7 Common Online Appointment Booking Myths, Busted
When it comes to implementing an online appointment booking system, it is always surprising to hear how many concerns dentists still have today when it comes to adding such a critical feature to their website. However, these concerns and considerations are extremely valid – so we wanted to take some time to put some false myths behind appointment scheduling to bed.
Take a look at the common myths we hear, and find the real truth behind these scenarios!
Common myth #1: “My patients don’t know what services they need.”
Many hesitations come with giving patients too much control and not trusting that they know what they’re doing. However, online appointment scheduler systems prompt the patient with a series of questions to help ensure they have been booked for the correct appointment or procedure with you and your staff.
Because the online booking system only allows for predictable procedures (e.g. new patient appointment, emergency exams, cleanings, implants, orthodontist consultations, etc.) – you are able to set a pre-defined time that is needed for the appointment so the scheduler knows exactly how and where you are available for a patient.
Common myth #2: “If someone really wants to schedule an appointment with me, they’ll call or fill out an online request form.”
Today is all about delivering convenience to your patients. And, most patients are on your website after hours (before or after the normal 9-to-5). That means they are more likely to reach your voicemail and are about to ensue in a game of never-ending phone tag with you and your front office staff. By offering an online appointment scheduler right on your website, you’re able to keep the momentum going, your patient is able to officially ‘check’ something off of their to-do list, and you are able to maximize your calendar.
Common myth #3: “I will lose the personal touch with my patients by having everything digitized.”
Contrary to popular belief, having digitized options is actually what your patients want (more convenience) and it gives you the ability to become even more personalized with your communications. With the right systems in place, you can send patients a follow up ‘thank you for scheduling!’ email that confirms their appointment, along with a series of other personalized reminders and follow-ups.
Common myth #4: “I run a small practice and this investment doesn’t seem like it’s worth it to me.”
As a small practice, you’re competing against larger dental practices that most definitely have the latest tools and technologies in place. Smaller practices can sometimes look like they’re ‘behind’ the times by not delivering what is perceived as the most up-to-date patient experience. If your practice is still setting appointments manually or has other dated forms of taking down patient information, they may begin to think that your expertise as a dentist is dated, too. By investing in technologies that make your patients lives more convenient while helping your practice appear up-to-date, it will help increase patient loyalty while keeping your reputation in tip-top shape.
Common myth #5: “I am nervous the software is going to accidentally overbook or double book me or my team.”
Practice By Numbers has a unique software that syncs with your practice management system to avoid overbooking. The appointments that are available in the practice management system will be the only ones that appear on your website. Practice by Numbers also identifies where there may be a possible overbooking occurring, and allow you to either decline or accommodate the double booked appointment.
Common myth #6: “I am going to have less control over my schedule.”
Practice By Numbers gives you complete customization and flexibility when it comes to your schedule. In fact, you can decide which providers, which days, and which chairs are available. You can even create custom blocks of time where you are marked as ‘unavailable’ – so on the days where you may be taking an afternoon off work, or have another personal appointment, you can easily block that time and date out accordingly.
Common myth #7: “It’s too expensive.”
By simply converting just a few website leads into new appointments and patients for your practice, you will have paid for the software instantly. Additionally, the software helps increase convenience to patients, which increases their satisfaction and loyalty to your practice – giving you a long-term, winning strategy.
Because Practice By Numbers offers various bundle packages, you can actually save money by getting an all-in-one solution.
At the end of the day, inconvenient office hours and being put on hold when scheduling an appointment frustrates over 56% of patients. While adding an online appointment scheduler to y our practice can seem like a steep mountain to climb at first, it is certainly worth the investment when you look at all of its perks:
- Greater convenience for patients
- Increase in new patient appointments
- Maximize your schedule with appointments
- Reduce time spent on the phone
- Focus on patients currently at your practice
Spend time with each patient discussing other forms of treatment that can be implemented during their visit. This could include transferring an existing crown to an implant, or offering teeth whitening treatments. Having up-to-date skills and knowledge of the latest dental procedures is always a plus!
Maximizing production per visit is critical in running an efficient dental practice. Taking steps to improve your team’s productivity not only benefits the practice, but it also enhances the overall patient experience. From improving patient communication to efficient scheduling and upselling cosmetic treatments, there are a multitude of strategies that dental professionals can use to increase production per visit. Utilizing the tips outlined here is a surefire way to improve the value of each patient visit while increasing profitability.
Remember to measure your progress regularly, track your production per visit, and adjust your strategies as needed. With the right mindset and approach, you can succeed in achieving your production per visit goals and growing your dental practice.
Ready to get started?
Practice by Numbers offers online appointment bookings to help you keep the momentum going when new patients arrive on your site and creates ease and convenience for your existing patients.
Learn more about how to increase patient appointments with Practice by Numbers and schedule a call today!