25 Dental Patient Trust Builders – Part 3

We’ve given you the first 10 proven patient trust builders.  Read the first 5 here.  And #6-10 here. Now let's move to Part 3 with trust builders #11-15: 

Trust Builder #11: Longevity

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This trust trigger comes from demonstrating the idea of “we’ve been doing this for a long time... so we must know what we’re doing!” There’s a reason the elderly are more likely to be perceived as “wise” – they’ve been around longer, have seen a lot, and “this isn’t their first rodeo.” When it comes to their healthcare, most patients don’t want to be pioneers. Pioneers are the ones who get the arrows in their backs. Many businesses fail, so demonstrating your staying power is a good way to build trust.

Create longevity by...

Dentist or Practice Longevity. If you have been in practice for a long time, make sure your patients know it. How can you demonstrate how long you’ve been doing what you do? Or how long you’ve been practicing in a location?

Relationship Longevity. How long do your patients tend to remain as your patients? Some practices have patients that have been patients for decades. Can you highlight them in your practice? How about a wall of fame for those who have been long-time patients?


Trust Builder #12: Details

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When I worked at a venture capital firm, the director of the firm was an absolute tyrant when it came to making sure our tiniest details were accurate. Rounding errors could mean millions of dollars misrepresented, and as he liked to say, “If we misspell a word on the investment report, how can they trust that we know what the #@&!% we are doing with everything else?”

Likewise in your practice, if you make small mistakes in your patient interactions, what worries will that create in their minds about your dentistry?

It's the details that matter...

Get Names Right. A person’s name is the most important word in the English language to them. Get it right, pronounce it right. Get it wrong... “do they even know who I am here?”

Avoid Sloppiness. How can you avoid sloppiness in your work and your communications to keep the details straight?


Trust Builder #13: Exclusivity

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Classic cars, rare stamps, invitation only parties, front row tickets, and back stage passes are valuable because they are exclusive... meaning there are only a limited number of them. They are a scarce resource, unlike, say, grains of rice, which are available by the billions and are therefore not very valuable. Patients value and trust exclusiveness. So are you “begging” for new patients, or are you “accepting” new patients? 

Be exclusive by...

Selectiveness. What kind of patients are you willing to take? Not take? If you are marketing to “everyone,” you are really marketing to no one. What kind of patients are you trying to attract?

“In”. Are patients excited because they got “in?” The most exclusive doctors and dentists in the country are selective enough that patients are happy just to get an appointment. How can you begin to build this status into your reputation?

Acceptance. How about an application and then a letter of acceptance for new patients that goes to their house welcoming them to your practice? Studies on college fraternities show that when you have to work a little to get in, you value the membership all the more.


Trust Builder #14: Authenticity

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In the age of social media, “reality” TV, political mistrust, and economic protests, phoniness is condemned and authenticity is celebrated. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as “perfect,” and showing a (harmless) chink in the armor goes a long way in showing that you can be trusted because you are real.

How to create authenticity...

Admit Fault. Handling mistakes and mishaps are a great time to build trust. 41% of consumers said that the time when a company “resolves my problem or issue” is the most critical for determining if they will be loyal or not. Your best friends are those that come to your aid when times are rough. How can you admit and resolve service issues with your patients to build greater lifelong trust?

Be Real. No one wants a robot working on their teeth. People do business with other people that they like. People buy from those they like. How can you and your team build real relationships with your patients?


Trust Builder #15: Endorsements

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It’s no secret that big lifestyle companies like Nike choose world-class athletes like Michael Jordan to wear and represent their brand. “Be Like Mike,” Nike’s campaign from the 90s, infered that if you want to be as cool, sporty, and successful as Michael Jordan, you had better wear the same shoes as he does! Endorsements by influencers are meaningful because they harness the trust they already have from their audience and transfer that trust to you.

What can you do to be endorsed...

Sponsored by. Who are the community influencers in your community? What would it do for your practice to have them as patients? How can you attract them to be your patients?

Endorsement Letters. A dentist in our community recently chose a handful of his favorite patients, and asked them to mail out a letter on his behalf to 10 to 20 friends and family. The letter explained why the patients liked their dentist, and included a new patient offer because “my dentist is looking for more patients like me, and I thought of you...”


This is the third article in a 5 part series.

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