Appointment Reminders for Dental Practices
Since routine dental appointments are scheduled as far as six months apart, it’s easy to understand how a patient could forget about an upcoming appointment.
If regular or needed appointments are not already scheduled, it’s important to give your patients a little nudge. This keeps their mouths healthy and you in business. That’s why appointment reminders are necessary.
For years Dentists have been sending the old, traditional postcard saying, “It’s time for your cleaning, call now to schedule!” Appointment reminders remain one of the most important parts of marketing your dental practice. What’s changed is the method of sending those reminders. It’s important to continue to benefit your bottom line just as much your services benefit the oral health of your patients. Every Dentist knows that regular cleanings give your practice the perfect opportunity to spot new cavities and the beginning stages of gum disease before consequences become significant to the patient. However, sometimes it’s harder than pulling teeth, just to get patients to come in.
Many patients don’t understand the importance of their appointment reminders, nor do they keep an eye out for the postcard or email you send twice a year. Even if they see those messages, they may postpone or forget about them as they get lost in the shuffle of everyday life. Changing your methods and your messaging will keep your schedule full and keep your patients healthy. Art of Chat is the perfect way to communicate with your patients when it’s time for their next appointment.
Why Your Appointment Reminders Aren’t Getting Responses
Many dental practices use beautiful and expensive postcards or other mailers as appointment reminders. Unfortunately, paper mail isn’t treated with the same importance as it used to be. Bills are often paperless, and most things that people receive through the post are packages that they ordered online. The rest of the mail is generally classified as junk, including paid marketing, coupon packets that are never used, and the constant banks wanting you to get another credit card.
Your appointment reminders could be getting lumped in with all of those coupon mailers and other advertisements, making their way to the bottom of a recycling bin without your patients ever giving them a second thought.
Emails typically don’t fare much better. If they aren’t inadvertently flagged by a spam filter, they may be sent to the “promotions” segment of an inbox and regarded as marketing junk mail. If your patients have crowded inboxes, they may not see the scheduling or appointment reminders when they come in. They may even be pushed past the first page when an influx of other emails are delivered.
That leaves you with the most time-consuming option… calling your patients. Phone calls bring a whole new set of challenges. More than half of people admit to letting phone calls go to voicemail. The likelihood is even higher if they don’t recognize your number. They could mistakenly believe you’re a scam caller or a robocall and completely disregard you.
This doesn’t mean that people are impossible to reach. It just means you’ll need to try new methods of communication that are more likely to be acknowledged or met with better engagement results. We have the perfect solution.
How to Reach Your Patients
Almost every text message is opened, and the majority of text messages are responded to within a few minutes. Most smartphone users regularly text others. Your patients are already active texters. Why not meet them where they’re at?
Texts are more convenient to receive and respond to than phone calls. Your patients may not take calls while they’re at work or in a public place, but you can bet they will glance at and even respond to a text. Texts are easy to read and discrete to respond to in most environments. Your patients can read and respond on their lunch breaks, while they’re waiting to get their latte from the drive through, on the subway, or while they’re in line to check out at the grocery store. Texting is the communication of today.
Most business lines are not equipped with texting, and most reminder software programs that send texts can’t facilitate automated, AI-powered, or customized two-way texts. Art of Chat makes these scenarios all possible. Our simple interface answers simple questions such as address, directions, and more, while also allowing your staff to enter a two-way conversation with patients at any time.
Sending the Perfect Appointment Reminder
The perfect appointment reminder text is one that gets a response. A generic message inviting patients to schedule a routine cleaning may not sound as urgent or appealing as a message emphasizing the importance of their oral health. Including some information about how these appointments play an important role in preventative care might inspire a reaction from your patients.
Encourage your patients to book an appointment by responding to their appointment reminder text. Get a chuckle out of them by texting “Bueller?” if they are non-responsive—but make sure you know your audience first. Your staff can text back in real time regarding availability and get your patients on the schedule. When booking an appointment only takes a few seconds, the process is easier for everyone.
Automation Makes Your Staff’s Jobs Easier
Art of Chat doesn’t replace your staff. Our Artificial Intelligence powered appointment reminder software simply acts as a second set of hands for your busy staff who would appreciate a little extra help. They work hard for you, and Art of Chat works hard for them.
Using Art of Chat for appointment reminders, appointment booking and confirmation, group announcements, and two-way texting will improve the productivity of your staff. They won’t have to play phone tag or put anyone on hold. They can automate texts to go out at the correct time and engage with patients who respond in real time.
If the phone rings or a patient approaches the desk while they’re texting with another patient, it isn’t a big deal. People are willing to wait a minute or two for a response to a text. Your staff will be able to effectively assist more people when you transition to a text-based communications system.
Let Art of Chat Simplify Your Appointment Reminders
Your patients want text messages, and Art of Chat provides you with the best way to send them. Grow your dental practice, book more appointments, and assist more patients through Art of Chat. Art of Chat works with any device so even your remote employees can send appointment reminders and book appointments from home.
Getting started is simple. Our team will work one-on-one to setup your customized messages for your office and teach your staff to use our software. You’re only a few clicks away from increased productivity and improved engagement with appointment reminders for your dental practice.
Getting Started with Art of Chat
Art of Chat is here to save the day for your staff and for your patients. Your staff will love the convenience of texting with patients especially on busy days. Making calls or sending texts to remind patients of appointments can be automated taking away some of the tediousness for your staff. Additionally, since dental practices have high no-show rates, having communications and confirmations in writing, might be exactly what is needed to prove why a patient should pay a no-show fee..
Your patients will love two-way texting for business because it’s already their preferred method of communication. They’re able to speak with your office while they’re at work or in a public place, and texting keeps their conversation discrete. They can send replies at their leisure, allowing them to multitask while they’re on the go.
Art of Chat is easy to use. Your staff will have the basics worked out in no time. The sooner you get started, the sooner your dental practice will experience the benefits of two-way texting.