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Software of Excellence Blog

How to: Drive attendance in your private practice

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We know that this is a busy time for your practice, meaning FTAs, incomplete treatment plans and short notice cancellations can be critical – not only for the continued growth of your practice (not to mention the day-to-day operation) but for the oral health of your patients. 

So how can you drive attendance and maintain a steady flow of patients in your practice without adding a long list of additional work to your practice’s daily tasks? The answer: automation. 

Reviewing your current workflows and finding out where you can automate processes will not only save your team valuable hours each month, but you will find that you are dedicating more time for the interactions that matter with your patients. 

How's your ‘shop front’ looking? 

Whether a patient is on the hunt for a new practice or an existing patient is booking in for their next check-up, your website and Google My business is going to be at the forefront of their search – does your online presence offer everything the patient needs to (want to) take action? 

For existing patients, they will be looking for convenience. Making your practice more accessible with the addition of an Online Booking System is part and parcel of a modern-day service. Your patient is used to ordering takeaways online, booking a haircut online and even buying a holiday online – so why would booking a dental appointment be any different?  transparent_SOE_HOMEPAGE_PATIENT EXPERIENCE HER TWEAK_540x730

A recent study conducted by Software of Excellence showed that 46.7% of calls to practices go unanswered or to voicemail (in data analysis of 23,024 calls) - this means that if you’re relying on this as your source of patient bookings, you could be missing out on a large number of revenue opportunities. Instead, automating this process will result in: 

  • Minimised patient frustration – A missed phone call is less likely to cost you a patient to competitors. If they are looking to book an appointment or action a recall, they can do it themselves even out of hours... increasing attendance, loyalty, treatment completion and therefore patient satisfaction rates. 
  • Less pressure on your admin team – the phone will no longer be ringing off the hook for bookings, allowing for a calmer and more personalised reception experience when a patient is in practice. Phone calls can be reserved for patient queries, something that should be prioritised to prevent FTAs, incomplete treatment plans and short notice cancellations. 

For new patients in the discovery stage, they will be looking for recommendations - in the digital age, this presents itself in the form of online patient reviews. 

Did you know that 72% of customers say they use Google reviews to find businesses and 58% of consumers would be ready to pay more or travel further to visit companies with good reviews*. 

Our partnership with Working Feedback makes obtaining, monitoring and publishing these reviews easier than ever: 

  1. Automatic, personalised feedback requests are sent to patients when they complete a treatment via SMS and email. 
  2. Reviews submitted undergo moderation with Working Feedback and are published via Google My Business/directly to the review widget on your website. 
  3. You can rest easy knowing you’re receiving high quality, up to date feedback that influences patients to choose you, every time. 

Find out more about how Working Feedback can accelerate your practice reviews by contacting our team today. 

Don’t let them slip through the net 

Even after a new or existing patient has booked in for their appointment, unfortunately this can’t guarantee attendance. However, automating appointment reminders can be transformative, especially if the appointment was booked more than six months ago! Sending this communication will give the patient maximum opportunity to rebook if they can no longer make that date – meaning both their oral health and your appointment book doesn’t have to suffer. 

At Software of Excellence, we want to help you take control of your existing patient relationships and stand out to those in search of your services. Contact us today or visit us at our upcoming Practice growth Workshops to discover how we can support you and your private practice drive attendance. 

* https://findstack.com/online-review-statistics/