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Every Dental Practice’s Must-have Website Feature for 2022

January 12, 2022 7 minutes To Read

Every Dental Practice’s Must-have Website Feature for 2022

Welcome to 2022. A world where “NFT’s,” “meta-verse,” and “pandemic” are part of our daily vocabulary and conversations. Yet despite these technological advances and trends that have some of the smartest minds still scratching their heads, there’s countless dental practices that are still lacking one of the most necessary features on their website today. 

It’s not good content. Everyone knows how important that is.

It’s not the click-to-call feature, which is so 2011.

Chatbots are a step in the right direction, yet not what we’re talking about

We’re talking about online scheduling. A must-have feature so incredibly crucial  to a positive patient experience on your website, it truly boggles our minds to understand why anyone would opt-out, or neglect adding, this critical website element in 2022.

Gone are the days patients care, or want, to ‘click to call’ your practice. These days, it’s almost safe to say people rather risk a cavity than have to click to talk to a human on the phone. 

Enter online appointments.

Online appointments make it easier than ever for new or existing patients to easily make their appointment online. They go to your website and cannot just request an appointment; but schedule it – date and time – right then, and right there. 

This dramatically reduces the chance that you lose out on a new patient simply because you have given them a streamlined, seamless way to communicate and connect with your practice.

Think about it: a prospective new patient is Googling dentists near them. They come to a competitors website that has an appointment request form, they enter their information but nothing is officially booked and this still leaves them with the ‘to-do’ of scheduling a dentist appointment.

They then go to your website. It looks nice and welcoming. They see they can instantly schedule an appointment online, easily comparing their calendar to yours. No back and forth with a receptionist on the phone saying ‘no that won’t work for me, what about Tuesday at 5?’ for 7 precious minutes.

Gone are the days patients care, or want, to ‘click to call’ your practice. These days, it’s almost safe to say people rather risk a cavity than have to click to talk to a human on the phone.

It’s simple. It’s streamlined. It’s immediate. It’s a brand new patient, direct to your practice.

They schedule their appointment with you from the comfort of their own home.

36 hours later they get an email or call from the competitive dental practice who received their appointment request. 

Too late, they’ve booked an appointment with you. To cancel with you would mean going back to your website to fill out a cancellation. Why go through the hassle? 

Your competitor just lost out on a new patient, and you have them coming to your practice next week.

In 2022, be the winner in this scenario, not the competitive firm that just lost a new patient opportunity because your practice doesn’t have the right tools and technology in place that creates an ideal patient experience.

As you can easily tell from this quick scenario, there’s a ton of upside from implementing one small – but significant – feature on your website.

Top 7 Benefits of Online Scheduling:

  1. Turn more prospective patients into your new patients. By keeping the momentum and removing obstacles, you encourage prospective patients to convert into your new patient by making an appointment right then and there, as they explore your website.  
  1. Enhance your overall patient experience and customer service. You can easily improve your customer service by doing things that keep patients happy and meeting them where they are. By saving them a few simple steps you can empower patients to create, manage, and modify their own appointments without having to go through back-and-forth with your office, which may turn them off.
  1. Give your office staff more time with patients in the office. By offering an online appointment booking feature, it’s less time for your front office staff to be on the phone with patients and allows them to focus on the patients that are actually at your practice.
  1. Be ‘on’ and available to patients, 24/7. This is a huge win as this cuts down on missed calls afterhours or needing to return voicemails, thereby ensuing a never-ending game of phone tag. Instead, your online appointment schedule works 24/7 so patients can schedule an appointment with you at their convenience. 
  1. Prevent back-and-forth. Gone are the days where you have to play phone tag with patients or go back and forth asking them “Dr. John isn’t available on Tuesday, what about your Wednesday? You can’t do Wednesday? What about Friday?….” and so on, and so forth. An online appointment scheduler is upfront and allows patients to easily and instantly hold a time that works best for them.
  1. Get improved insights. Online appointment booking systems can show you details about your business such as peak hours, popular appointment times, and more.
  2. Reduce human error. Many times miscommunications can happen while booking an appointment, names can be mistyped, and dates/times can be misconstrued. By having an online appointment booking system in place you can ensure you have the correct contact details of all of your patients and utilize this to further improve your reach of marketing campaigns.

Many times miscommunications can happen while booking an appointment, names can be mistyped, and dates/times can be misconstrued.

Now that you know the benefits of this critical feature for your website, you need to make sure you’re able to correctly assess which vendor may be able to provide the right tool for your practice. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask vendors to inform your decision:

  1. Is the software user-friendly for visitors? You want to get a demo of the software and ensure that your patients would instantly feel comfortable navigating it, to ensure the adoption would be high. Clunky, non-intuitive software is a no-go. 
  1. Does the software have a contract and if so, what’re the terms? Look for companies who offer flexible solutions based on your needs, goals, and budgets. Make sure you’re clear about their policies and terms.
  1. How quickly can you be up and running with the software? Most appointment booking software takes XX days to implement. At Practice By Numbers, we have you up and running within XX days so you can start maximizing your appointment books right away.
  1. Does the software integrate with your practice management system and/or other systems that you use on a daily basis? Some software may only offer patients the option to request a timeslot; but it doesn’t completely confirm an appointment. A proper software should integrate with your scheduling system to allow patients to book a true appointment right on your website.
  1. Do I have the ability to customize the scheduling features the way I want? Find out if you can set a limit on how far out patients can book an appointment at specific times of days, and other features that may be important to you such as if the software can handle various appointment types, complex availabilities of staff, and more.

Want more questions you should be asking? Look out for our forthcoming blog post that will highlight 25 must-ask questions when looking for the right online booking appointment software for 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!

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