Maximizing Dental Practice Efficiency and Attracting Patients: Software and Marketing Tips

Managing dental referrals can be tedious, involving phone calls, emails, and endless paperwork. Dental referral software offers a comprehensive solution by digitizing the entire process. You can send and receive referrals, track their progress, and easily communicate with other dental practices with just a few clicks. Say goodbye to lost referrals and hello to a more organized and efficient workflow! How to improve dental practice efficiencies with software and grow your business with marketing. Let’s go!

at the dentist

Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash


Improving Efficiencies with Referral Software

There are a few critical benefits for dental providers and practices implementing dental referral software.

1. Enhanced Efficiency: Dental referral software eliminates the need for manual processes, allowing you to save time and effort. You can quickly create and send referrals to colleagues, reducing the chances of errors and delays. Additionally, the software streamlines communication by providing a centralized platform to exchange information and updates effortlessly.

2. Improved Collaboration: Collaboration among dental professionals is crucial for successful patient care. Dental referral software fosters seamless collaboration by facilitating communication between referring and receiving dentists. You can securely share patient information, X-rays, and treatment plans, ensuring a smooth transition and continuity of care.

3. Better Patient Experience: Patients often appreciate a seamless referral process; dental referral software can help you achieve that. With this software, you can track the progress of referrals, ensuring patients are not lost in the system. This streamlined approach enhances patient satisfaction and builds trust in your practice.

4. Comprehensive Reporting: Dental referral software provides valuable insights into your referral patterns, allowing you to make data-driven decisions. You can generate reports on referral sources, success rates, and referral outcomes. This information empowers you to optimize your referral network, identify areas for improvement, and strengthen your practice’s relationships.

There are other ways for dental practices to improve office efficiencies and grow their business: making sure the practice and staff are making it easy for future patients to find them and for current patients to make appointments.

The prevalence of mobile devices has skyrocketed in the consumer marketplace to the point where it affects our daily lives at every moment, which presents a massive opportunity for businesses and healthcare providers to connect with the right people.

Consumers are using their phones for directions in the car, to get recommendations on where to eat, to browse the web as they wait for their appointments at the dentist, and more. The Mobile Consumer Habits study cites that 72% of respondents to the survey reported being within five feet of their smartphones most of the time.

What does this mean for dentists trying to connect with potential patients in their area? It presents an unprecedented chance to connect with residents substantially, improving the process and the relationship between a dental practice and their current and existing clients through mobile.

Dental Marketing 101

The first step for any dental practitioner looking to market their practice on mobile devices is to understand the practical uses of this form of marketing.

The three main reasons dentists should be focused on mobile marketing are:

1. To cater to the experience of web users regardless of what device they are using when browsing your website.

2. To strengthen your visibility in local searches conducted on smartphones.

3. To improve communications between your dental practice and patients through texting.

When it comes to mobile marketing, it is essential always to start small and streamline your approach, focusing on your mobile presence as it applies to your overall marketing goals. Setting benchmarks for a successful mobile campaign is crucial for long-term measurable success.

A successful mobile campaign should be measured in line with your overall marketing goals, such as trying to attract new patients, retain existing patients, increase referrals, generate buzz or drive traffic to your website.

How can these marketing goals be achieved through mobile?

  • Attract new patients by increasing your rankings in local mobile searches.
  • Retain existing patients through SMS text messaging reminders and campaigns.
  • Increase referrals by providing mobile incentives to existing patients.
  • Generate buzz by utilizing location-based social media on mobile.
  • Drive traffic to your website through mobile ads, local search and SMS text messaging.

What Does Mobile Mean

With the clear reasoning for utilizing mobile marketing and the goals to measure if a campaign is successful, it is time to understand mobile marketing lingo to set up your strategy accurately. Here is the most critical terminology to know when discussing mobile marketing for this article:

  • Responsive Design: A web design approach that automatically optimizes a website for the optimal viewing experience, whether viewed on a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop.
  • SMS Text Messaging: Text messaging service (opt-in)is offered as a part of a mobile subscription plan for all types of mobile devices. SMS can be used to message others, subscribe to something, pay for something, and receive notifications.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing your website and other online properties to be searchable in the major search engines for relevant keyword searches.
  • Local Search: When a user is looking for your website based on a physical location, your website and social media profiles need to rank at the top of the search results with the correct address, phone number, and contact info o.It is a critical aspect of your SEO strategy to optimize your physical locations for local searches that are often conducted on mobile devices and will most likely result in an action taking place like a phone call or a visit. For instance, optimizing for local search helps someone searching for a dentist in Chicago find your practice if it is located in Chicago.
  • Web Analytics: The science of analyzing the traffic to a web property, often through a platform like Omniture, Google Analytics, Compete, Quantcast, MOZ, and more. Understanding the frequency, number of visitors, the sources of traffic, etc., can help any organization better their strategy for driving more traffic and reaching their goals.
  • Check-Ins: When a user visits a business or organization’s physical location, they can share this visit from their mobile phone on Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, or other social channels with their friends. This action creates a post on their profile on their chosen channel, alerting their network about this user’s experience at this location.
  • Page Views: The number of visits to a particular page on your website from users on desktops, mobile phones, and other devices, which could be a combination of multiple visits to that page by the same visitor or visits from many visitors.

For more mobile marketing terminology, check out this glossary from the Mobile Marketing Association.

Define Your Mobile Strategy

Your strategy with mobile should be simple, process-driven, driven, and measurable. Here are suggested focuses for dentists and their practices.

Responsive Design

If your practice doesn’t have a website yet, then the time is now to build one. It does not have to be extensive, but a simple high-level view of your dental practice, contact information, and service offerings.

Making sure that this website is mobile-friendly is essential to ensure visitors who find your practice online can learn more about your business without any roadblocks.

If you have an existing website and a web analytics tool monitoring your traffic, check to see the percentage of traffic from mobile devices. You will be surprised at the number of visitors viewing your website from mobile, even without it being responsive. Can you imagine the difference in converting web visitors to patients if your website did work properly on mobile?

Responsive Design

Responsive design is often noted as the best means of ensuring a website is mobile and search engine friendly, regardless of the device used to view your website. If you have an existing website, even if it is brand new, then you can proceed down one of two paths.

First, your dental practice can invest in upgrading to a responsive website from a web designer or firm, which is expensive but the best investment in the long term.

If not, the second option is to create a mobile version of your website through an app or DIY mobile service. These solutions are typically affordable or have no cost at all, like GinWiz, Mofuse, or BMobilized. This option is an excellent short-term solution for updating your website to mobile while building the budget necessary to upgrade to a responsive website in the future.

If you don’t have a website, hire a web design firm or web designer to build your responsive site or look for solutions to make it yourself. To create a responsive website, utilize services like Wix or Weebly if you are a beginner or WordPress if you are a more advanced user. Each of these services offers mobile-friendly solutions when building a website, and all three services have free versions, which are especially useful for creating a smaller website.

Local Search Marketing

Ensuring that your website comes up high in the search engines for local searches as a dentist is very important. To help optimize your website for the search engines, include text throughout your practice’s site that naturally provides the right keywords, like Omaha Dentist or Dentist Office in NYC. Describe your service offerings, including customer testimonials, start a blog, and add title tags and meta descriptions to all your pages to help benefit from the search engines.

On-Page Optimization

This screenshot illustrates how the pages on your website will be featured in the search engines. The text in blue is the title tag, defined by the website owner as the 65-character title of a particular page and considered by the search engines as to what the page is about.

The green text is the URL, or the web address, of the particular page on your website, which you can define. Lastly, the black text is an a150-character description of the page, an opportunity to tease and incite web visitors to click.

Lastly, register your dental practice on a Google+ Local page, Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook to ensure patients searching for your practice on these popular social media channels can find your organization. These channels also allow your dental practice to post content to your audience, driving more local visibility to your service offerings.

SMS Text Messaging

SMS text messaging can help your practice retain existing customers by ensuring fewer missed appointments could potentially hurt your revenue. Dentist offices typically send postcard reminders, phone calls, ls, or emails to remind existing patients of upcoming appointments.

One of the least invasive methods of alerting patients of an upcoming appointment is SMS text messaging, which saves the practice time and effort and has more robust results than phone, postcard, or email.

Dentist Text Messages

According to SimpleTextin, most text messages are read instantly and aren’t ignored, which makes the SMS approach the most effective way to reach your patients. Still not convinced? 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes of receipt, while less than 1% of all text messages go unread. SMS cannot be ignored as a powerful technique to market your practice on mobile.

How are you marketing your dental practice? What results has your organization seen through mobile marketing? 

Images courtesy of Eat Sleep Draw, Designmodo & Lockbox.

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