The Competition. Ironically, it’s not the competition most new practices need to be concerned about. Rather, the bigger concern should be what they are doing and what they can be doing to set themselves apart and to establish their niche in the community. Then the whole matter of competition quickly becomes irrelevant. If you’ve done your homework and studied the demographic and psychographic reports available and have opened your new practice in an area that can support a dentist with your skill set/specialties then the rest is a matter of doing what you do best, starting with superior customer service.
Many dentists think their practices deliver excellent customer service, but few train their employees to ensure excellence and even fewer monitor customer service. Most business staff have no understanding of how to most effectively manage new patient phone calls, how to build rapport, how to make the prospective patient feel good about calling this office. Something as fundamental as doing what they promise they will do is often overlooked by staff.
Additionally, rather than worrying about the dentists down the street, go visit them. Walk into their offices and introduce yourself. Check out the interior, pay attention to how staff and the doctors make you feel when you walk in the door. If you don’t feel welcome there, I can virtually guarantee that their patients don’t either. Study your competition, get to know them, and offer to take their emergencies when they are away.