When discussing dental patient communications, consider the following:
- If a general dental practice wants to grow 15% annually, it needs to add 25 new patients a month per full time dentist
- The average solo dentist requires 24–50 new patients per month to achieve consistent growth
- Dental practices that handle patient calls manually miss 30% of inbound calls on average
- The typical attrition rate for dental practices ranges from 10%-40%. For a practice with ~2,000 active patients, a 10% attrition rate translates to losing ~200 patients a year
A phone call to the practice is an early touchpoint that influences the entire patient experience. How do you handle missed calls from patients? Clearly, if you want to grow your dental practice, there is little margin for error. If a missed call is not returned, you may lose a prospective patient. Missed calls lead to lost opportunities.
However, with AI-powered missed call follow-up software, dental practices can ensure they capture every patient call. This way, they are less likely to lose a patient or fail to gain a prospective patient due to a missed or mishandled call.
Missed call follow-up software goes by many names:
- Virtual Receptionist
- Front Desk Assistant
- Patient Texting Platform
- Patient Messaging Software
- Two-Way Messaging
- AI Chatbot
- Call Tracking Software
- SMS Texting Software
What is Missed Call Follow-Up Software?
Unlike traditional call management software, Artificial Intelligence-powered follow-up software immediately sends a text message. (Hence the descriptions “two-way messaging” and “SMS software.”)
How Does the Software Work?
When a patient calls, an automated message thanks them for their call and invites them to opt into text messaging. When they opt in, the software immediately sends a text message to the patient, acknowledging their call and providing relevant information or instructions. This ensures that even if the call is missed, the patient feels attended to and valued. It captures every patient call, ensuring that no call goes unanswered.
The initial SMS however, is not the end of the interaction. Missed call software with AI continues the conversation. The AI bot asks the patient what they want to do and provides a way for them to do it.
- Make an appointment
- Get dental insurance information
- Access the payment system
- Cancel or reschedule an appointment
- Learn about services and policies
A bot trained on actual conversations with dental patients is what sets AI missed call software apart from a menu-driven chatbot. Few systems marketed to the dental industry are able to engage in complex human-like conversations. Because of this, they don’t allow the caller to perform the task for which they called. With a keyword-based, basic chatbot, the majority of patients need a callback. Therefore, they don’t provide value to the practice and can downgrade the patient experience. Learn more here: Why You Should Choose a Full-Service AI Solution Over a Chatbot for Your Dental Practice.
Preventing Loss of Prospective Patients Due to Missed Calls
If you can improve your dental patient attrition from 40% to 20%, that is the equivalent of gaining 33 new patients a month!
Missed calls can result in prospective patients seeking alternative dental practices. AI-powered software reduces this risk by instantly reaching out to patients through text messages. By providing prompt responses and addressing their needs, the software ensures that prospective patients feel valued and are more likely to choose your dental office over competitors.
Help for Front Desk Staff
Front desk staff often face the challenge of managing a high call volume, which can be overwhelming and lead to missed calls. AI software acts as a reliable assistant, handling incoming calls and sending immediate text messages, reducing the burden on staff and improving overall efficiency. This allows front desk staff to focus on other critical tasks and provide better patient service. Missed call software can also be used in call centers that serve multiple practices.
Patient call automation also provides an important staffing benefit. In a 2022 survey by NexHealth, 42% of practices ranked ‘Staffing the Office’ as their biggest concern for 2023. If you can increase productivity by automating a significant number of calls, you can operate with a smaller team. In addition, providing your team with smart technology makes their jobs easier. Employees who enjoy their jobs are more likely to stick with their employer.
Efficiently managing appointment slots plays a vital role in maximizing production for dental practices. Advanced AI patient communication software offers convenient 24/7 self-service booking through text. Patients can easily book appointments at their convenience, eliminating the need for back-and-forth phone calls. The software syncs with booking systems and practice management software to eliminate duplicate work and streamline the scheduling process.
Meeting Patients’ Expectations with Self-Service Booking by Text
In the research previously mentioned, the most common patient complaint was “hard to reschedule.” (Note that it even beat “care being too expensive.”)
“The fact that rescheduling was a more common complaint than cost shows that patients want the same flexibility in dental they enjoy with the rest of their lives. Easy booking options, self-serve rescheduling, and flexibility.”
In today’s digital age, patients and potential patients expect convenience and instant access when engaging with a practice. AI-powered software meets these expectations. Anytime self-service booking enhances patient satisfaction and improves the overall patient experience. This helps your dental practice grow in two ways:
- By helping to retain existing patients
- Making it more likely that prospective patients that call your dental office book their first appointment.
The most successful practices use patient communications technology with real time analytics. If you’re evaluating dental practice two-way messaging software, make sure it provides analytics that allow your team to review automated calls, read chat transcripts and monitor booking conversion rate. This valuable data helps staff gain insights into patient inquiries, frequently asked questions, and areas for improvement. With analytics, dental practices can continuously refine their communication strategies and enhance patient satisfaction.
AI-powered missed call follow-up software streamlines the way dental practices handle calls and ensures that no opportunity is missed. By capturing every call, sending immediate text messages, and providing convenient self-service booking, the software improves both efficiency and the patient experience. With advanced analytics, you can further optimize communication strategies. Embrace the power of AI-powered dental patient SMS software and never miss a call again. Book a TrueLark demo today.