adult woman sitting at desk and answering phone

1. You Don’t Answer The Phone

All your marketing is to get patients to call you or schedule an appointment online. When we work with dentists, our primary goal is to get patients on the phone because we know that real, human communication is the best way to gain new patients. That’s why the top of our dental websites and main pages have multiple “calls to action” (CTAs). These CTAs direct people to call the office. Of course, some people prefer to make appointments online, and we have a CTA for that, too. But generally speaking, receiving a phone call from a prospective patient means they’re looking to schedule an appointment right then.

Now, you probably think you answer the phone. It’s not like you let the phone ring off the hook all day. But you may not be answering it as much as you think, leaving patients on the table. The truth is that patients won’t call you back if they don’t get what they want. They’ll try the next dental office on their list. So answering the phone on the first ring or two is extremely important!

We recently analyzed data from our busiest clients. These dental offices are booked weeks in advance and have a steady flow of new patients. Our data showed that 23% of all their calls go to voicemail, and 63% are hang-ups—meaning that the patient hangs up before leaving a voicemail message! This data tells us that there are plenty of untapped potential patients. Hopefully, these dental offices called the voicemails back, but hang-ups are different and might mean you’ve missed out on a high-quality patient. Here are some tips to negate missed calls and get more patients.

  • Make sure someone is available to answer phones during the lunch hour. You may need to stagger your front desk staff’s lunches.
  • Avoid using a phone tree. People don’t like it, and we have found that phone trees increase hang-ups.
  • Answer the phone on the first ring or two.
  • Call voicemails back ASAP
  • Have your advertising set to run when your office is open. That way, you’ll be available to speak with all the potential patients your ads bring in.

2. You Don’t Follow Up With Online Forms Quickly Enough

How quickly does your dental office follow up with online appointment requests? You might think that since the potential patient emailed or filled out an online form, they’re willing to wait for a response. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. These people still want quick service, and your dental office must act quickly on online appointment requests. Your potential patient won’t wait forever, usually not even a day. They want to hear from you. Otherwise, they’ll try a different dental practice. Here are some tips for following up quickly.

  • Designate times that your front desk staff will check for new patient online appointment requests and call them back. You might need more than one person at your desk to do this.
  • Be sure that the person following up is knowledgeable about all your dental services and your office’s fee structure and can quickly schedule an appointment while the patient is on the phone.
  • Schedule an appointment for patients right away. This goes for phone calls too. Make sure that when the patient hangs up, they have an appointment scheduled. You can worry about paperwork in the days leading to their appointment.

3. You Have Incorrect Information Online

Having incorrect information online is highly frustrating to potential patients! Have you ever driven somewhere just to find out that they’re closed and the hours on Google were wrong? It leaves you feeling frustrated and angry with the business. Patients feel the same way when you have incorrect information online.

Make sure you know all the sites showing your contact information and that the information is correct. You likely have not even created these profiles; many times, the profiles are created for you, showing the wrong website, phone number, hours, or even doctors who work there. While most people use your Google Business Profile to find business information, you’d be surprised how many people use sites like HealthGrades and Yahoo. Here is how you can update your listings.

  • Search for your dental office online and check out all the listings.
  • Follow the instructions to claim your profile.
  • Update your information.

Speaking of Google, your Google Business Profile is a high-quality piece of real estate! Claim your profile, update your information, and continue to update it with posts. Think of your Google Business Profile as a mini website.

Looking for some more tips? Check out our blog, “Top 10 Dental Marketing Best Practices”.

Use These Tips to Capture New Patients

Use these tips to capture more patients. If you do these things and still want new patients, call Pro Impressions Marketing at (970) 672-1212 or schedule a consultation online.

We can help you gain more new patients and grow your dental practice.