Long-term relationships are key

Open-bookSuki Singh discusses how long-term relationships are the key to a successful membership plan in your dental practice.

Over the past 20 years the retail environment has changed beyond recognition. The growing influence of technology, together with an explosion in online retail, has completely changed the way we, as consumers, now interact with retailers and vice versa.

However, one traditional aspect of retailing has not only remained, but is growing in importance in the eyes of retailers and customers alike, and that is the power of relationships.

Why? Because positive and genuine relationships build trust and understanding, and as this develops, so does a shift from one of a customer and supplier relationship to one of partnership and mutual benefit.

Strong relationships in dentistry

I personally think that dentistry can claim that strong relationships have always been at the heart of excellent customer service within a dental practice – after all, a patient must trust a dentist for the relationship to remain long term.

Therefore, taking this example, I believe that it shouldn’t be any different when choosing a dental plan provider.

A plan provider’s success is wholly dependent on the success of its clients – the dental practices. The more patients a practice has on plan, the more income is generated for the plan provider and, of course, the better it is for the practice as well – after all, a well populated dental membership plan provides a steady and predictable income for the practice and nurtures stronger relationships and loyalty with patients. So there is mutual benefit in growing a membership plan. 

However, for this relationship to develop and work, both the practice and the plan provider have to commit time and resource to achieve the right outcomes. And this is the point – I would argue – that various plan providers start to differentiate themselves.

Added value and support

On a simple level, every plan provider’s main offering is the setting up of the plan and the administration of a collection service. Apart from variations in fees, it could be argued that there is little to separate one provider from another.

However, this is where I would disagree, because it hasn’t taken into account the provision of added value support services – especially those that will help a practice to attract more patients and grow a successful plan base.

At Practice Plan, we recognised very early on that our success and that of our clients were in fact, one and the same. So we developed a business approach that is completely focused on the success of our members – the dental practices.

Now, I come across dental practices that want to just choose a plan provider on cost alone and some that will switch from their current provider for short-term financial gains, but these are short-lived benefits.

In  a nutshell, choosing your plan provider should be based on the depth of the relationship that could be developed and the long-term support and guidance that could help you to grow a well populated plan and a profitable practice.

If you’d like to know more about how Practice Plan could help you make a greater success of your practice, visit www.practiceplan.co.uk/dental-plans or call 01691  684 165.

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