Toothonomics 101: Anchoring Bias

We’re going to dive into a bit of behavioral economics here and take a look at a phenomenon call anchoring bias.

Anchoring bias happens when someone puts too much weight on the first piece of information they see.

For example, if a patient sees an ad where a dentist is offering a new patient special with an exam, cleanings and x-rays for $49, that becomes their anchor. If they then go to your office and see a higher price for those services, they may have a bit of sticker shock.

It can go the other way too. Patients often think dental care is out of their budget based on pre-existing thoughts – anchors – about how dental care is expensive. Once they see the actual cost of a filling or root canal, you may find that they are pleasantly surprised with a cost lower than what was anchored in their perception.

Either way, establishing a trusting relationship with your patients and your community can help overcome the effects of anchoring bias. Your patients will put faith in your explanation of what goes into a cleaning, exams and x-rays, and reach an understanding that their anchor price was not in the right ballpark. And your patients will also be more likely to be open with their concerns about pricing and ask the questions that will lead them to get the care they need and deserve.

Learn how a dental membership program can help your practice attract new patients and build loyalty.

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