Using text messaging is almost a must for modern dental offices. Not only does this allow you to contact patients quickly, but it also allows them to reply at their convenience. Many offices have reflected that the greatest advantage is it helps streamline their communication. Since there are options to automate your confirmations through dental management software, such as Paradigm Clinical, it saves you a lot of time.
Other than being a convenient feature for your workflow, there are other ways you can take advantage of the SMS function to help grow your dental practice productivity!
Appointment Reminders and Confirmations
Between worrying about the pandemic and ensuring their health and safety, it’s not surprising if patients forget their appointments. However, this is bad for your productivity if you have a large number of no-shows, which is why reminders and confirmations are so important.
Oftentimes, patients may not pick up when you call, leading to wasted time especially when you have to call again. Automating your reminder and confirmation process will help optimize your time as you won’t have to keep mental notes of who to call back. Your patients can confirm their appointments when they see your message and add it to their calendar.
Being able to ‘set and forget’ your reminder schedule will help you minimize the number of no-shows with minimal management. If you haven’t already been using automated SMS reminders/confirmations, this is the year to start!
One or two late-cancellations may not be the end-all for a dental clinic but is detrimental if it happens often. In other words, offices should be trying to rebook someone in as soon as possible to prevent lost profits.
This process can take a long time by phone if you were to go down your ASAP list. Instead, you can use My Contact Pro to pull up your ASAP list and manually select a few patients to contact first. We recommend not sending a bulk text to everyone on the list as it allows you to prioritize patients who have more time-sensitive procedures waiting to be done. You can then work your way down the list according to urgency.
Any announcement you send out via newsletters runs the risk of being buried in an inbox with every other unread email or sent to spam. However, you can send your patients a link to the newsletter via SMS instead as the delivery rate and open rate is much higher.
This is a great way to ensure that a majority of your patients will see any important announcements or updates to your practice. Before sending any forms of electronic communication, Ensure that you are adhering to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation by receiving consent from your patients first.
A lot of times, patients don’t pay their bills on time because they simply forgot to. While there could be no ill intentions, it can affect your productivity greatly. Luckily, Paradigm Clinical now allows you to send billing reminders to your patients with a link to their invoices.
This is convenient for you and your patient. Rather than mailing your invoice and waiting for your patient to call or mail a cheque back (and worry that it may get lost), patients can directly view their bill on their phone and call the office to make a payment.
The upcoming months are usually slower, without patients rushing to use their dental insurance. During this time, you can send out promotions to boost patient flow. To attract new patients, you can encourage your patients to share the promotion with friends and family as well.
For more personalized deals, target specific promotions to those who have shown interest in certain procedures. For example, patients who wanted to do teeth whitening can be offered a discount on the service if they book within a certain period. Adding an expiry date will create urgency and entice patients to make an appointment.
These are a few suggestions for using SMS text messaging to increase your productivity and grow your practice. However, it is important to note that SMS messages are not encrypted and are shared between cell towers. In other words, it is not HIPAA compliant. Be sure that you aren’t sending and patient health information over text messaging, or your practice can face dire consequences.
Finally, no matter how often you plan to use any form of electronic communication, ask for your patient’s consent. This ensures that you are compliant with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.
If you would like to learn more about our SMS system or would like advice on how it can be beneficial to your practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team will be happy to help.