With Rhona Eskander hosting a webinar on what patients want, we find out a little more about the demands of the millennial patient.
Do patients tell you what they want rather than describe the problem they’d like to fix these days?
Absolutely. The rise of social media means that people, particularly millennials, do their homework. They dictate what they want through watching videos and observing people’s experiences.
With orthodontic trends, such as predictive Invisalign/Itero digital demos/outcome simulation – millennials’ demand to see what they’re in for. They often know what a Clincheck or Itero is and talk about them knowledgably.
How difficult – or otherwise – is it to work with these demands?
It has its difficulties. They are the ‘I want everything yesterday’ generation.
However, if you learn to meet their demand, they’re a delight to work with.
For example, many millennial bloggers I treat put their Invisalign journeys on their social media pages. This generates lots of referrals. It’s become the digital word of mouth.
To what extent do you think social media has driven the desire for straighter teeth or whiter teeth?
I think it’s increased the demand by 200%. People can’t get away from the camera. They want whiter, brighter, smiles.
In fact, the term ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ was coined by a cosmetic doctor. He recognised that people want to look like their filters. In the past they wanted to look like celebrities. But now they want to look like filtered versions of themselves.
How does Smileview impact on your practice from a business perspective?
Patients often get scared when they have to make a financial commitment.
So with the Itero scanner and now Smileview, they can immediately see the impact the treatment could have on them and therefore they make decisions more confidently.
The impact of Smileview has been very positive. It has undoubtedly helped with case uptake and therefore with business growth.
If their oral health isn’t up to scratch, is this a motivator to send them away and get them back again when they’re ready?
Yes, for sure. People like to spend money on what they want, not what they need. They spend emotionally.
So if they want that smile but can’t have it until they’re cleaning properly, they’ll do it.
How do they respond to being told no these days?
Not well. They will try to coerce you into doing what they want. But if you explain with passion and give them a positive experience then they’ll respect it.
Millennials and Generation Z are all about experiences. So really, if you want to give them a more comprehensive plan and give them a team experience, they’ll comply.
Has technology at your disposal driven demand, or has demand necessitated that technology keep up?
I think technology has driven demand. The millennials and Gen Z are about self-education and that’s through social media and digital word of mouth.
People trust people. If you’re treating someone with a high following they’ll trust what that person is saying.
Visual platforms like Instagram mean people can form their own opinions on the work you do. This means that I have pushed the boundaries and now use videos on my media to educate my patients and the public.
When Instagram introduced videos, five million were uploaded in the first 24 hours. This pushes you to keep up with constant technology interaction.
This is just a taster. To learn more register for Rhona’s webinar completely free by visiting www.dentistrystudyclub.com.