Technology is evolving at lightning speed, and your dental practice must change with the times. You’re probably already using new dental technologies, such as 3-D scanning or laser surgery, but are you leveraging new technology to improve your communication with patients? Here are 4 simple steps you can take beyond setting up a website and social media pages.
Online Appointment Scheduling
In general, people are moving from calling or visiting companies to conducting business online. Obviously, there is no such thing as online dentistry. But why force patients to move offline altogether to handle the business aspects of their visit? A stunning 77 percent of patients are looking for the ability to book, change, and cancel their appointments online.
Online appointment scheduling can help increase patient buy-in by giving them a sense of control. It also lets them book at their convenience rather than having to call during office hours. It can even convince a nervous or hesitant patient to go ahead and book, rather than giving her the chance to talk herself out of making the call.
Online scheduling also helps to keep costs down, since your staff is freed from spending extensive time on the phone making, changing, and cancelling appointments. You can still provide a personal touch by sending out confirmation emails, texts, or phone calls. You can also give patients the option to call if desired.
Automated Appointment Reminders
People today are busier than ever, and it is easy to forget about an upcoming dental appointment. Take advantage of technology by sending out automated appointment reminders by text, email, or phone. It is easy to customize these communications to each patient, and even include a link to the page on your website where you explain the procedure the patient will have to follow. Your patients will feel valued, and you will likely see a decrease in no-show rates.
Communication is essential inside your office as well. Digital radiography and 3-D scanning technologies have numerous benefits, but one you might not have thought of is the ability to help you educate patients on their diagnosis and treatment options. People learn in different ways, and providing a visual image can not only help visual learners understand their condition, it can also spark a conversation with those whose learning style is more auditory.
Your former and current patients are a highly valuable resource that can help you discover what you are doing right and what needs to be tweaked. Sending out surveys by email or text message is an easy way to encourage patients to provide this essential feedback. You can send the exact same survey to every patient, or tailor it according to the patient’s demographics and the procedure(s) that he or she had done.
Technology is revolutionizing modern dentistry, but many dental practices are not yet maximizing its capacity to improve human communication. With a bit of effort, you can deepen two-way communication with your patients to create a better experience for everyone.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.
And he knows that once you “get it right,” it’s not a great leap to replicate that success over and over again.
Today, in addition to his work as an actual dentist, Dr. Coughlin coaches, consults and speaks to dentists across the country on how to build the practice of their dreams – based on proven processes and procedures.
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