The line between ‘cheap’ and ‘affordable’ is very narrow. Cross it and you may turn off a patient who doesn’t want to ‘settle’ for seemingly lower quality care despite the size of their wallet.
A large proportion of patients are somewhere in the middle of the cost/benefit curve. They make decent money, but not necessarily enough that they’re willing to pay for more complex dental care, no questions asked.
Still, they crave and even expect superb, individualized healthcare, which is why they are likely to prefer a practice oriented toward complex case treatment despite not always being able to afford it.
Broaden Your Patient Base Through Branding Language
Ideally, you could reach the happy medium where these patients don’t see your office as ‘lesser’ from a quality perspective, even if you help them find ways to value or ‘afford’ your high-end services.
In the end, it comes down to marketing and branding. Humans are driven by perception, rather than the brass tacks reality of a situation. So many different forces can effect what a patient perceives, but you can be more influential by paying attention to the quality of your logo, front office, and brand language.
Words have power. We see that across specialties and professions. What you say and how you speak about things matter. To come across as reasonably priced, rather than low-quality and cheap, you can use precise, emotive language such as ‘compassionate care’ to appeal to this audience.
There are also more technical approaches that can be successful. Payment plans, for example, when marketed as ‘compassionate’ rather than ‘less expensive,’ will be more attractive to these patients. You manage to bypass the embarrassment factor when they realize they can’t pay the total upfront. You are also still able to provide the care they need.
Additionally, you can mitigate the need to raise your own prices by managing your business more closely (to reduce costs/waste).
The key is to personalize your care and make that benefit clear to patients.
How do you attract a broader patient base? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!