Advertising is expensive and time-consuming, so dental clinics should take advantage of time with their patient as much as possible. Here are some ways to utilise that time and keep your patient’s interest all at the same time.
Engage Your Patients
While your patients or potential patients are waiting in line or on hold, they can be frustrated. Advertisements that drone on and on lose interest quickly and music can make a wait more boring. Choosing what to play during this time can be crucial when it comes to advertising and fostering connections during these periods.
- Trivia Question
Trivia Questions can make your patients think. Ask trivial questions about dental care or statistics and general issues regarding dental care. They wait to hear an answer. It engages them in whatever topic you choose – engage the patient’s interest while still taking advantage of the downtime. Leave a short wait period after asking the question; sneaking in a small advertisement during this time is a valid option. Questions that pertain to your unique approach or current offers will engage them more in what you are offering.
- Fun Facts
“Did you know” seems like an overused phrase but still captures attention. Remember, if your patient is calling, they are already interested in your services, so fun facts about different dental care areas and dental maintenance allow for indirect promotions that keeps the patient engaged without seeming like they are listening to a blatant advertisement.
- Call to Action
Keep the mood upbeat and keep your call to action short and straightforward. “Ask us about our (insert the newest product here)” is always great because it is short and simple. Add the above trivia question to revolve around that product and your keeping interest, yet educating your patient at the same time.
- Add a Personal Message
With a personal message, you’re never going to engage every client 100%, but it has been proven that when customers listen to an advertisement or story, they picture it in their mind. Engage them with a personal standpoint. Once again, it is always good to keep it short and sweet, but mentioning how your feature service will fit into their health care regiment and their families will enable more attachment to the service.
Patients tend to have anxiety about dental appointments. Humour is an excellent way to break up that anxiety and ease the stress a little bit. Simple kid jokes are commonly the way to go. They are family-friendly, and as long as they are short and simple, even the people that don’t laugh will think it’s “cute”. Most dental anxiety comes from the hesitation and building up of stress before the appointment. A simple joke about teeth will usually break up the tension, while adding calming and reality to the situation.
Save Time With Your On Hold Messages
For your patients and your office, it is beneficial to answer popularly asked questions and inform patients with content such as tips and oral health facts. If your office is busy, patients will become increasingly frustrated at getting simple questions answered, which is also a way to waste valuable time for your office staff when they could focus on other things.
Here are a few examples of good content to have play via your dental on-hold messages:
- Office Hours- Your regular office hours and any changes in office hours during holidays or other times your normal office hours change. Keeping this updated will allow simple questions regarding changes in appointment times, etc., to be readily available to your patients without your office staff having to deviate from their main duties.
- Accepted Insurance- Listing the most commonly accepted health insurance providers in your network will allow new patients or patients with a change of insurance to have all the information at their fingertips. Since the insurance acceptable in your network doesn’t often change or deviate from its course, this is an excellent way to answer a question and also save time from being wasted on patients that you can’t help anyway.
- What to expect or how to prepare for their appointment- To keep you from having to express an hour’s worth of on-hold messaging, keep it simple. “For a regular or first appointment you can expect…”, or simple statements like, “Unless otherwise discussed, nothing is needed to prepare for a cleaning”.
- Commonly Asked Questions- Used in the form of care tips, answering commonly asked questions will save time and ease the anxiety of a situation. Answer questions like, how long after a whitening do you recommend waiting before you eat? By answering these questions, if they are calling to set an appointment, they will already know, and little pieces of advice or answering questions they may not think to ask will help them feel more prepared for their appointment.
Adding little tips in between something that engages your patients will also reduce the frustration of wait times. Patients can be stressed or anxious, and breaking up hold times with a calming and upbeat on-hold message can help relax some patients.
People feel more comfortable when they are informed of situations or feel like they know who they will be seeing. Humour and being informed are both ways of comforting your patients, but it can also save your office and staff time to give facts and answer commonly asked questions!