Online Appointment Requests – Is Your Practice Getting it All From Them?





Is your practice getting everything it can from online appointment requests? Continue reading for an expert’s thoughts on the matter.

When a practice begins taking advantage of digital marketing, new patient leads will naturally start coming in from online sources. What we have found in our years of experience as a dental marketing agency is that most dental practices don’t know how to capture these new leads and turn them into appointments on the books. That is precisely why we created PatientCaptureNow, an automated new patient lead follow-up service that takes the burden off the practice and dramatically increases lead conversion.

Digital marketing is essential for any dental practice that wants to be competitive in their market. With a good digital marketing strategy, a practice can effectively reach and attract far more patients than with traditional methods alone. For most practices, that is what makes digital marketing so attractive. However, when a practice starts ramping up its digital marketing efforts, the staff  is not usually prepared to handle the leads that begin to come in from online appointment requests.

The first issue is that far more leads start coming in after hours and on weekends, when there is no one to respond right away. The second issue is that most of the leads generated from online sources, whether during office hours or otherwise, are not getting the immediate attention of the staff members in charge of follow-up — not like a phone call, for instance. As a result, perfectly good leads from people who are genuinely interested in what the practice has to offer languish and potentially profitable patients end up going elsewhere.

Practices are used to answering the phone during office hours and returning voicemails for calls that come in after hours. However, they are not equipped to also handle online appointment requests coming in via email and text.

PatientCaptureNow fills that gap, taking the initial burden off the practice and making sure that new patient leads don’t fall through the cracks. When a potential patient completes an online form requesting an appointment, within minutes PatientCaptureNow responds automatically, first texting the patient, and then emailing them.

If the patient does not respond, the system will phone the practice and prompt the staff member who answers the phone that there is a new lead. If the staff member presses 1, the system will dial the patient’s number. If the patient does not respond to any of these attempts at contact, the system will continue to follow up until there is a response, or for about two weeks. All of this happens with zero time commitment from the staff until the patient actually responds.

At that point, a staff member will need to schedule the appointment according to the patient’s request and the practice’s availability.

Practices that use PatientCaptureNow see engagement and replies reaching 80-90%, when initially that number may have been closer to 5-10%. Online leads no longer sit around for days or go completely ignored. During business hours, when the office staff is busy helping patients who are calling in, and after hours, when the office is empty, PatientCaptureNow takes the lead, literally. It saves time and makes managing new patient leads more effective and efficient for the practice.

The ultimate goal is to make sure that the patients who are already interested in the practice and are taking the time to fill out an online inquiry are actually getting the attention they need, increasing the likelihood that they will schedule an initial appointment and become real patients.

For independent dental practices, most local markets are ultra competitive, and that is not predicted to change. Any practice that wants to grow and compete, needs an edge, starting with an excellent digital marketing strategy and including a dependable and predictable way to draw in new patients. With PatientCaptureNow, a practice will capture the opportunities that other practices are missing. It is a reliable tool that helps to grow a practice, attracting quality patients who will invest in treatments and thereby increasing revenue.

If you are a dental professional interested in knowing more about whether PatientCaptureNow would benefit your practice, we can do a simple test to evaluate how effectively and efficiently your practice is handling online leads. Please feel free to contact My Dental Agency to learn more.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

With more than a decade of experience in corporate dental laboratory marketing and brand development, Jackie Ulasewich-Cullen decided to take her passion for the dental business and marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency.

Since starting her company, she and her team have helped a wide variety of practices all over the nation focus their message, reach their target audience, and increase their sales through effective marketing campaigns.

She can be reached at (800) 689-6434 or via email at [email protected]

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