That is the question that the CommBank Dental Insights report sought to answer by surveying 100 dental clinics and 386 patients across Australia, upon which all statistics and statements in this article are based.
The report uncovers the top considerations of patients when choosing a dental clinic, the factors driving satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and how satisfaction levels differ across the generations. It also examines what quality of care means to dental patients.
Marketing as a growth engine
The search for growth and new patients sees dental clinics squarely focused on sales and marketing. It is the top business priority amid rising costs and increasing competition.
Dental clinics employ an array of marketing tactics and many are early adopters of search engine optimisation and social media marketing. Nevertheless, they underestimate the importance of some of the channels that generate patients. Thus, opportunities exist to broaden marketing activities to capture more patients.
Patient-centric investment in technology
Many clinics understand there is plenty of scope to further enhance the patient experience by meeting the growing demand for more seamless interactions with the clinic. Hence most clinics intend on increasing their technology budget in the coming two years.
Encouragingly, dental clinics’ technology investment is centred on the patient. They are adopting technologies primarily to improve the quality of care and to enhance the patient experience.
Nevertheless, across all practice types, a lack of in-house skills is holding back technology adoption. Dental clinics are more likely than general or specialist practices to have compulsory technology training. Yet they are also the most likely to have no protocols in place to ensure ongoing development of staff IT skills.
Getting better returns from technology investments
Dental clinics are also leading the way in offering several technology-based client communications, such as social media. But despite all their marketing activity, there is low awareness among patients that these communication channels are available.
The research also identified some misalignment between the technologies that dental clinics offer and the ones that appeal most to their patients.
Read the full report to learn more about the opportunities for dental clinics to realise their growth ambitions by better understanding the evolving preferences of their existing and target patients.