How’s your technology “game?” That question is relevant to how you’re using technology to meet your dental patients’ expectations.
A lot of factors are at work when a dental patient chooses your practice. No doubt, retaining them revolves around your services and keeping their smile healthy and attractive. That’s fundamental to the dental patient experience.
But there’s another factor that discerning patients value.
Are You Bringing Your “A Game” to Your Technology?
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the landscape for patient expectations. Practices that listened, learned, and leveraged those shifts learned something essential about patient engagement. According to Dental Products Report, “What patients want has changed dramatically in the past several years especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, patients are valuing the overall experience more than ever before … and a modern approach to technology is the expectation instead of a benefit.”
Survey data helps confirm the expectations patients have of their dentist’s technology.
- 40% of millennials believe the user-friendliness of a dentist’s website is “very important” compared with 14% of baby boomers.” (Source: LFG.com)
- Generations growing up with smartphones — such as millennials and Gen Z — value convenience and have an expectation for dental practices to utilize quality technology. (Source: Accenture)
Bottom-line: your dental technology “game” matters.
Patients expect it! They are accustomed to engaging through it. And patients are likely to stay loyal to you as you innovate with it.
Provide an Option for Online Scheduling
Your patients might not think to schedule their next dental examination when your office is open. And many are less likely to leave a voicemail if their dental care comes to mind after hours.
An online scheduling portal on your dental practice website gives them a convenient solution for scheduling — on their time.
- You can create secure, HIPAA-compliant access to an online scheduling portal on your website.
- Simple intake questions will confirm the reason for scheduling.
- You can give patients options for scheduling their appointment.
- After setting their appointment, patients can receive an automated appointment confirmation and a reminder.
There are a variety of online scheduling solutions. Research, design and adapt one that fits your practice size and workflow preferences.
Embrace and Maximize the Digital Environment
There was a day when designing and launching a website was a necessity. That hasn’t changed, but there is more to being digitally equipped than merely having a website.
An online presence is a key to patient engagement and meeting their expectations. Think about your dental practice’s digital environment. Are you meeting the expectations of today’s patients?
- Have you created a digital presence?
- Is your digital environment easy to access and navigate?
- Do your digital solutions answer your visitor and patient questions, concerns and needs regarding their oral health?
A digital environment evolves from an established web presence.
- Refresh your website design. Start by eliminating any distracting graphics and content.
- Create a compelling and benefit-focused call to action on your webpages, such as “Contact us to set an appointment” or “Schedule now and get …”
- Answer your site visitor questions on your blog page. Make your article titles relevant to search query questions.
- Link your blog content to your social media channels.
Your digital presence further confirms your expertise and industry influence for those seeking your services or referring others.
Invite Patient Communication — and Manage the Conversation
How you communicate can be as important as what you communicate. It’s common for patients to reevaluate their relationship with your practice if communication breaks down or is less than engaging. “According to a recent survey, 20% of boomers, 44% of Generation Xers and 42% of millennials said they are likely to switch practices if communication is inconvenient or ineffective.” (Source: Healthcare Finance News)
You can be confident you are providing “convenient and effective” patient communication as you:
- Know your patient communication preferences based on your practice’s demographic data.
- Segment your patient database and communicate according to their preferences. Use phone, text, email or another type of communication based on what your data reveals about each segment of your patient base.
- Ask patients their opinion and feedback via surveys. Use survey data to refine and refresh your communication platforms.
- Provide patients an opportunity and the encouragement to give reviews and referrals. Listen to their comments (positive and negative) and allow it to inform your patient experience.
Your patients are likely not strangers to technology and the digital environment. Make sure how they interact and communicate with your dental practice reflects their potential preferences for technology.
The following resources are useful for innovating and improving your technology strategies and your dental practice’s digital environment:
Stay “Front of Mind” Through Effective Dental Patient Communication
How to Pace the Implementation of Online Scheduling in Your Dental Practice
Use Data Analytics To Discover How Your Patients Engage With Your Dental Practice
The Jarvis Analytics platform helps you ensure that you’re tracking useful patient data, the important metrics, and staying on track with your goals as your dental practice grows and expands.
Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!