Why Your Dental Website Needs Online Scheduling

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Want to grow your dental practice? Let new patients schedule their next appointment through your dental website.

So, you’re looking over your dental office call statistics, and you notice that the phone’s going to voicemail more than you’d like. Maybe WAY more than you’d want. Some of those dental appointment calls are after hours and some of them over lunch, but you’re also seeing quite a few that happen during regular hours.

On the one hand that means you’re busy, right? On the other hand, if new or existing patient callers to your dental office don’t leave a voicemail for a call back then it’s kind of like they never called at all.  And if they’re finally ready to get on a treatment plan and they can’t reach you, what are the odds they call your competitor, right?

Missed calls are an issue for just about every dental practice. You could pay a service to make sure that every call is answered, but they don’t know your office like your front desk does. You could route the calls to a cell phone, but then someone has to be responsible for, you know, answering the phone.

What if your phone actually rang less, but you were actually scheduling more patients? Sorcery, you say? No, but LocalMed might be the next best thing. It’s an online dental appointment scheduling system made specifically for busy dentists like you.

How many times do you think this happens in a month – or a week – or a day?

***

“Good morning and thank you for calling! How can we help you today?”

“Yeah, Hi. I need to schedule an appointment for a cleaning on Tuesday, if possible.”

“I’m sorry, we don’t have anything open on Tuesday. Are you available on Thursday?”

“No, I can’t on Thursday. What about Friday after 1:00?”

“No, I’m sorry… {RING RING} Can you hold just one second?”

“…”

{sigh}

“…”

“OK, sorry about that. Now did you say you can come on Thursday afternoon?”

***

The truth is, the best dental websites allow patients to schedule online, because it’s easier and more convenient for everyone – including your team.

Over 80% of patients prefer to schedule dental appointments online

Nearly 60% of patients said they would switch providers for better online access

Let that sink in.

Eight of ten people want to schedule their dental appointments online. Six out of ten would consider changing providers to one that makes scheduling online easy!

Still not convinced? Here are some more numbers:

  • 98% of Americans age 30-49 own a smartphone
  • 94% of Americans age 50-64 own a smartphone
  • The average adult spends more than 20 hours a week online
  • 8 in 10 Americans are now doing “some or a lot” of shopping online

Do you make it easy to schedule on your dental website?

Imagine allowing your patients to schedule an appointment with any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. With the click of a button, patients can go from reading one of your glowing reviews on Facebook, to being on your calendar. Patients are literally asking for this convenience – do you offer it?

What about my practice’s current schedule?

LocalMed uses your practice’s scheduling rules, so there’s no danger of a patient scheduling when you aren’t open or at a time when your schedule is blocked. You determine the available appointment times. Want to allow 90 minutes for a child’s first exam? You can do that. Sixty minutes for an Invisalign consultation? Done.

Don’t worry that new patients will suddenly start scheduling for a crown or an implant without completing an exam. LocalMed’s software will only allow the types of appointments you want, when and where you want them. The best part is, this all happens instantly at the press of a button because LocalMed seamlessly integrates with your practice management software.

Patients can see my schedule? No thanks!

Worried about patients seeing or accessing your schedule? Don’t be! You can easily set parameters up inside LocalMed. You can tell it that you require two hours for a new patient appointment. When someone new wants to schedule their visit they’ll only see your open, two-hour slots.  There’s none of that well-how’s-this-day-how’s-that-day back and forth.

How do I get my office manager on board?

Are you thinking that there’s no way your office manager will want to give up control of the schedule to an automated feature on your dental practice website? They’re not giving up control, in fact, they’re going to love it! New appointments come through with a notification. The front office verifies the information and the appointment. Patients can provide their insurance information and also fill out medical and HIPAA forms in advance of their visit. It saves everyone time.

More numbers that don’t lie

  • Nearly 70% of the calls that go to voicemail hang up without leaving a message.
  • Nearly 40% of LocalMed appointments are scheduled after regular business hours.
  • Of the LocalMed appointments scheduled, seven out of ten are NEW patients!

What are you supposed to take away from all of this? There’s a hard cost of not picking up the phone. That’s why there’s LocalMed. Your patients can always schedule an appointment. Doesn’t matter if the office is busy or even if you’re closed. 24/7 schedule-ability. LocalMed puts the appointments on your calendar when you can’t.

Making online scheduling available and part of your dental website marketing is a win-win for everyone. Call GPM to see if LocalMed is right for your practice.

Online scheduling is just part of the equation. How does your site do at converting visitors? Take the quiz!

Golden Proportions Marketing