4 Ways to Use Technology to Attract New Patients

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Imagine you need to bring your car in to the shop for a routine tune up. Would you prefer to:

Call the shop directly and schedule an appointment with the owner

Request an appointment on the auto shop’s website

If you’re over the age of 37, there’s a good chance you’d choose option A. You’re a Gen X-er or Baby Boomer who appreciates a conversation and enjoys making personal connections. Millennials, who are currently between the ages of 22 and 36, would most likely go with option B. Recent studies show that the Millennial generation does not like talking on the phone. They want convenience and results, not the exchange of pleasantries and a long discussion. If the auto shop didn’t have a website or online booking function, a Millennial might look for another business that does.

This is just one example of how technology can be used to attract new customers. In your case, it’s getting new patients in your chair and giving them an experience that makes them want to come back in six months. Millennials, who are expected to outnumber Baby Boomers as soon as 2019, perceive that providers who use technology are more knowledgeable and up to date on the latest care than those who don’t. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why integrating technology into your dental practice has never been more important.

Here are four ways to use technology to attract new patients.

Get a website

Your website is the online face of your practice. It doesn’t have to be flashy, but it should look modern and professional to attract new patients. Your website should answer all of the important questions people would call to ask, including your location, hours, and contact information. Describe who you are and what you offer. Do you specialize in dental implants, emergency services, or pediatric dentistry? If a patient visits your website and doesn’t find the information he or she needs, that person will get it from your competitors.

Think mobile-friendly

Every dental practice looking to attract new patients needs a mobile-friendly website. In 2017, Millennial internet users spent an average of 223 minutes per day on their mobile devices. There are many providers that offer easy-to-build websites with clean designs. Plus, they look beautiful on multiple screen sizes to capture your audience whether they’re browsing on a laptop or smart phone.

Allow online appointment requests

Millennials want faster and more convenient services using digital communication tools. This expectation includes the appointment booking process, which Millennials prefer to do online.

In a dental practice, we know that scheduling is best handled by front office staff. However, you may want to consider allowing your patients to request appointment times on your website using software that syncs with your practice management system. After a patient submits a request online, your staff can follow up with an email or text to schedule the appointment.

Set up a text messaging campaign

Millennials spend a ton of time on their phones, but don’t expect them to answer when you call. This generation is notorious for screening calls and ignoring voicemails. Many Millennials see the phone as overly intrusive and default to whichever communication method will help them complete their to-dos – like scheduling a dental appointment – more efficiently.

If you haven’t already, you can set up a text message campaign in your practice management software that sends each patient an appointment reminder. 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery, making them hard to ignore. Patients can reply with a quick text to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments.

The Millennial generation is on track to swell to 73 million Americans by 2019, surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest demographic. To appeal to this tech-savvy generation, dental practices will need to adapt quickly. A beautiful website that’s informative, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly is a great place to start. Allowing online appointment requests and setting up a text messaging campaign can also attract and retain new patients. If you don’t have a dedicated IT team on-site to help implement these new technologies, give us a call.

At Darby TechForce, we’re fluent in dental IT and can help you upgrade your practice with ease. If for some reason we don’t have the solution you’re looking for, we’ll find the answers for you. Just think of us as your off-site IT department that’s always available to help you choose the right products and services for your needs. Call 800-886-2093 (or if you’re a Millennial, email us) to see how we can help.

For more information on using technology to get more Millennial patients in your chair, check out our whitepaper: How Technology Can Help Attract and Retain Dental Patients.