By Josh Weiner, CEO, Solutionreach.
Families at Dr. Deb Peters’ practice, Peters Family Dentistry in Grand Rapids, Mich., became used to receiving emails from Dr. Peters. Sometimes she’d send updates about changes in the practice and other times she’d pass along some of her favorite recipes. In fact, the ability to send personalized newsletters was one of the reasons that Peters adopted Solutionreach for her practice within the last decade.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, suddenly Peters and her staff found that these emails were an even better way to keep in touch with families and clients about how to contact a dentist in an emergency, how a telehealth appointment would work and what the office would look like once it was allowed to reopen.
The staff realized that relying on social media didn’t necessarily mean they’d reach the entirety of the clientele. Instead, finding the option to include video in the newsletters opened a new portal to the patient experience.
“I think initially, people were being overrun by everything on social media. I knew how many followers we had, but it was well short of my patient families, so we wanted to reach them all where we knew they’d see us,” Peters says. “We utilized the newsletters, again, to tell them we were opening but also to share with them a video clip that we had made about the changes in our office. So they can look at it, but also read about it so we’re trying to come at our patients from whatever way they want to get the information. The thing we liked about Solutionreach is when you put it into the format, it looks professional.”
What Peters wasn’t counting on was how many of her clients would forward those newsletters to their friends. While many practices saw at least a 6% drop in revenue during the pandemic, Peters Family Dentistry saw more patients in 2020 than it had in 2019. By embracing the patient relationship management technology that the practice already enjoyed through Solutionreach, the office was fully booked when Michigan reopened after a 10-week closure.
“Probably one of the greatest compliments was when one of our newsletters would be forwarded to a non-patient and then that person would become a patient,” Peters says, “So I would say that that was a great form of validation that our patients were feeling cared for.”