It’s Summertime and Patient Communication Is… Easy?
Ahh, summer – days that seem to stretch on forever, relaxed work hours, impromptu BBQs and trips to the beach. For every one of your patients breathing deeply and digging their toes into the sand, there’s another one (or three) balancing camp drop-off and pick-up times, carpool schedules, and trying to fit in as much family fun as possible, all while secretly counting down the days until school starts again.
Whether you’re competing with last-minute vacations or over-booked schedules, summer can be a tough time to keep your dental chair occupied. Before you hang a “Gone Fishing” sign on the practice door, pour yourself a large iced tea and read on to learn how an effective automated recall system can help you reach your patients during the dog days of summer.
Last minute cancellations and no-shows are gray clouds in a full schedule’s sunny sky. Whether they’re juggling swim lessons and tennis camp or enjoying a spontaneous mid-week getaway, chances are your patients’ schedules look a lot different than they did six months ago when they booked their teeth cleaning. Dental appointment reminders are critical to full books any time of year, but good luck getting patients to answer the phone when they’re chauffeuring the soccer team or relaxing by the pool.
Automated email and dental text reminders are the first line of defense against holes in your summer schedule. Not only do automated messages save your front desk team time, but patients are much more likely to respond to a text or email than take a call (FYI – this is just as true in January as it is in July). A patient recall system with two-way text messaging allows patients to conveniently confirm their appointment directly from their smartphone. Plus, it’s non-invasive – so you don’t run the risk of interrupting them mid-way through that sizzling summer novel.
Ok, your automated reminders went out but apparently, Bob is already on his way to the beach. How can you quickly fill his slot? Group text messaging allows the front desk team to easily reach out to patients who have asked to be notified of earlier openings. This feature saves time by messaging several patients at once, increasing the likelihood that Bob’s vacant slot is filled before his feet even hit the sand.
Since summer means fewer commitments for some, it can also be a prime opportunity to re-engage patients who may have let appointments lapse earlier in the year. Automated communication systems take the hassle out of patient recare by sending overdue treatment reminders at pre-defined intervals. To ensure no one falls through the cracks because of a change in phone number or mailing address, be sure to use a system that employs multiple outreach methods (i.e. dental postcards, phone calls, email and text message).
Finally, what June and July lack in terms of hygiene production is often made up in August with the back-to-school push. This is when parents take stock of everything that needs to get done before their little angels head back to school. Sports physicals and dental visits suddenly take precedence over lemonade stands and pick-up basketball games. Your schedule fills up and family messaging comes in handy. The family messaging feature consolidates reminders, so families bringing multiple patients to one visit receive a single message instead of a reminder for each individual. Not only does this feature keep your dental practice current with technology, you also get bonus points for providing a streamlined patient experience!
At the end of the day, summer is fleeting. So, enjoy it – find an automated recall system that works for your dental practice and relax knowing you’re bases are covered. Reach out to an Internet Marketing Advisor at 888-932-3644 to discuss your specific practice needs and potential ways that our patient communication solutions from PracticeMojo can help.