Dental offices are busier than ever, and that trend is not expected to change; the worldwide dental market is expected to grow to around $37 billion by 2021. As more dentist offices saturate the market, they are beginning to realize that differentiating themselves means providing the best customer service possible to patients. This is best achieved with new technological tools—like business text messaging.
Business SMS platforms offer dentist offices the ability to centralize and automate their communications, which, in turn, empowers them to improve office operations. Business text messaging helps dentist offices with everything from reducing the number of missed appointments to increasing the number of positive online reviews. All this comes with an easy to use interface and less work for dentist office teams.
Read on to learn how to use business text messaging to boost your office’s revenue.
Reduce Missed Appointments
It’s true that the occasional patient doesn’t feel like rescheduling or cancelling his or her appointment. But more often, patients who miss appointments simply forgot that they scheduled them in the first place.
Today, many dentist offices try to prevent missed appointments with phone calls. However, many people don’t like to answer the phone when they see numbers they don’t know. And if dentist offices send emails? Those might end up in junk folders or not arrive in time.
Business text messaging is a far more effective way to connect with patients. Ninety-eight percent of texts are read, and 90% of texts are read within the first three seconds of receipt. Any appointment reminders sent via text reach patients quickly.
It’s fast for staff to send messages, too. Staff can simply send (or schedule) templated text messages to large lists of patients, and business SMS platforms fill in those messages with personalized information drawn from custom fields.
Encourage Regular Visits
In a similar vein, dentist offices spend a vast amount of time reminding patients that they need to schedule appointments. These attempts to schedule are often made via calls, which, as we discussed before, are often ignored. While staff can leave voicemails for appointment reminders, they can’t schedule an appointment without someone on the other line.
With business text messaging, dentist office staff can easily reach out to patients for scheduling. Texts almost certainly reach patients, and staff members are likely to receive a response quickly since the average response time for a text is 90 seconds.
Dentist offices can also publicize business text messaging as a fast way to reschedule appointments, too. Patients may feel more comfortable sending a quick text to reschedule rather than calling and feeling the need to explain their purpose for rescheduling.
Increasing regular office visits increases the number of patients your business sees, boosting revenue overall.
Follow Up with Patients About Missed Payments
We’re all human, which means we all forget important things on occasion. In the world of dentistry, patients forget everything from scheduled appointments to payments. Sometimes, patients might believe their insurance will cover the entire cost of the visit. While this latter oversight is understandable, dentist offices must receive every payment earned from office visits or risk losing valuable revenue.
In cases of missed payments, patients sometimes feel too uncomfortable—or are simply too busy—to answer the phone. Business text messaging eliminates both the embarrassment patients might feel discussing missed payments and also the inconvenience of phone calls, which rarely come at an opportune moment.
With business text messaging, dentist office staff can simply send polite, brief texts that include amounts due and instructions for sending in payments. Administrators can even create SMS drip campaigns that periodically send reminders to patients who haven’t responded to prior messages.
Offering a convenient way for patients to make payments empowers dentist offices to collect all the revenue due to them in a timely manner.
Gain More Feedback and Online Reviews
Sending surveys for feedback or online reviews via email can be frustrating. Often, patients don’t even open the email, let alone click on the links. Business text messaging can encourage patients to read and even click on survey links; about 1 in 5 people will click a link in a text compared to just 4.2% for email.
First, dentist offices can use surveys to gain more feedback about how they run their business. This can be either a general CSAT survey or a more narrow NPS survey. This information will help dentist offices to improve the patient experience.
Dentist offices can also use business text messaging to send requests for online reviews. Since 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from people they know, additional online reviews can help increase business.
Ready to boost your dentist office’s revenue? Try our business text messaging platform today.