The most successful plans involve everyone in the office talking about them. Internal marketing is as important as external marketing, which is the next item to plan.
Build a Strong Marketing Plan.
Marketing is more important than usual, because most patients don’t know what a dental membership plan is. Your marketing will need to explain to patients what a membership plan is, as well as let them know how joining yours can help them.
You can send an email to all your patients about your membership plan, post on social media at least monthly about your plan, do a postcard campaign, and put up a visible sign outside your office (“No insurance? No worries!”).
Once you have your marketing plan in place, check your list twice and set a launch date.
DentalHQ is the leading platform for successful automated membership plans. It can help create predictable revenue for your practice by enabling you to create, manage, and grow an in-house membership plan program.