Why letting your patients book appointments online is vital for your dental practice

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Saffron Edge

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Jun 4, 2018

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4 min read

dental Recently, we have been talking a lot about getting more patients for your dental practice by marking your presence online in distinct ways. One sure fire way that dentists must focus on to bring in more patients to their practice is localization and the other is collecting and maintaining reviews about the services you provide. But are these the only ways dental practices can bring in more patients through their door? Absolutely not! In this post, we will talk about another proven way that can result in some serious dental business for your practice. And it’s not even that hard to implement. Actually, it has a lot to do with facilitating patient appointments. Figured it out yet? We are talking about letting your patients book appointments online through your own dental website. Which can be easily implemented on your website with the help of a software or a web development agency, like us, that can integrate this functionality on your website for you. Doesn’t matter how you do it, the bottomline is that you really have to provide your patients the option of booking appointments online. Why?

Studies suggest so…

getapp-research GetApp, a leading directory of business apps, recently conducted a research on patient behavior when it comes to booking appointments for a treatment. Here are some of its key findings -
  • 70% of patients prefer to schedule doctor’s appointments online when compared to doing it via call or by any other means.
  • 56.4% of respondents are frustrated with waiting on hold when it comes to scheduling appointments by phone.
  • 31% of respondents were more likely to choose a competitor if they offered online booking functionality on their website.
The study clearly highlights a trend shift in the way patients prefer booking their medical treatments and it seems like they want the experience just to be like the way they hire a cab or order food online. Quick and easy. But the shift has been gradual and is not in any way new to the medical industry. Many forward-thinkers predicted this trend shift early on and added the functionality on their websites to get a headstart. Many small to medium sized dental practices that started providing this functionality, before anyone else, to their website visitors have witnessed growth and some patients even claimed that they chose them just because they had this functionality on their website.

The story of Zocdoc

I don’t think there’s a better example than Zocdoc when it comes to explaining the power of letting patients book appointments online. The founder of Zocdoc, Oliver Kharraz, is a forward-thinker himself and predicted this trend shift early (I mean really early. Like, in 2007) and capitalized on it by creating a platform that did just that, book medical appointments online. By using the Zocdoc platform, patients could choose the medical services they want and book appointments online with the available doctors nearby that provide those exact services. The platform reportedly reduced the wait time of booking medical appointments from a staggering 45 days in some cities to just 24 hours, which is amazing if you are looking to get some quick medical attention. The result, more than 6 million patients today use Zocdoc to find doctors and book appointments with them online in the United States alone. Need more convincing about how implementing an online appointment booking functionality on your website will do you only good and no harm. Here are 4 more reasons to go for it right now -
  1. Ease of Access

    When you provide an option to your patients to book an appointment with you directly from your website, you reduce a lot of friction. It saves your patients from going through the unnecessary hassle of calling your practice to book an appointment and saves a lot of wait time in the process as well.Moreover, with you providing the online booking facility, your patients will feel like you are dedicated in what you do and care about their wants and needs. Which is great, trust really matters in the dental space.
  2. At work 24*7

    Having an appointment scheduler widget on your website means that you are ready to take in appointments as they come. Your practice will no longer be limited to your front end executive availability in the office to take calls and confirm bookings.
  3. Reduces no-shows

    The traditional appointment scheduling method, that involved calling, took somewhere around 15-20 days to successfully book a treatment. On the other hand, online booking appointments take somewhere around 24 hours (at max) to completely book treatments, which reduces no-shows and lost revenues by a big margin.
  4. More conversions

    Obviously, when there will be an easy option to book appointments on your website, there will be increased conversions as well. All your marketing efforts will bore more fruit if you have an appointment scheduler placed on your website’s homepage. Many practitioners have claimed that placing the scheduler on their website has increased their conversions by as much as 40% and in the dental sphere, 40% is still a lot of long-term business!
Nothing enhances the patient experience on your website more than an appointment scheduler. We understand its importance and it’s about time you understood it too (if you haven’t already) As I said before, implementing it on a website is as easy as installing a plugin from the Wordpress plugin store. If you are facing any difficulties in integrating it on your website, you can use our help as well. dental

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