Using text messaging as a dental office
When you take a look at the data concerning the increase in the number of dental practitioners, you can see that there are now 22% more dentists than in 2011. But once you compare this number with the population growth rates in the USA, you’re in for a shock! With these rates in decline, many dentists will start losing patients sooner or later!
If you came to Appointible to ask for advice about how to attract more patients, you put your trust in the right people. We have a complete patient engagement and retention guide for dentists, and it has to do 100% with messaging! Read on to understand how SMS can attract patients and improve your customer service.
Engaging your patients with text messages
Who would’ve thought that, in a world of colorful advertisements, text messages can be the best tool to engage your patients with? It turns out that a lot of people think so! According to one survey, as much as 47% of people dislike when businesses don’t interact with them via SMS.
But that’s not all! Nine out of ten customers said that they found it very important when companies messaged them. The numbers say it clearly: your dental office will benefit from texting just like any other business! Why are texts so effective, though? Is it their short length or their well-thought-out content?
It’s both! Because of the format, SMS is the simplest, most popular way to personalize your marketing strategy. Customer service, attention to patients, and smooth interactions with them – you’ll have it all covered! Once you overcome their expectations, they won’t want to entrust their dental health to other dentists.
Types of texts you can send
Dental practitioners use many different messages to communicate with their patients, but five of those texts are most common:
Successful dental offices know the value of texting and regularly use it as a method to confirm their patients’ appointments or to remind them of upcoming ones. With 10% of appointments being no-shows, dentists need to think smart! Since 55% of patients like their appointments to be confirmed by text and only 35% prefer emails, the odds are in your favor. Here’s what a simple confirmation message looks like:
“DentMedical: Your appointment is confirmed for today at 2:00 PM.”
Recurring campaigns are another great way to keep in touch with your patients, remind them of their scheduled appointments, or share billing information. You can send these messages every week, month, or year! This method can especially help your patients pay for your services in time and keep your business from sinking into debt. We’d like to share a sample of a good invoice reminder:
“White Smiles Inc.: Thank you for coming in today, Brandon. Please use the link below to pay your invoice. Let us know if you have any questions. Thank you!”
Messages about special deals and offers
Promotional and special offers are a way of making your patients’ important occasions even more memorable, and they can also secure the future of your business. Offer your patients a discount on your services or something else they won’t refuse! You can create back-to-school promotions, holiday deals, prom campaigns, and more.
Nowadays, online reviews are how we get to differentiate bad-quality from good-quality services. Research has shown that 80% of people trust these reviews the same way they trust personal recommendations! In fact, as much as 70% of clients tend to think of businesses as reliable if they have positive reviews. Ask your patients to review you! Most of them will do that if asked.
Answering patents’ quick questions via texting
Patients love it when they can stay in touch with their dental practitioners when emergencies happen. Help them text their dentist postoperatively or when they need to make an urgent appointment! With SMS, you can keep an eye on your loyal patients off-the-clock and be there for them when they need you. Now, that’s how you build long-lasting relationships with them!
Messaging instead of in-person check-ins
The COVID-19 pandemic imposed a new normal that customers and businesses alike have to comply with. A long line of patients at your dental facility is not what you want right now! Messaging is perfect for managing your waitlist and maintaining social distancing in the meanwhile. It helps you keep personnel and patients safe during these unprecedented times!
Texting is easy to implement and inexpensive
Using SMS to communicate with your patients is not hard at all! If you’ve heard the misconception that text message services are difficult to set up, keep in mind that that’s all they are – misconceptions. All of our plans are well-thought-out, and we make the process of implementation incredibly simple. We make sure that our customers are 100% focused on what their patients need without having to face implementation inconveniences.
As far as prices are concerned, we offer inexpensive plans that fit the needs of many different industries, including dental practices. Our starter plan costs only $25! However, if you have a larger patient base, you might find some of our other plans more convenient. We also take into account that not all dental offices function the same! Because of this, customized plans are an option too.
How dentists should text their patients
Knowing which text messaging service to entrust your business to is crucial if you want to keep the patients coming. That’s why you need to do some research first! Although we have top-notch features to offer, you have to pick the ones that will help your patient base grow. Feel free to visit our Features page to learn more about the fantastic tools that we have at your disposal!
1. Sign up, choose your phone number, and split the workload with your team members
Create your Appointible account, and pick the kind of number you what to get text-enabled. Whether you want one number or an individual line for your team – we got you covered! To best meet your needs, we also let you choose between a local area number or a toll-free one with the option to still receive phone calls.
After you are 100% sure about the number you want to go with, you might want to start telling your teammates about Appointible. Splitting the workload is as necessary as it is convenient! Our Multiple Users Access feature makes this easy, so check it out before those patient appointments begin to pile up!
2. Tell patients about your text-enabled phone number
Promoting your phone number a little bit is not a bad idea. You need to let your patients know about your new communication channel so they can start reaching you via text messages! Like we mentioned earlier, people prefer SMS to other communication methods when contacting businesses. So, share your newly text-enabled number with patients, and spread the good news!
There are different ways of telling everyone that they can now hear about special offers, get their billing info, and contact your office by texting. One of the methods has to do with adding the messaging option to your Google Business Listing. Another way is to add your text-enabled number to your contact form, informing patients that they can use it to schedule their appointments.
3. Create SMS reminders (optional step)
We recommend you set up reminders for your patients and send them 24 hours before the appointments. Although optional, this practice is highly effective! After promoting your text-enabled phone number, it is best if you get straight down to business and start adjusting patients to the new means of communication.
If you can integrate Zapier with your practice management software, that’s great! This means that you can also integrate it with Appointible and automatize the process of sending reminders. Zapier also lets you integrate with many other apps which are part of this product’s universe, giving you thousands of different possibilities!
In case your software is not Zapier-compatible, our Templates feature is here to save the day. The tool lets you prep messages that you’re most likely to use with templates, helping you reach all your patients in time! The templates are easy to create, and making them won’t take more than 20 minutes of your day.
4. Use the rest of our features
We always care for all of our clients and want to meet their needs the best way possible. Because of that, we offer all of the fantastic features that you can find on our site! It’s our job to provide clients with these top-notch tools, and it’s up to our customers to choose which ones they’ll use the most.
Dentists will find our Two-Way Messaging, Bulk Messaging, and Attachments features to be the most useful! These tools will help you stay connected to your patients and keep them engaged! You’ll be able to talk to them, send them helpful information, and exchange documents with them too. All of this is easy to do, and it takes very little time!
Sign up and try our services for free
Keeping up with the latest trends in marketing is our pleasure! We make sure that our features inspire clients to improve their services, and we offer diverse plans at affordable prices. With our try-out period, you can experience this first-hand. Simply request an invite and see how beneficial texting your patients is!
Appointible can help your patients smile with confidence
We hope that you now understand the value that text messaging brings to dentists. Feel free to pick the best plan for you, and inspire your patients to always choose your services. Let Appointible boost your business!