Dentists along the U.S./Mexico border are generally all to aware of dental tourism – prospects from their markets hopping over the border to get cheaper dental care. Sometimes those patients get quality work, sometimes not. A number of SmartBox dentists have a decent revenue stream from re-doing substandard dental treatment from Mexico.
If your practice isn’t near Mexico, you might not think that dental tourism is a concern for you. But there’s another “dental tourism” trend that you might not be aware of. More and more people are combining dental care with an overseas vacation. You might say that they’re mixing necessity with pleasure.
A Drain is a Drain
In addition to Mexico, such desirable vacation destinations as Thailand, Dubai, the Philippines, and Costa Rica are also havens for foreign dental patients. None of those countries are particularly cheap to travel to from the U.S., suggesting that dental tourism is favored by the more affluent. Unfortunately, those are exactly the patients you need to grow your practice.
If you’re going to get your share of that lost revenue, you need to give those better patients reasons to choose you rather than going abroad.
What Better Patients Want
It might seem that price is a major motivator among the dental tourism subset of your market. That’s only partially true. The lure of saving money on dental work is there, but it’s coupled with the experience of the vacation destination.
More affluent dental prospects are prepared to pay more for a superior patient experience. They also favor establishing a relationship with a dentist who they like, relate to, and trust. You can leverage both factors – the experience and the relationship – to attract these patients to your practice.
But you won’t accomplish that leverage through newspaper ads or postcard campaigns. Establishing a relationship is a process that requires time and many points of contact, or “touches.” Each of those touches has to present a value proposition that includes value for money (not just price), the desirability of choosing you to solve their dental problems, and the superior experience that prospects can expect in your practice.
That’s why price is only one part of the equation, and a relatively small one at that. Of course, there are some people who have a set spending limit for both dental work and an exotic vacation; for these patients, low price is definitely a factor. Still, it seems reasonable to suppose that even some of those patients will change their travel plans in exchange for a superior dental outcome and patient experience.
Pardon Me – Do You Have the Time?
You’ll want to review the content of your current website with an eye toward how fresh the content is and how well it explains dental problems and the solutions. You’ll also need to make sure that it’s written at the appropriate reading level – roughly middle school for online reading – and that any technical terms are explained.
You probably don’t have time to revise your website content. The odds are that you don’t have a staff person who could take on that task and complete it successfully. And truth to tell, doing that won’t make you a dime. You and your people make money by seeing patients.
SmartBox works with more than 550 dentists on three continents to help them get more and better patients. Our industry-leading Patient Attraction System™ continues to revolutionize how dentists go about attracting the patients they want to their practices.
Are you serious about your practice’s success? Would you like to see a Patient Attraction System that can double or even triple you practice?
SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.