A business’s success lies in adapting to consumer needs. Similarly, a dental practice’s success relies on catering to its patients’ demands. It includes employing technologies that help customers access better healthcare in any way possible, such as online scheduling options. In an age where dental clinics are on every corner, it is easy for your patients to find another practice if you do not match up with their standards. Therefore, you should do everything in your power to retain your patients, since dental brand loyalty is low. However, customers prefer the same dentist because of familiarity and comfort. It means that the odds are on your side. All you need to do is take a step forward in making things easier for your patients.
This article is an attempt to lay forward the reasons for getting an online scheduling solution for your dental practice.
Here are seven reasons you should offer online scheduling to your patients:
1. Reduces work for front desk staff
Front desk staff are riddled with tasks, they rarely have time to breathe throughout the day. Plus, manually scheduling patients for appointments becomes laborious. Your employees have to work with patients to pick an appointment time, which involves going back and forth on availability on the sides of both parties.
Your front desk staff are bound to spend hours on calls with patient scheduling and rescheduling appointments. Once you start using online scheduling systems, you free up your staff to attend to other tasks. Therefore, your staff can relax and concern themselves with more pressing matters. Which consequently improves office efficiency and morale.
2. Eliminates scheduling and data errors
Dental practices have no scope for errors since they are in the healthcare industry, and errors can result in grievous problems. However, it is almost impossible to avoid mistakes when manually scheduling appointments and recording patient data. Factors such as miscommunication, forgetfulness, and illegible handwriting can affect the accuracy of your data. You can eliminate such errors by using a scheduling solution. Since appointment scheduling occurs over a form, your patients can enter data themselves. Plus, it is easier to track changes in data over a digital form, as patients will update you through the appointment form. Consequently, your data is accurate and editable, and you do not need to worry about keeping it up-to-date.
3. Increase accessibility
Most clinics are open from 9 AM to 5 PM, at the same time as most offices. You wouldn’t want your staff to attend to personal matters during office hours, right? Similarly, other bosses also would not appreciate their employees doing the same. So when should other professionals book dental appointments? Plus, we know how bothersome booking appointments over calls are. With online scheduling solutions, your patients can book appointments whenever they want from anywhere. Hence, you are available to take appointments 24/7. Additionally, your patients will be able to see available slots over the online systems. So you will not have to spend a long time finding common availability. And all of this, without the interference of your front desk staff!
4. Streamline payments
Online payments are easy and quick. Plus, they are much better for your dental practice, since you can have patients pay for appointments as soon as they book them. This does two things. One, your patients are more likely to turn up if they pay for an appointment, and you also reduce rescheduling significantly. Two, you can predict cash flow for a certain number of appointments made. However, getting patients to pay online can be cumbersome because of security reasons. People are reluctant to give out personal or financial details because they do not trust the system being used. Therefore, you should invest in secure and trustworthy scheduling solutions. A great way to entice your clients into using online scheduling is to offer discounts when they book an appointment with you online.
5. Integrable with CRM
It does not matter if you are providing scheduling solutions through your website, software, or a second party because you can connect it to a CRM (customer relationship management) system. Hence, CRM systems record and store customer data accurately and securely. You can also classify customers based on different parameters, such as regularity, treatments, etc. It makes for excellent information to center your marketing strategies around. Additionally, using CRMs centralizes data and reduces duplication of the same. Hence, you can manage, edit, and analyze data from a single point. Therefore, customer data management is easy, quick, and efficient.
6. Confirmation and reminders list
Patients often do not turn up for dental appointments because they simply forget about it. If you have your CRM integrated with a scheduling solution, then you can easily send targeted messages by automating the process. By filtering for patients who have appointments on certain days, you can send messages or emails en masse. Therefore, you now have an automated system that confirms and reminds your customers of their appointments. If your patient cannot make it to an appointment, they can reschedule the appointment when you send them a confirmation message. Hence, you do not have gaps in your schedule and your customer is also happy.
7. Improve patient experience and reach prospective patients
Patients value convenience almost as much as they value quality. Moreover, they do not mind paying more for either. About 67% of customers prefer online booking since it is much quicker and more efficient. Additionally, 40% of appointments are made after corporate hours by working people. Additionally, patients can see same-day and next-day appointments and then book those in emergencies. Hence, you are filling your slots, and customers can access quick appointments when needed.
The best way to improve patient experience is to show that you value your patients and their time. By using online scheduling, you are telling your patients that you are adapting your business to fit their needs. Plus, it is easier for prospective patients to see what your dental practice is about without having to spend too much time on the phone with someone they do not know.