Your patients don’t want to "request" an appointment.
Here at LocalMed, we talk to dentists everyday. And 95% of the time, when we bring up the topic of online scheduling, most dentists are quick to say that they already have it.
But when we pull up their practice website, we quickly discover that they simply have a contact form with a button to “request an appointment” or are using a “scheduling platform” that has the same functionality as the contact form - it simply submits a request.
We’re here to tell you that there’s a better way to book appointments online - one that will convert more of your web traffic AND keep the extra work off your front desk.
When you focus on your patient experience, you win.
Clinical skills are important, no doubt! But the reality is that when you create an outstanding patient experience, you’ll earn more positive reviews (which generate referrals and new patients) than by doing an excellent technical job alone.
In a recent study of over 35,000 online healthcare reviews, clinical skills were only responsible for 4% of negative reviews (Becker’s Healthcare Review). The other 96% were customer-service related, and of those, 53% were related specifically to communication (Vanguard Communications 2016). In fact, one of the most commonly-used phrases among the unhappiest patients in the study was “... to get an appointment …”
Creating a frictionless booking and follow-up process for your potential patients should be a priority for any office looking to improve their customer experience. And the patient process begins with booking an appointment - where a “request form” is not going to cut it.
Why is an appointment “request” option so bad?
Glad you asked!
Imagine trying to book a flight for your next vacation, and instead of a full list of available flights, times and seats, the airline just gave you a vague contact form to fill out and “request a flight”. Without any information as to when you might hear back, or any knowledge of what flights are even available.
Or if you were trying to buy something on Amazon, and instead of being able to do choose your quantity, shipping method and payment method, Amazon gave you no idea what is available - only the option to “request a purchase”.
You’d hate it. And that’s how your patients feel when the vague “request an appointment” form is on your website.
Instead of allowing a potential patient who’s ready to choose your office a seamless way of getting on your schedule, you’re putting all sorts of barriers up when their only options are to “request” an appointment, or call your office during business hours. With today’s technology, removing those roadblocks has never been easier - simply let your patient book their own appointment, 24/7.
The infinitely better option: real-time online scheduling.
This simple change in your patient onboarding process gives patients the ability to book an appointment with your practice just like they book flights, buy from Amazon, make dinner reservations and book rides.
For the patient, it provides a frictionless transition from “I like this dentist” to “Great, I can book an appointment right now!” There’s no need for them to remember to call during business hours, and no need to submit a “appointment request” with unknown response times (Accenture 2013 consumer survey).
For your practice, it means a higher conversion rate on all of your marketing efforts, less 8-minute scheduling phone calls and more fully-booked patients -- 100% of patients who schedule through LocalMed result in booked appointments.
Additionally, real-time online scheduling improves the patient experience because your staff can focus their full attention on the patients who are actually in the office, resulting in even higher patient satisfaction.
LocalMed improves your practice reputation
With LocalMed real-time online scheduling, your patients benefit from having a fully-booked appointment in under 2 minutes. From wherever they find you, at whatever time.
At the same time, your practice reaps the benefits from an improved patient experience, which addresses the 94% of negative customer complaints, and results in an improved practice reputation (Becker’s Healthcare Review).
Ready to make the switch from request to real-time?
LocalMed lets patients schedule appointments straight into your practice management system, just like your front desk would. You set your scheduling rules, and they’ll start booking appointments around the clock - even at 3am on a Sunday.
Learn more about how LocalMed can help your dental practice fill its schedule, 24/7.