Here’s a little experiment to try: open up Google maps on your browser and type “dental practice” or “dentist” into the search box. If you live in a medium-to-large sized city – or even if you live near one – you’ll likely see dozens of little flags popping up, each of them indicating a particular clinic.
Patients today have many options, and if you want to increase the number of patients choosing your practice over the others, you need to think carefully about what makes your clinic different from all the others.
In business-speak, this is called the “Unique Value Proposition” or UVP. A UVP is what distinguishes you from the competition and it’s what keeps patients coming back even if another clinic might be more conveniently located. In fact, if your UVP is compelling enough, it will inspire patients to go out of their way to visit you.
I’ve written about the importance of a well-articulated UVP in the past, but today I wanted to explore some of the specific things to keep in mind when crafting your UVP and communicating it to your staff.
1. A Good UVP Solves a Problem
The first point to make about a UVP is also one of the most obvious: a good UVP tells a patient how you can solve a particular problem that they have. For example, if they are afraid of going to the dentist your UVP should explain how your clinic offers the friendliest, gentlest service in your region.
2. Make Sure You Communicate a Specific Value
As marketing expert Olga Mizrahi explains in this video, your UVP should emphasize the unique quality that places you above the competition – it isn’t about where you’re better, it’s about where you’re the best.
This isn’t always easy to do, and one of the reasons why identifying your UVP is a valuable process is because it can also help you set goals around how you can improve your dental practice management.
As an example, if you believe your UVP is convenience you should ask yourself and your staff whether you are doing everything you can to offer the greatest convenience possible to your clients. Are you using cutting-edge tools like ABELDent patient reminder software to make it easier for patients to confirm, change, request or be reminded about required appointments?
It’s important to remember that your UVP needs to be backed up by concrete examples that illustrate what makes you better than the competition.
3. Appeal to Your Patients: Keep it Simple!
A common problem that many businesses (not just dental practices) face when going through visioning exercises is boiling ideas down into clear, accessible language. If your UVP isn’t simple and easy for your patients to understand, then it’s probably not going to keep them coming back.
As noted earlier, the best UVP solves a problem, so when it comes to communicating your UVP to your patients, you should focus on the way your clinic makes their lives easier. If your UVP is about the quality of personalized care you offer, then emphasizing how that makes a difference is important.
Ideally, you will want to avoid both being too vague or too specific. ABELDent software includes a lot of advanced patient communication tools. This allows clinics that use our software to keep track of each patient’s particular preferences and needs and have quick access to this information during the point of patient contact. But when communicating this as a UVP, it is important not to get bogged down in the details. Instead, emphasize the fact that your clinic uses preferred communication tools like text and email to make sure you never lose track of an appointment.
4. Remind Them Why They Love You
At the end of the day, a UVP exists to remind your patients (and yourself) what makes you different from the competition and to explain in concrete terms why this is.
For example, at ABELDent we understand that there are other kinds of dental software clinics can use so we strive to show our customers how ABELDent dental software provides a more integrated, extensive and usable platform – one that can be tailored to their specific needs. A good UVP should make a clear case as to why your clinic’s services are unique and special.
Because a UVP is about articulating what makes you different there is always a chance that, during the process of mapping out your UVP, you will conclude that your practice isn’t doing enough to separate itself from the competition. If this happens, don’t be afraid to adopt a new plan that will help your dental clinic stand out from the crowd and give your staff the motivation to strive to offer the best service possible!