A lot has changed over the past few years. Many dental practices struggled as patients skipped cleanings and postponed dental appointments due to pandemic concerns. For some, patient volumes have still not quite returned to normal levels.
In 2022, however, there are significant opportunities for growth.
The emergence of remote work opportunities has made it possible for people to live where they want. The Great Resignation of 2021 caused many people to revisit their priorities, which resulted in a desire to move. Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 9 million people have moved–an increase of about 20% compared to 2020. In a recent survey by the National Mortgage Professional, 40% of Americans say they plan to move.
This is important because all these people moving into new communities will need to find a dentist. This creates a significant opportunity for dentists to grow their practices by attracting new patients. If you want to take advantage of this situation, you need cloud-based dental practice management software.
What Do Dental Patients Want in 2022?
What patients want and look for when considering a dental practice has changed. They now expect an exceptional customer experience and the ability to interact digitally. While patients want skilled dental professionals with advanced technology, they also expect dental practices to enable them to schedule appointments quickly and instantly get answers to their questions.
Patients overwhelmingly say they want to schedule appointments online without calling or waiting on hold. For many patients, the ability to schedule appointments online determines which dentist they choose.
While online booking is now common in many businesses such as movie theaters and restaurants and service providers such as hair and nail salons, it is still uncommon in dental practices. Only a quarter of all dentists allow patients to book appointments online.
Online scheduling is something patients want and having it helps dental practices retain patients and attract new ones. According to a survey published in HealthGrades:
- 77% of patients want the ability to schedule, change, or cancel appointments online.
- 40% of patients say they would consider switching to a new provider if online scheduling was available.
The average practice spends three hours or more each day on schedule management. So automating the scheduling process can free up staff time to work on other areas of your practice. By adding dental appointment software, you can meet patient expectations, grow your practice, increase efficiency, and reduce the burden on your staff.
Efficiency and time management are critical amid today’s labor shortage. Nearly half of the dentists surveyed said hiring and staffing challenges are limiting their ability to grow their practice, so automating appointment scheduling with cloud dental software can help ease the burden.
Instant Communication and Fast Answers
TrueLark’s AI tool allows patients to book appointments 24/7, automates front desk communication and provides patients with a faster, better experience. Since an AI engine powers it, the platform can reschedule appointments and answer frequent questions through your website or text. This frees up staff time and provides quick answers to patient concerns.
The right cloud-based dental practice management software can help dental practices communicate with potential patients with various lead generation management tools and omnichannel outreach.
For example, if someone online is looking for a dentist and asks you a question or contacts you on social media, you are more likely to gain a new patient if you respond quickly. With cloud dental software, you can engage with them immediately so you do not miss an opportunity — even if an inquiry comes in when your office is closed.
You can also proactively market to current and prospective patients using SMS text messaging by sending promotional offers, appointment reminders and announcements about new products and services.
Modernize Dental Practice Scheduling and Patient Support
Cloud dental software can book appointments directly into your dental practice management software (PMS) or booking platform, reschedule appointments and answer common questions patients and prospective patients have.
It also works 24/7. If current or potential patients call your office after hours or while your staff is busy, TrueLark automatically responds to the caller via SMS to ensure they receive a prompt response. This gives you maximum opportunity to capture every potential lead.
A highly intelligent AI engine creates a personalized approach to patient engagement and can handle 90% of all queries, which significantly reduces workload for your front office staff. Dental practices that have implemented TrueLark have seen a 75% engagement rate that converts leads into appointments and have realized a 20 to 1 return on investment (ROI) through improved efficiency and higher revenues.
Do you want to learn how dental appointment software can help you modernize scheduling and patient support? Contact TrueLark to book a demo.