How many people who visit your dental website for the first time actually call your office to make an appointment? Having a website that ranks well in search engines and gets a decent amount of visitors every month is great, but if you’re not seeing results from those visits in terms of new patients, the website isn’t doing its job.
Most of the time, the main call to action on a dental website urges new visitors to call the office to make an appointment. But what happens when new visitors reach your office outside of normal business hours? You may have an answering service, but do your visitors know that they can reach someone even outside of your normal business hours that are listed on your website?
Even if they do reach someone in your office over the phone when they call, the conversation may go something like this:
Potential patient: “Hi, I found your website online and I’d like to schedule an appointment.”
Office staff: “Great, when would you like to come in?”
Potential patient: “Ideally, as soon as possible”
Office staff: “OK, our next available appointment is on Thursday at 10 a.m.”
Potential patient: “Hm, I don’t think that time will work with my schedule.”
Office staff: “Alright, well we do have an opening the following week on Tuesday at 4 p.m.”
Potential patient: “Unfortunately, that time won’t work for me either. I’ll have to call you back.”
The potential patient probably doesn’t call back, but calls another dental office that probably has an available appointment during a time when they need it.
Cater to Patients with Convenience
When looking to schedule an appointment with a new dental office, convenience is the number one factor for patients when making a choice of which office to call or ultimately schedule with. What if you could portray that message of convenience almost immediately when new visitors reach your site? Incorporating an online scheduling feature on your website is a great way to do that.
With an online scheduling feature, patients don’t even have to pick up the phone to make an appointment. Better yet, with the right type of software, they’re able to view open appointment times in calendar view rather than having someone on the other end of the phone read through a laundry list of available appointment times.
With a few clicks and entering some basic contact information, patients can schedule their appointment the very moment that they’re thinking about doing it. They don’t have to wait till they’re available for a phone call or the next morning when you’re back in the office to talk to someone to set it up.
The Added Benefits
Online appointment scheduling has its benefits for your office, too. Beyond just capturing a greater number of conversions from your site, the process automatically provides your office with contact information for this new patient and their most preferred methods for contact. Your staff is able to respond with an appointment confirmation phone call, as well as integrate their contact information to your current appointment reminder software to send emails, texts, or automated voice calls.
Incorporating an online appointment scheduling feature on your website doesn’t have to be complex or costly. In fact, there are plenty of options on the market currently for free or inexpensive software programs that fit seamlessly with your existing website platform and your in-office scheduling software. Taking an extra step to add even more of a convenience factor for potential patients now can make a big difference in future revenues.