During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many media outlets and communication channels sharing up-to-date information on how this virus is changing our day-to-day lives, as well as our global community. This information is critical, but as we move into a new phase of reopening medical practices, communication is even more important from individual businesses and practices.
This is a particularly overwhelming time for everyone, and knowing the best way to keep in touch with your patients can feel like a daunting task. By breaking down the communication channels that make the most sense for your business and knowing the best way to use each, we hope to provide some clarity and guidance on how you can keep in touch with your current and potential patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you already have a social media presence, specifically on Facebook or Instagram, now is the time to remain as active as possible in keeping patients up to date with your reopening. You can share images of your office, show progress on any safety measures that have been put in place, and provide updates on any services you are currently providing. It can also be a great place to show the smiling and friendly faces of your practice, and reassure patients that you are working hard to welcome them back to your practice soon!
Email is a great way to send personalized and authoritative information to your current patients. Since regulations and operating requirements are changing so frequently, a weekly or bi-weekly email to your patient list can be a helpful way to keep everyone informed of the most important information relating to your practice. For example, if you are only providing specific services, or are now taking on urgent care, letting everyone know through email is one of the best ways to share detailed information with a large group.
Phone calls should be used for anyone who had their care impacted by the temporary closure of your practice. This should include anyone who had to cancel or postpone a previously scheduled appointment. Now that practices are slowly reopening, reach out to each patient individually to let them know when they can expect to be able to rebook depending on the type of care needed. Once the backlog of patients is addressed, you can reach out directly to any patients that would be due for a regularly scheduled or annual appointment, and inform them that your practice is open and ready to care for them once again.
The phone can also be used for communicating with patients shortly before they come in for their appointment to walk through any precautions, special instructions, or important information before they arrive at the office. This will make their appointment run smoothly, and ensure the safety of staff and other patients.
Your website is an important place to keep current and future patients up to date. Ensuring that your homepage is kept up-to-date with accurate operating hours, restrictions, and services being provided will help quickly answer any questions people may have, and provide information to people who may be finding you for the first time. If you have a Google My Business profile, it is also important to keep your information up-to-date there so that you are accurately represented in search results.
Communication in times of uncertainty is crucial - we hope that by highlighting the best communication methods and how to make the most of them helps alleviate any concerns or anxiety you may be experiencing at this time. As regulations and operating requirements change, so will your communications - keeping in touch with your patients now and in the future is the best way to solidify ongoing relationships and support a flourishing dental practice!