Patient appreciation and business productivity can be optimized when the following techniques are adopted:
- Personalize your emails
Using a simple merge tool, the appeal of your email can be immediately doubled by replacing “Dear Patient” with “Dear Mary”.
- Be specific
While brevity is key to effective use of SMS, don’t forget to identify your practice as well as the date and time of the appointment. For example:
“The team at Main Street Dental looks forward to seeing you on January 15 at 2 pm.”
“A friendly reminder of your appointment at Lakeview Dentistry on January 15 at 2 pm.”
- Incite action
Offering a simple “click to confirm” option encourages positive action. It should also incite patients to contact your office if a re-book is required. While no one wants to promote re-scheduling, a re-book is always better than a no-show.
- Maintain a short-notice list
Easily manage an ongoing list of patients waiting for cancellations or those with last-minute flexibility. First to respond gets the time slot…
- Use your data to get the best outcomes
Different patients respond to different types of contact. Keep data on patient preferences up to date and communicate with your patient accordingly. People who don’t respond to email at all may respond instantly to a text, while some patients don’t use SMS at all. Experiment with the timing and frequency of your messages to identify what works best for your practice.
- Obtain permissions
Although you have an existing business relationship with your patients, it’s always smart to ask permission to contact patients via email or SMS. Your portal and sign-in kiosk can simplify the collection of opt-in data by asking their preferred method of communication.
- Keep in touch
Create legitimate opportunities to connect with your patients between appointments. Use the integration with ABELDent’s Treatment Manager to follow up with patients with unscheduled treatment and integrated On Demand messaging to communicate with individual patients in advance of or after appointments.
- Ask for feedback and ask for referrals
A satisfied patient is often your best advertisement. Post-appointment follow-up communication will help personalize your patients’ experience, reinforce the best assets of your practice and even help you isolate areas for improvement. Encourage patients to refer to your practice and offer incentives for happy clients who oblige.
- Learn from early adopters
Turn to experienced portal users for ongoing tips and techniques. ABELDent developers are constantly improving the software to accommodate feedback from clients. Regular webinars and newsletters contain valuable, up-to-the-minute ideas, like getting opt-in permission on patient registration forms, or asking patients to check off their preferred method of communication.
In the dental care business model where client communication can fall to six or nine-month intervals, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of every quick, convenient and welcome opportunity to build better relationships with your patients?