How are you leading patients through the booking experience?
By Dr. Greg Grillo
When a patient schedules an appointment, it’s not a single event: it’s just one step on a journey. If your team charts a path through the appointment experience, then no-show rates will go down, satisfaction will go up, and your reputation will grow. A perpetual cycle of growth can begin simply by treating your appointments as part of an ongoing process.
Consider these six stages of the appointment experience, and evaluate the tools you’re using to optimize each:
- Educated Choice : Patients don’t know what the margins on a CEREC crown look like, nor do they need to. But they should understand why you’re the one to treat them. Do your website, social media, sales funnels, and email campaigns align to help patients learn about the excellence you deliver?
- Convenient Scheduling : Patients already book hotels, restaurant reservations, and medical visits online. They expect to do the same to see you. Do you offer online scheduling through your website, so patients can book their dental treatment from their living room on Saturday night?
- Touchless Intake : COVID-19 has highlighted the benefits of paperless tools, especially in healthcare. But paper and clipboards started fading long before the pandemic began. Do you save staff time by asking patients to complete intake paperwork before their visit?
- Comfort Considered : Up to 50% of people avoid dentistry due to fear, and pre-appointment anxiety can result in no-shows. Techniques that demonstrate your care and compassion bolster your reputation and help you provide more services. Do you use a pre-appointment comfort survey to learn about patient anxieties and preferred amenities?
- Easy Payment : Collecting payment at the time-of-service is ideal, but that doesn’t always work. Consumers pay their utility bills online, and they prefer to do the same with their healthcare obligations. Do you offer a secure platform that integrates with your patient management software, so your patients can make payments 24/7?
- Immediate Reviews : A successful appointment ends with patients letting others know about the experience they enjoyed with your talented team. Reviews, referrals, and surveys work together to perpetuate a stream of new patients. Do you send automated requests to patients after their appointments with links to review pages?
Putting these steps into place for patients will help guide them through their entire appointment experience and encourage them to return when it’s time for their next dental treatment. Legwork puts innovative tools into each step to drop no-show rates to less than 5% while helping your practice grow!