By Dr. Greg Grillo
As we move into the spring of another year, we’ve proven our resilience in a changing world. Our patients continue returning for care, while we’re focusing on growth and new opportunities. But we’re not without challenges. Many of us toss and turn with staffing concerns; either we’re looking for a new team member, or we’re concerned about losing one. At a minimum, our team members have had to take on more tasks in their busy days. Patient volumes rely on adequate support from the first call to follow-up, so we need everyone at their best. Automation continues to shape many industries, and experts estimate that 42% of task hours will be automated by the end of this year. Additionally, more than one-third of people are concerned about automation replacing their jobs. Dental staff members don’t have to worry about machines or software replacing them. We’re in the high-trust profession of hands-on healthcare, and the human element remains a constant. Automated functions can help our teams function more efficiently with higher production and less stress. They also deliver our brand story to increase our local reputation and drive our practice narrative. That’s a combination we’re all looking for today.
What Is Dental Marketing Software?
Dental marketing software helps us automate many tasks before, after, and during a patient’s appointment. Some features attract patients, and others nurture decisions. Convenience tools like online scheduling, comfort surveys, and patient portals support first-class service. They also speak about our brand and the innovation patients can expect. Everything we do, say, and offer becomes part of our story in the marketplace. Here are some key areas where automation can take the load off our busy teams and elevate our brand story:
1. Employ A Marketing Department Without Adding Staff
When someone needs a dentist in your region, who comes to mind? We build a reputation by serving our patients, but it takes more to tell our story. Patients see up to 10,000 ads daily, and 200,000 U.S. dentists run campaigns that could reach our patients, as well. Marketing has simultaneously become more complex and essential. We’ve all had reasons to question ROI when considering our marketing expenditures, but it’s not easy to determine what campaign is responsible for a patient’s decision to schedule an appointment. Is it the awareness posts they’ve seen on Facebook or the blog article they read on your site after they clicked on a social ad? Maybe the assessment they filled out on your website after watching a social video you posted deserves credit. In reality, advertising works together to move patients along a decision pathway. Attributing action to one ad proves questionable, since awareness may build across multiple exposures to our brand. It’s one reason why the experts at Legwork recommend allocating 30% of our marketing budget to awareness campaigns and 70% to intent-based ads. However, that overlaps with other exposures to our brands that may spur the final action. Automated marketing takes a huge load off our minds and syncs vital components that drive attraction to our practices. A DIY approach works on home projects, but dental marketing requires expertise.
SOLUTION: Legwork Advertising brings new patients through social media ads that create awareness, Google ads that target intent-based searches, and Google Maps listings that capture “near me” searches. With dental-focused experts pulling the levers, our marketing strategy looks like it’s on auto-pilot.
2. Reflect Innovation With Online Convenience
How often do patients arrive at their appointment time and spend 15 minutes filling out paperwork while the team waits? This bottleneck adds stress to paper-dependent teams, but there’s a better way. Online intake forms offer the ultimate convenience. Patients can sit on their couch the night before their visit and fill out their health history, patient information, and HIPAA acknowledgment forms. When they step through the door, they’re immediately ready for the operatory. When they get to the operatory, consent forms on mobile devices ensure nothing gets lost. Misplaced records take an average of 18 minutes to locate and can leave us liable on many levels. Nothing frustrates patients more than being forwarded to voicemail or getting placed on hold. About 60% of people put on hold hang up, and 30% of them never call back. We can’t afford to attract patients to call, only to lose them this way.
Online scheduling drives this risk to zero and gives people access to appointments 24/7. In marketing, meeting and exceeding customer expectations is essential for delivering our brand story. Online forms and scheduling send a message about our practices and the level of service we provide.
SOLUTION: Legwork Paperless cuts our dependence on paper with a single integrated tool. Fully customizable templates allow us to create our own documents to fit every part of the practice. Plus, they capture digital signatures and securely deliver everything right into our PMS. Legwork Online Booking opens the appointment book to patients so they can schedule their next visit any time of the day or night.
3. Stay In Touch With More Dental Office Automation
Our awareness and intent-based advertising strategies can hum along, but attraction is only the first step. Some patients need nurturing before making the next move and choosing us for their care. We’d have a full-service marketing team calling, emailing, and texting to encourage action in an ideal world. Existing relationships need constant attention to stay healthy, too. That’s not easy when we manage dozens of patients every day. Our patients don’t want to forget about us in-between visits, but it can happen. Dental office automation helps support new and old relationships with various tools designed for the modern age. A basic workflow might look like this:
- A patient sees your practice ad on Facebook and subconsciously registers the brand name and logo.
- A few days later, they’re searching on Google for information on dental implants, and your ad shows up. They remember seeing your brand on Facebook, too.
- They click on your ad and end up on your implant landing page.
- They fill out the assessment form designed to help them think about implants more, and they provide their email and name.
- Your practice sends a series of emails to help them overcome objections and choose you for treatment.
- They click on a link in an email and head back to your website to schedule with the online booking tool.
- After treatment, they continue to see your Facebook posts, get emails, and read our blog articles on other dental topics.
SOLUTION: Legwork Campaigns keep patients engaged with our practice at every stage of their journey. Ready-made social posts, email workflows, assessments, blog articles, and more do the work of a full-time content team.
Marketing Software For Dentists Keeps Us Growing in 2022
Healthcare expenditures are projected to increase by more than 5% annually over the next few years, and dental services will follow. Dental marketing software for dentists supports our growth as we capture our fair share of this market. Legwork Dental Patient Engagement Software integrates with our practice management software and dental websites to create an unbeatable marketing system. This holistic approach includes online appointment booking, digital forms, online payments, marketing campaigns, and much more. With automation on our side, our teams can focus on taking care of our patients with the human touch.