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Patient Prism's Dental Expert Blog

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Jake Puhl, co-founder of Firegang Dental Marketing and now CEO of the Dentist Entrepreneur Organization (DEO) speaks with Amol Nirgudkar, CEO of Patient Prism, about the importance of turning new patient calls into booked appointments and how Patient Prism’s AI software and call coaches have helped numerous DEO members increase the ROI of their marketing.

 

I am a self-proclaimed marketing nerd, and I love marketing. Before I exited from Firegang and moved on to the DEO, I was into what's happening in dental practice marketing. We did marketing for hundreds of practices across the U.S. and Canada, and I was able to see a cross section. 

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A huge 50% of new patient calls are not converting to appointments.

The typical practice books up to 50% of incoming calls from potential new patients. I observed firsthand that it is one thing to spend money on making your phone ring and quite another when someone at the front desk is not well trained to answer those calls. To fill their schedule, most dental practices throw more money at marketing to drive in more calls, but receptionists can have live conversations just so many times in a day. Each call they do answer must count, and they need to quickly call back patients who leave inquiries on voicemail.

The conversion cost per patient goes down and the cost of marketing goes down when the percentage of new patients booked increases. Patient Prism has made it possible to easily and quickly learn why new patient calls are missed or fail, and the software provides feedback and callback alerts within an hour. 

 

Patient Prism data enables you to spot and solve conversion problems.

Patient Prism’s on-demand, call data for any period enables you to determine your conversion problems:

  • Are the calls not being picked up by a live person? 
  • Are the callers being put on hold too long?
  • Are receptionists fumbling with questions posed to them? Which receptionists? Which questions?
  • Are receptionists sounding empathetic, or do they seem uninterested?
  • Are receptionists sounding eager to help, or do they sound impatient?
  • Are receptionists inadvertently shutting down the patient by not extending themselves to help?
  • Are receptionists able to quickly make a personal connection with strangers on the other end or do conversations sound robotic? 
  • Are receptionists offering an appointment?
  • Are your marketing messages attracting the type of patients you intended?
  • Are lots of patients seeking something you do not offer, such as Saturday appointments?
  • Are lots of patients in your community on a dental plan for which you are out of network?

You have the information you need to decide if you should do one or more of the following:

  • Modify front desk staffing so more people answer calls during peak hours and fewer go to voicemail or on hold. 
  • Redistribute the workload, so the front desk team is not forced to multi-task while answering the phone.
  • Train one or more of your receptionists who need to develop their phone skills. 
  • Motivate your front desk team to convert a higher percentage of callers.
  • Expand your hours or services.
  • Go in-network with a particular insurance plan.
  • Modify your marketing messages.

 

When the phone receptionist lacks experience, converting the new patient is difficult to do.

Everything is dependent on the first two minutes of the phone conversation. That’s when the dental practice is making a first impression that either leads to the patient booking an appointment or fails to do this. When it is a high-value patient, for example, one interested in dental implant treatment, it can be a nerve-wracking call, because callers want details and are commonly shopping around.

The artificial intelligence (AI) software, combined with live call coach review, on the Patient Prism platform is making it easy and fast to learn about what is happening on your phones and for your front desk or call center receptionists to improve quickly. Team members soon feel at ease with Patient Prism coaching and are converting significantly more callers during that first conversation.

Patient Prism makes it possible for you to callback high-value new patients and try a second time to schedule that person. The system not only alerts you; it prepares you for the callback. And dental practices are seeing 25-30% of these called back patients making appointments because they were impressed by the outreach and genuine second offer to help.

 

Invest in Patient Prism to lower marketing costs while increasing patient conversion.

Everyone sees their phones as a cost. I see them as an investment. Software helps, but it is not always the answer. The human assisted AI software of Patient Prism saves tons of time and gathers information you could not otherwise gather. It aggregates the data and reports it in ways that are usable.

We have a lot of DEO members who use Patient Prism, and they're getting a large return on investment. Anytime they lose a patient on the phone, they can identify that and make the correction. Maybe they won’t win the new patient with a callback, but the next time they speak with a new patient, they will have learned and communicate better. There’s a giant ROI on that patient who becomes a patient for life. Whether you are a private practice with a single location, a multi-location group or a dental service organization, take a hard look at using Patient Prism.

You can schedule a Patient Prism demo at a date and time that is convenient for you. See how this call-coaching platform rapidly provides feedback, trains phone receptionists, and reports data intelligently so you can convert more callers into high-value customers.

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More Patient Prism Resources 

The Patient Prism blog and the Patient Prism Academy video library feature hundreds of dental industry experts presenting recommendations and examples for leading and growing your dental practice, multi-location group, or DSO. 

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