The way that patients are searching and choosing dental practices has changed a lot in recent years. Twenty years ago, things moved slower. Patients would look you up in a phone book, or rely on recommendations from family or friends. Today, more than 77% of prospective dental patients do their research online. For new customers looking for a practice, it starts with convenience. With over 44% of patients who research on a mobile device scheduling an appointment, creating a sustainable way to improve their customer experience is crucial. If dental practices want patients to think about them more frequently than they floss, they need a superior practice and switching over to a text-based solution that helps them capture more leads and receive more revenue is the way to get there.
Patient Journey: Yesterday vs. Today
Technology is shifting patients’ expectations of the dental experience. Rebranding your dental office around today’s modern patient journey is pivotal to ensuring success in generating good leads and loyal patients.
A recent Podium survey found that 89% of people wanted the option to message a business via their preferred method: texting. This means that dental practices that want to be found and chosen must not only rank high in local searches and have an excellent online reputation, but they should offer a streamlined and convenient communication process.
Show up where your patients are searching
The first step in any patient’s journey is finding a practice. With over 60% of all searches conducted through a mobile device, today’s customers rely heavily on a compelling Google My Business listing that showcases glowing patient reviews, giving searchers a snapshot of what it’s like to visit any office.
Therefore, your dental offices must ensure that your Google My Business listing shares accurate information. Only 44% of local businesses have claimed their Google My Business listings. If you haven’t, follow the instruction here and get access to it now—it’s free.
Connect with patients on their terms
The benefit of great customer reviews extends far beyond the actual review itself. It’s no coincidence that the businesses ranking at the top of local search results are also the most highly recommended. Even if a practice is at the very top of the local search results in their area, it would only last as long as they provide the best customer experience.
For Inspire Dental Group in Western New York, creating a robust patient experience meant finding a chat solution that engaged patients and helped them build a loyal patient base across three locations. Since implementing Webchat, they’ve been able to respond to customers directly from their website and follow-up via texting. According to Lisa Blair, Chief Operating Officer at Inspire Dental Group, the new process is working. “It’s so much easier. As part of our morning routine, we log into all our partner websites. Every time there’s an alert, the first person that responds to it takes it. We have a team of approximately 15 people that route incoming conversations.”
Make it clear that messaging/texting is an option
Inspire Dental Group prioritized their customer experience and transitioned from primarily phone call interactions to texting and it’s led to immediate success. Instantaneously, they received more than 25 daily inbound leads, more than 20 of them from the Webchat tool on their site that connected their practice with patients via text message.
Additionally, by transitioning over to text invitations, they’ve increased their online reviews from 82 to over 2,500 across sites like Google, Facebook, Citysearch, and more, proving that their shift to modern interactions through their patients’ preferred channels are making a positive impact on their patients’ lives.
Convenience breeds loyalty
Excellent patient experience is the key to differentiation today. Convenience breeds loyalty. Patients want to feel accommodated and heard; therefore, dental practices that capitalize on their happy patients being their best advocates will not only see their listing rise above their competitors but will create customers for life.
Did you know…
Learn more about how Podium can help you generate great patient reviews that strengthen patient relationships, improve your online visibility, and grow your practice. Once you’re signed up, just enable the bridge in Open Dental to start sending automated review requests right away!