We’ve given you the first 5 proven patient trust builders here. Now let's move to Part 2 with trust builders #6-10:
Trust Builder #6: Celebrity
Celebrities often get a free pass. For some reason, fame provides a unique level of status and trust. But you don’t have to be a big-time Hollywood star like Mr. Bieber here to tap into this trust trigger. How can you be semi-famous in your very own community to harness the trust-generating power of celebrity?
Create a celebrity status...
Borrow a Celebrity. We’ve seen dentists strike up a deal with local sports teams or other organizations to be the “Official Dentist of the San Antonio Spurs” etc. (Hint: Making the deal isn’t enough – patient and prospective patients need to hear about it through your marketing and patient communications.)
Act Like a Celebrity. We’ve also seen dentists put together documentary-like video clips for their website where they are getting “interviewed” about current dental topics.
Get Media Attention. ...or better yet, actually get interviewed on local news or radio. Using PR and by making connections to local journalists, you can be the go-to person they call when they need a dentist’s opinion on a story or article.
Whatever method you choose to create a celebrity, make sure your patients see it!
Trust Builder #7: Similarities
When you meet someone new, do you often find yourself playing the “who do you know” game? “Oh, you went to East High School? Do you know John Smith? How about Jane Doe?” People tend to trust other people who have similar backgrounds to theirs, whether it be places you’ve both lived, experiences you’ve both had, or people you both know.
Learn Your Patient’s Story. My hygienist and I happen to have attended the same junior high and high school, but a few years apart. Every time I visit, we discover another person we have in common.
Common Interests. Do you both like sports? A certain TV show? A particular music group?
Trust Builder #8: Place
University of Texas studies have shown that you can accurately describe who and what a person is like just by seeing their bedroom. The condition of your “place” says a lot about you. The décor, layout, music, organization, messiness, or cleanliness all tell a story. Trust is won or lost based on how the environment of your practice stacks up to expectations. If you are trying to be a “high-end” dentist, what should I expect as far as cleanliness, furniture, equipment, etc? If the art on the wall is from the 60s, I might start to wonder if your dental techniques also haven’t been updated since then...
Does your place portray...
Cleanliness. I expect a certain level of cleanliness when I visit a healthcare provider. Your office should portray that from the receptionist area to the operatory.
Match Place to Message. If you are trying to be cutting edge, up to date, friendly, hassle free, or high end, does your practice tell the same story?
Trust Builder #9: Location
Just as the environment inside your practice can build or cut down trust, so can your location. Each neighborhood or community has a brand, a feel, and a reputation. What is the location of your office saying about your dentistry?
Show your location through...
Proximity. What’s near your practice? What places of business are on the left or right of you? What do they infer about you? How can you overcome or take advantage of this?
Community. What is unique about your community? What do the people in your neighborhood pride themselves on? How can you emphasize these values in your practice?
Trust Builder #10: Context
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely has proven that people are not very good at making choices in a vacuum. It’s much harder to know if “A” is good or bad, than deciding if “A” is better than “B” or “C”. Helping your patients get context, or a frame, on what you do in the dental office in relation to other dentists or other ways they could spend their money will build trust because they will feel more comfortable when they see how what you do fits into their world.
Build Value. One practice I work with who has a lot of contracted insurance plans always lists the doctor’s normal fee at the top of the treatment plan, and then shows the patient how much their dental insurance is saving them. This demonstrates the full value of the treatment, but makes the patient feel great because they are getting it for a lower price. They are much more willing to happily pay their portion.
Give a Range. “Wow, that’s expensive” can often be translated to mean, “I didn’t realize how much dentistry costs.” I’ve seen practices explain a range, letting patients know that a crown can cost anywhere between $600 and $2000 depending on the materials and the skill level of the dentist. This provides some context, and lets the patient know what they are getting from you relative to what’s available.
Click to read the rest of the series:
- 25 Dental Patient Trust Builders - Part 1
- 25 Dental Patient Trust Builders - Part 3
- 25 Dental Patient Trust Builders - Part 4
- 25 Dental Patient Trust Builders - Part 5