Your front office staff is likely the first point of contact for any patient, especially new or prospective patients. They take phone calls, answer questions, book appointments, and interact with patients when they visit. The impression they make is critical in helping you build a strong dental practice.
The experience patients have when they contact you plays a key role in whether they decide to book an appointment with your practice or look elsewhere for dental services. Patients look for friendly service, fast answers to their questions, and an easy way to book or reschedule appointments.
Overcoming Dental Front Office Challenges
When it comes to providing excellent service, there are two significant challenges your front office faces. First, dental offices are often hectic places. The staff may be juggling multiple calls, responding to patients online, and helping to manage patient flow. This means they may miss calls, and callers may get busy signals or go straight to voice mail. Depending on workload, it could be hours before your staff can return their call.
It can also cost you patients. A study in Dental Economics showed that nearly 33% of all calls to dental practices are missed, and 87% of new patients who are put on hold or whose calls go to voicemail hang up and never call back. These are missed opportunities that would help you keep your schedule full so you can grow your practice.
The other challenge is that there are only so many hours in the day. Your staff does not answer calls and is not available to answer questions when your office is closed. However, patients call, visit your website and submit questions and queries in the evening, late at night and on weekends.
Imagine what a difference it would make if every contact got an immediate and personalized response no matter what time they contacted you. Patients could book or reschedule appointments and get answers to common questions automatically. This is what dental management software from TrueLark does.
If a patient or prospective patient calls and the office is closed or everyone on the front desk team is busy, they get an immediate SMS text responding to their query. Using artificial intelligence (AI), TrueLark can understand what callers need and provide the most relevant answer. This ensures no inquiry goes unaddressed. Patients can also instantly book and reschedule appointments.
Dental office practice software improves the front desk experience for patients and reduces staff workload. The average dental office spends as much as three hours every day booking appointments. By shifting much of the scheduling online and providing self-service tools, you can reduce the burden on your front office team and provide a better scheduling experience for patients.
Patients Want an Easy Way to Book Appointments
Consumers are used to scheduling online. They can schedule service on their car, make a reservation at their favorite restaurant, book a flight and schedule salon appointments. And dental practices are lagging. While over 50% of all healthcare providers offer online appointment scheduling, only 26% of dental offices give patients and prospective patients the option to book appointments themselves.
Patients want the option to book and reschedule appointments online. A Gartner research study shows that 75% of patients view self-scheduling as important and four out of ten say they would consider switching to a new dental provider if the practice offered online appointment scheduling.
Dental office practice software that allows for self-scheduling reduces the tedious back and forth with patients to find a convenient day and time. This gives the front office staff more time to focus on other tasks and develop strong relationships with patients.
Automated booking has another significant advantage. When patients schedule appointments themselves, they are more likely to show up. A study by the Mayo Clinic tracked self-scheduled appointments over a year and found that it significantly reduced no-shows, cancellations, and rescheduling compared to appointments booked by the staff.
Dental management software like TrueLark handles online scheduling and answers inquiries after the office is closed. The same Mayo Clinic study found that nearly 30% of online appointments were booked after office hours. This means you can keep filling up your patient roster even when your front office staff is not available to take calls.
Modernize Your Scheduling and Patient Support
Traditional answering services are both expensive and inefficient, requiring staff follow ups on almost every single request fielded by the answering service. TrueLark automates inquiries, freeing up staff to handle patients appointments rather than spending so much time on the phone.
TrueLark AI dental office practice software can schedule or reschedule appointments and integrates seamlessly with your PMS or booking platform. This means you can modernize scheduling and patient support, book more appointments, improve patient retention and make your front office team more efficient.
This adds up to a better patient experience anytime and from anywhere. TrueLark answers every call or query provides instant answers to common questions, and lets patients book one or multiple appointments quickly, which translates to maximum revenue for your practice.
Want to take the burden off your front desk and provide a better patient experience? Book a demo to learn how dental management software can help you do it.