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Practice Marketing

Top Anticipated Trends for Dentistry and Marketing by 2020

As we kick off the new year, everyone seems to be publishing predictions for 2019, but ProSites – we’re looking a bit further ahead. In our whitepaper, Seven Predictions and Recommendations for Dentistry and Marketing by 2020, we outline current trends to help us predict what the future of dentistry and marketing will look like by the next decade.

We’ve included snippets of three of the seven predicted trends below, but make sure to download your full copy of the whitepaper here to learn how you can stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving marketplace.

Predicted Trend: Lowered Trust of Facts Requires Building a Trustworthy Persona
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be saying goodbye to “fake news” or the associated decrease in trust of authority anytime soon. In fact, reliance on social media seems to have increased our general skepticism. While warranted in some situations, an overall rise in distrust of experts means businesses, dental practices included, need to work harder to gain confidence from potential customers (patients).

Enter your dental practice’s online reputation, as this is where prospective patients are likely to form their first impression of you. You must encourage current patients to share positive feedback on review sites and social media channels as both play important roles in attracting new patients.

Predicted Trend: Digital Content Consumption Will Be Constant and Led by Video
Think our dependence on digital content has reached the point of saturation? Alexa, weigh in. Given that we’re always connected, our consumption of content is ever increasing. To compete and gain valuable mindshare, your online presence must be dynamic.

A website alone is no longer enough; patients want more. Try creating a library of how-to videos that address common concerns like “how to floss with braces.” Easy-to-read articles and posts are also great ways to share content. But remember, consistency is key – as even an engaged audience is fickle and will quickly go elsewhere if you stop meeting their needs.

Predicted Trend: A Digital Front Will Be Expected
From grocery shopping to ordering lattes, your patients are doing everything online, and it’s most likely from a mobile device. Short of a real-time root canal request (crazy, we know – who would request a root canal?) what can you enable patients to do online? Probably more than you think.

Patients will soon expect to have the ability to book visits, confirm or cancel appointments, or complete forms online – dental text reminders are becoming increasing popular. Regardless of how fast your website loads, if you fall below patient expectations (which are higher than ever) your practice is sure to lag behind the competition. The answer is not to invest in more staff, but rather integrated systems that can manage dental appointment reminders, scheduling, and recall campaigns – all of which are designed to keep patients engaged while delivering the level of customer service and convenience they want.

In conclusion, technology is greatly impacting how we do business in the future. And, if you don’t soon embrace where the industry is headed, you won’t be able to make up the ground. Fill out the form below to get your free copy of the complete whitepaper, or call an Internet Marketing Advisor at (888) 932-3644 to see how we can meet you where you are today and help you get to where you want to be in the future.

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Patient Relationship

The Importance of Dental Patient Education

One of the most important – yet time consuming – aspects of being a dentist is how to effectively keep patients informed and educated. From informing patients about the breadth of services that your practice offers to ensuring they’re in-the-know with the latest oral hygiene tips, pre- and post- procedure instructions, and details of any procedures themselves – there’s a lot that goes into keeping patients educated and well-informed. Plus, thanks to the Internet, there is a lot of misinformation that exists, so to ensure your patients have the best information available, it’s important to supply and direct them to your resource.

Here are the top best practices to dental patient education to ensure your practice is providing valuable content that visitors will love:

  • Make sure the content is easy-to-understand. While you don’t want to be too vague, you do want to break the content down, making it as simple as possible, so patients can understand it as clearly as possible. Where you can, try to write in “non-dental” language and avoid getting overly technical.
  • Use high-quality visuals. To support your message, use patient-friendly visuals such as photos or videos alongside the content. Make sure the graphics used aren’t so detailed where you risk scaring a patient away, but keep them engaging and relevant. When using video, try to keep it as short as possible while providing graphics that support the voiceover to better explain the story.

To appeal to all types of learners, add video throughout the pages of your website where it makes sense to further support the message you’re trying to communicate. For example, if you have a page about root canals, but someone is more of a visual learner, they may be prone to watch your video instead of reading all of the content about root canals on the page. On the other hand, patients who want to learn more details about the procedure may spend more time reading through the content on your particular webpage. By providing various types of content you can ensure patients digest information in their preferred way.

  • Make patient education easily accessible – so patients can find it via multiple channels. When you put time into creating thoughtful and educational content, you want to ensure patients see and take advantage of it! If you’re writing blog articles, make sure to share those new posts and articles on your website and social media pages. If you’ve created a new video, add the video to applicable pages on your website, share on social media, and play it in your office. When patients are in your office, encourage them to go home and visit your website to learn more about a specific procedure. The more you can showcase your content, the more useful it will be!
  • Communicate the full story. In all of your content, make sure that it tells a story. Include the benefits of the service, answer common questions patients have around the service, explain the risks of treatment and consequences of not getting the treatment. Most importantly, include a call-to-action of what patients should do next – such as contact your practice to schedule an appointment.

Creating valuable patient education can be time consuming, yet it’s an essential part of every successful dental practice. That’s why ProSites does the heavy-lifting for you and provides hundreds of pages of pre-written, patient-focused content that you can fully customize to your needs. Plus, you access a library of dental education videos to thoroughly explain the various procedures your practice offers in a way that’s engaging and easy-to-understand.

To explore these features and more, start a free 14-day dental website trial or call (888) 932-3644.

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Practice Marketing

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.

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Practice Marketing

6 Ways Dental Practices Can Stand Out in a Cluttered Inbox

Chances are your dental practice communicates with some – if not the majority of – patients via email. Whether it’s appointment reminders, post-visit recaps, or a simple follow-up note – standing out in a cluttered email inbox is key to communicating with patients effectively.

Seeing that the average person receives over 120 emails a day, your message has a lot of competition. Use these tips below to ensure patients take notice to your dental practice’s emails:

  1. Make your subject line count. If your subject line doesn’t make sense or doesn’t catch attention, it could easily be deleted. Or worse, marked as SPAM and never seen. Make sure your subject lines are personable, concise, and accurate to what is included in the body of the email.

Subject lines work best when you keep it under 50 characters and avoid words like “FREE” so you aren’t marked as SPAM.

– Try sending emails at odd times. With “inbox zero” being the new goal, sometimes people will ignore an email truly because they are just too busy to ready yours. By sending an email at night or during the weekend, this may catch a patient’s attention. Test different email send days and times and track to see which has best response rates.

  1. Choose your words carefully. Content is everywhere, and people don’t have time to read everything that lands n their inbox. People are constantly rushing and need a concise email. There’s definitely a need for personality and a lot of need-to-know information but try to keep emails under 100 words and link out to other important information if they must find out more.
  1. Make the call-to-action clear. Make sure your email starts and ends with what you want your readers to do. Do you need them to complete a form and send it back? Do you want them to schedule a meeting with your firm? Whatever the action item is, make sure it’s clear and simply stated. Most people don’t read the full email – they skim the text – so ensure your call-to-action stands out from the body of the text by using a button or bold text to set it apart.
  1. Be mobile-friendly. Over half of all emails are read on a mobile device. Make sure your HTML emails are optimized for a mobile viewing experience, to ensure that patients don’t need to pinch and zoom to simply read your email. Otherwise, you chance being ignored or deleted.
  1. AB Test and measure success. Learn about your audience by testing the message, send times, calls-to-action, and subject lines. Make sure to define what you are testing and what success looks like so you can successfully track your efforts and make smarter marketing decisions for your practice.

Email marketing is here to stay – so it’s important that your dental practice utilizes this medium effectively. Find out how ProSites can help you stand out in a cluttered inbox with automated patient communication email reminders via PracticeMojo. Call (888) 932-3644 to learn more.

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Search Marketing

How Dental Practices Can Utilize Google Analytics

As a dentist, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t working when it comes to your dental practice marketing. Knowing this type of data helps you continually make improvements and learn more about your target audience.

Google Analytics (GA) is a FREE online tool that’s easy to install on your website (especially if you’re a ProSites member) and provides quality data needed to evaluate marketing activities. Use the guide below to see all the things you can do once you install Google Analytics on your dental website.

  1. Segment website traffic by acquisition channels to learn which type of traffic is most valuable to your practice. You can use GA to find out how people arrive on your website in one of five ways: direct, referral, social, organic and paid search.
  2. Direct: the number of visitors who entered your website URL directly into the browser
  3. Referral: visits initiated from another website outside of search engines or social media sites (e.g. if your website is listed on the local chamber of commerce website)
  4. Social: visitors who came to your website directly from social media sites (e.g. Facebook or Twitter)
  5. Organic: visitors who came to your website from search engine results like Google or Yahoo
  6. Paid: visitors who came to your website from PPC campaigns (e.g. Google AdWords)

Learning how people get to your website is key and provides insights into which types of campaigns are driving the most traffic to your website. For example, if you’re spending a lot on social media marketing but aren’t seeing any social traffic, it may be a sign that you need to update your strategy. Similarly, if paid traffic is up, but organic traffic is down, it may be wise to consider search engine optimization (SEO) for better rankings.

  1. Understand and document fluctuations in website traffic with annotations. Over time, you’ll likely notice changes in your website traffic patterns. This could be due to intentional changes, like getting a new website design or investing in SEO, or something less obvious, like Google changing an algorithm that greatly impacts your rankings and organic traffic.

As you make changes to your website, online marketing strategy, or learn about new Google updates, use annotations to note these updates. This way, when you go back to analyze your traffic, you can better pinpoint reasons for the fluctuations.

  1. Identify “normal” traffic patterns by comparing date ranges. As traffic fluctuates, you can identify what is “normal” by comparing traffic over periods of time.

For example, if your website averages 100 sessions per month in Q4 of any given year, but this year you saw 50 sessions a month in the same time period, this abnormality may be a clue that something caused a change. Alternatively, if your website saw 200 sessions per month after a year of consistent marketing activities, it’s an indication that those activities are working in your favor.

  1. Use goals to understand if visitors are taking a desired action on your website. The purpose of most websites is to gain business and initiate contact from visitors. Creating goals in GA helps you understand if visitors are taking desired actions on your website, such as filling out a form for more information. Once you set-up a goal (e.g. completing a form) and a visitor takes this action, GA will trigger a goal completion which can be interpreted as a lead.

This data is helpful in understanding how effective your website is at converting visitors to new patients. You’ll learn how many times a form is completed and the percentage of traffic that takes action on your site, all while segmenting these actions by acquisition channel. A low percentage of people acting on your website may signal the need for more calls-to-action, additional content, or different offers.

  1. Access data easily and regularly by creating reports to reference and monitor your overall performance.

For example, say you want to compare traffic at the end of each month to the previous month to understand how recent traffic is trending. To create the report, select the date range you wish to analyze (current month), and then select previous period. Once you get the view you wished to see, hit save (on the tool bar) and name the report.

You will then be able to find the saved report under customization in the left hand column.

Implementing GA into your marketing toolkit is a must, as these detailed analytics will help you understand your accountant marketing ROI. As you learn more about your website and its performance, you can make smarter, more informed decisions about your practice’s overall marketing strategy and priorities.

For more information on accountant marketing, download the free guide, How to Increase Retention and Lifetime Value of Patients, by filling out the form below.

Can’t view form? Click here.

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Patient Relationship

The Value of Online Reviews for Dentists

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a patient review is worth its word count in gold – or platinum – or whatever is today’s trending precious metal. Still not sure? Let’s put it this way, 70% of dental patients said that online ratings and reviews influenced their choice of dentist.

And, in case you thought you were safe from Google, remember that online ratings and reviews also factor into your practice’s search engine rankings.  Search engines consistently tweak their ranking algorithms to return the best results possible, and this means delivering highly recommended doctors.

Further, online reviews create the perception of trustworthiness and transparency. The prevalence of social media and the increasing number of review sites available (Yelp, Angie’s List, Rate MDs, etc.), mean that your practice is conspicuous by its absence. Trust us, if prospective patients can’t find any reviews on your practice they aren’t going to think, “Wow – that dental practice is so good that not one patient felt the need to share their experience.” More likely, the train of thought will go something like this, “Why hasn’t anyone left a review on that dentist? What are they hiding?”

Understanding the power of online reviews is only half the battle; getting patients to leave them is the other half. So, how do you make that happen amidst the daily juggling required to keep your practice running? First, don’t under estimate the obvious…make the ask!

Send patients a follow-up text or email reiterating the importance of their satisfaction and asking them to share their positive experience online. Bonus points if you save the front desk staff time by using an automated patient communication system (FYI – this method also ensures consistent outreach).

Training your team to gently suggest satisfied patients share their experience is another great way to make the ask. Perhaps while booking a patient’s next appointment, your front desk staff mentions that the practice has profiles on certain online review sites, or hygienists politely close their appointments by asking patients to share their feedback online.

Strategically placed signage in your lobby is another way to plant the online review. Invite patients to share their experience, and ensure the review site URLs are listed clearly. You might be surprised at the number of loyal patients that use their time in the waiting room to post a positive review before they even sit in the chair.

Right up there with making the ask of patients, is making it easy for them. No matter how happy or loyal a patient is, if sharing feedback is a challenge they’re not going to do it. So make the process simple – incorporate review site links in follow-up texts and emails, include preferred review sites on appointment cards, and don’t overlook your own website.

Your website’s reviews page is one of the most convenient places for patients to share their experience – no membership or email account required. Just make sure to stay abreast of what’s posted on your website. ProSites’ reputation marketing feature allows you to determine which comments appear on your practice website. Patients can submit reviews, but nothing goes live on your site until you hit ‘publish’. Plus, when patients rank their experience 4+ stars, they’re automatically prompted to share their review on popular review networks such as Google+, Yelp, and Bing, which also makes you more visible to prospective patients.

In summary, online reviews influence patients’ choice of provider, lend credibility to your practice, and play a key role in determining your search engine rankings. For more information on how you can increase positive reviews, download our complimentary whitepaper How To Get Frequent Positive Reviews For Your Dental Practice: Climb to 5 Starts on Yelp, Google Maps, Facebook and More.

Have specific questions regarding how to put reviews to work for your practice? Our dental marketing experts are here to help.  Reach out to an Internet Marketing Advisor today at (888) 932-3644

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