The millennial generation (those born between the 1980s and early 2000s) makes up more than 25% of the total Canadian population and can make valuable patients for your dental practice. However, it can be hard to capture their attention, as research showed that 62% of millennials are afraid of going to a dental appointment. Many stated that the fear of dentists manifested when they were around 10 years old. 56% even make excuses to avoid visiting the dentist at all. Other common reasons for not visiting include:
- Believing their oral health is already in tip-top condition and therefore don’t need to go to the dentist
- Lack of time to make a dental appointment or being lazy
- Cost of dental appointments without being covered by insurance
To win the hearts of Millennials, you will need to reset the stigma of dentist visits being dreadful. This can be done by engaging with them through channels they are most active on. In other words, you need to find ways that best speak to this generation to regain their trust and soothe their fears. Below are four ways to get you started:
Maintain an Online Presence
Social media has become more integrated into people’s lives than ever, with users averaging 3 hours on these platforms every day. Among the generations, Millennials have the highest social media usage.
A combination of eye-catching social posts and targeted ads get attention and builds awareness for the importance of oral health. However, consistent and informative content is what will engage Millennials and reshape their perception of dentist visits. Your posts can consist of short facts to educate the importance of oral health, regardless of age. There can also be posts and debunks myths and misconceptions that are the culprits for inducing fear.
Active social media pages also encourage Millennials to reach out if they have any questions. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your office’s knowledge and professionalism, which in turn builds their confidence in your practice. You can also create a sense of urgency with flash discounts, which could be the final push for a millennial to make an appointment.
Keep Up with Your Online Reviews
Millennials are resourceful and often read reviews before making any purchasing decisions, including where to eat, what products to buy and what services to use. This is why you need to ensure that your dental practice gets online reviews consistently.
To build a good rapport of ratings and review, encourage your existing patients to leave a review after a satisfactory dental visit. To encourage more reviews, you can also offer a gratuity to thank them for their time. This can be in the form of gift cards or a discount on their next visit.
It’s important to note that the reviews should always be kept fresh as older reviews are less persuasive. It’s a good idea to spread out asking for reviews so that you have a consistent flow of new reviews.
Have a Convenient Booking System
Millennials value saving time and appreciate menial processes that are efficient so that they have more time to do things they enjoy. Having to call the dental office during office hours is inconvenient and can often slip their minds as they’re out-and-about.
To streamline the process and make it convenient for Millennials, you can implement an online booking system. This way, these patients can log onto your website and schedule an appointment at their convenience.
Your appointment confirmations can also be hassle-free for them. With modules like My Contact Pro and 2-way SMS on our Paradigm software, your patients will receive a link they can click to confirm their appointment. You won’t have to call them, and they won’t have to break their stride to verbally confirm their appointment with you.
Tailored Communication to Millennials
As more and more companies have stopped offering dental coverage, the cost of a dental appointment can turn millennials away – even if they know the importance of good oral health. You can target this group of patients with tailored promotions that will entice them to schedule a visit. For example, you can offer a free teeth whitening session during their next appointment.
Since this Millennial generation spends so much time on their phones, you can reach them more effectively if you do so digitally. This includes sending newsletters via email and text messaging.
Millennials will also prefer options to contact the office without making a phone call. Keep different communication channels available, be it email or direct messaging on social media, so that they can reach out to you with any enquiries.
Capturing a Millennial patient base is essential as this generation will become the largest percentage of our population very soon. Understanding how to best connect with this generation will be a great benefit for your practice. This includes increasing your social media presence, communicating digitally and offering more convenient ways to book appointments. It is well worth it to update and modernize certain processes at your practice as well to attract more Millennials.
If you would like to learn more about how Paradigm Clinical and its plethora of modules can help you with a digital transformation, feel free to contact us!