New-Patient Outreach and How to Make It Work Better for Your Practice
In our experience, at a typical practice, the team members who do the billing, appointment scheduling, phone answering, and claim handling are the ones sitting behind the reception desk. With all of those duties plus a steady stream of patients needing to be checked in and out, when a prospective patient inquires online about an appointment, the front office staff may not even know about it for hours or even days. Now that more patients are turning to the internet when reaching out to dental practices, what is happening to all the requests coming in throughout the day? What about the ones coming in after hours and on the weekends?
What we’ve found over the years is that they typically go unanswered for hours and sometimes days, if at all. When these types of inquiries do get answered in a timely manner, the practice may only be equipped to call back over the phone rather than respond digitally, which takes precious time away from team members in the office. Even when a practice has implemented email and other digital channels to respond to inquiries, usually only one attempt is ever made to contact the potential patient.
None of these scenarios depicts an ideal way to engage with new patients and often leads to a dead end. In fact, the limited success that most practices have with online appointment request forms can be very discouraging, with some believing that these types of inquiries do not have the potential to lead to anything meaningful.
The Real Problem
After years of hearing about this from our clients, we decided to tackle the issue head on. We conducted a ton of market research to find out what’s really going on. What we discovered may surprise you.
Our research showed that the flaw isn’t that online inquiries aren’t quality leads. It really depends on the system the practice uses to respond to them. The problem is that many practices are unable to handle online inquiries quickly, accurately, and in a way that makes patients feel valued. Of course, no practice wants this to be the case, but it is often a matter of not having the time and resources to dedicate to new-patient outreach.
Practices need a streamlined and fool-proof way of managing outreach without having to add more responsibility to the team members in the office. To meet this ever-growing need, MDA created PatientCaptureNow exclusively for dental practices to quickly and effectively handle the stream of incoming inquiries from their online request an appointment forms.
What is PatientCaptureNow?
PatientCaptureNow turns new-patient outreach into a no-hassle experience for the prospective patient and the dental practice, delivering a timely response tailored to the patient’s needs no matter which communication channel they are using or when they are attempting to contact the office. With this innovative software solution to new-patient outreach, no one gets left behind and the already busy team members at the practice can focus on what’s happening with the patients in the office rather than answering emails.
How does it work?
Nearly 70% of consumers say texting and email are their preferred methods of communication. PatientCaptureNow takes advantage of this and makes it easy for prospective patients to interact with your practice.
With PatientCaptureNow, when the prospective patient first makes an inquiry online, they are directed to a form that asks for their name, contact number, email address. Pretty typical, right? What happens from there, however, is what distinguishes it from any other contact management solution available to dental practices.
As soon as that web-based form is filled out, it is “captured” in a database and a confirmation email is sent out immediately to the prospect. Six minutes later, they get a personalized text message from the practice, thanking them for the inquiry and asking what days and times work for them.
Once the patient responds, it is up to your team to communicate with them inside the very easy to use PatientCaptureNow system.
What happens if the patient does not respond to the initial email or text message? PatientCaptureNow doesn’t give up. In fact, the system is designed to keep reaching out via email and text over a set period of time until the prospect responds. All of the communication parameters are fully customizable to the dental practice’s preferences, and the patient has no idea that all the communications they are receiving are automatically generated. It’s that personalized.
No Patient Left Behind
Practices that use PatientCaptureNow report an almost 300% increase in actual connection with the prospective patient. And studies show that, when considering one practice over another, a prospective patient tends to go with the one that responds first. PatientCaptureNow increases the odds of inquiring patients booking and keeping their first appointment with your practice.
Dental practices are using every advantage they can to stay competitive. Implementing PatientCaptureNow is a great way to stand out in a crowded field and attract high-quality patients. It makes building relationships so much easier, since the prospective patient feels like they already have a connection to your practice.