In large cities many dentists turn to Groupon to attract new patients. This can be for general dentistry or specific high price treatments such as dental implants or Invisalign. The truth is that dentists do not always enjoy using Groupon as the site demands steep discounts which can result in loss leader style treatments or attracting price conscious patients.
In what can be seen as a race to the bottom, dentists prepare discount offers such as cleanings or teeth whitening discounts with the goal of signing up new patients who stay on long term. However this is not always effective as some patients will just attend once to redeem the offer and will not book any other treatments in the future.
In large cities like London, Los Angeles and Chicago there are dozens of dentists who turn to the platform in the hope of attracting new Invisalign patients. However most dentists know that the best dentists have waiting lists and do not need to discount their treatments in order to attract new patients. For treatments such as clear braces, in order to achieve the best results patients need to choose the right practice as the results depend both on the technology of the treatment and the practitioner carrying out the procedure.
While some businesses do very well with Groupon offers, the platform tends to work best for some industries than others. And there will always be businesses which have made a loss due to having to honour an offer which has not delivered results for them. For the dental sector, the best results are likely to come from discounting introductory offers such as cleanings and tooth whitening in order to register new patients who may attend for general dentistry, family dentistry or other cosmetic treatments.
This approach means that there is no need to discount high ticket treatments, and this is the preferred strategy for DFW, as the take up for these treatments would come from the newly expanded patient base. For some dental practices, discounting dental implants or Invisalign which are expensive treatments will lead to unnecessary price reductions and lost turnover for the practice. Patients will also learn that they do not need to pay full price, and patients who choose based on price are more likely to be attracted. The strategy can also disappoint patients who have actually paid full price for their treatment.
The best strategy for dental practices is to attract patients through offers on introductory or low price treatments such as cleanings and teeth whitening. This will mean that the patient base is expanded, and higher priced treatments can be sold on a cross selling basis to new patients. An easy way to do this is simply to ask patients if they are happy with the appearance of their smile at a routine appointment. This will naturally lead to the discussion and take up of additional treatments.