Dentists Turn to Central Call Centers To Market New Dental Patients

Dentists Turn to Central Call CentersWhen it comes to assisting new dental patients, some dentists have turned to dental call centers to improve their exposure in the patient community.

It used to be that when a dentist opened a new dental office, his or her ability to market new patients over the phone was limited to a receptionist and an answering machine after hours. Needless to say this was not a very effective way to market new dental patients.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey to ask dentists what they think about utilizing a highly trained central call center to answer new patient phone calls or to talk with patients when the office is closed.

47% of the dentists surveyed were excited about the idea of a central call center. Another 21% were interested in the idea for when their office is closed. 7% liked the idea for new patients only, while 25% didn’t like the idea at all.

As usual, our dentists had a variety of responses to the idea of a central call center. Several dental practices are already using them. Below is what they had to say.

Love the idea –

“An excellent idea! I hope someone offers this service. It would be ideal if the service could connect with the office’s PMS, (practice management system), so appointments could actually be scheduled.” (Florida dentist)

“Already using Ultimate Phone Consierge. Excellent results 140+ phone calls per month 15-31 patients scheduled.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

Depends on the service –

“I have 4 practices and am ready to do it myself, but if it can be done better… I am all over that!” (Ohio dentist)

“I would have to be convinced for the new patient calls.” (Texas dentist)

Depends on the training –

“If they are highly trained I would support it, but I doubt seriously you are going to find ‘highly trained” in dental field working in a call center . . . something is wrong if they are.” (General dentist)

“Who trains? Where will they be located? Is it National?” (Minnesota dentist)

“They would need to be able to make appointments. “ (New Jersey dentist)

Depends on the cost –

“It must be comparable in fees with regular services except better for new patients.” (California dentist)

“Possibly interested. Obviously would depend upon the cost involved.” (Illinois dentist)

Depends on size of the dental practice –

“I think it is great for large offices, but for small single doctor practices probably not cost efficient.” (Rural Tennessee dentist)

“We are in a very small town; people expect to speak to someone they know. I do hate missing calls when we are closed.” (Rural Texas dentist)

Absolutely not –

“No way. Anything less than a direct contact with me or my staff would be inappropriate and delay treatment. I provide a phone line for emergencies and a sub when needed.” (Indiana dentist)

“I think it is worse to call somewhere and just be told that they are only an answering service and can’t help you vs. leaving a message if the office is closed. If new patients are calling our office during business hours, we better be answering the phones ourselves! ” (Michigan front-office employee)

“In this day and age with instant access via e-mail, cell phone or pager, why would anyone want to do this? The call center would probably have to get in touch with the doctor via e-mail, cell phone or pager so why even have it?” (Illinois dentist)

“I would rather pay to have my staff trained and then let patients be able to put a face with a name and a voice when they come to my office. An answering service is valuable for when the office is closed and no one is here to take calls.” (Kansas dentist)

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 3

Dr  Harvey Silverman Last week, I shared with you the first step of How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 2 Creating Self-Awareness Through A Self -Evaluation of Your Practice.

The most successful practices that we have worked with have followed these simple steps in their quest to reach this goal. In an effort to help you achieve those same successes, let’s move on to the next step.

Step 2 — SCRAP THE TABLOIDS, SHARE SOME SMILES

Where is your cosmetic dentistry photo album? Is it hidden under a pile of magazines?

As a prospective patient would you have a challenge even seeing this educational tool while you are in the reception area? Now open the album and look at the photos — are they better suited to be placed in a dental journal than as a motivational tool demonstrating how your cosmetic services enhanced your patients’ self-image?

Are the photos examples of your work or are they from a commercially produced album? Can your team talk with sincerity about the positive impact these transformations made if they are from a commercially available album?

Typical magazine table in a dental office

Caption: A photo of a reception area taken prior to Boot Camp. Too many popular magazines create clutter. This does not help in your mission to inform and educate patients about recent advances in cosmetic dentistry that may benefit them.

My suggestion: Get rid of the clutter of magazines and prominently place your photo album in the reception area — and only show transformations you have personally made.

marketing in your waiting area

Caption: During Boot Camp we do some minor office design changes – such as the above. You can do the same yourself.

However, there is one caveat about photo albums. While they are helpful, your team needs to know how to power educate when dental patients look at before and after photos. Having a patient simply flip through pages in the album is informative at best.

For example, some albums do not even clearly differentiate if the procedure was a crown or a veneer. And if was a veneer, was it a non-invasive veneer or did you have to prep the teeth? You and your team can add your own thoughts on the various queries patients have when looking at your photo album.

At the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program we found it challenging to motivate patients by simply leaving patient education materials in the reception area. Instead we advocate power educating because it is a technique that is easy to master, leverages your teams’ belief in your cosmetic skills and converts interest into a truly motivated patient — where the patient is ready to say “Yes” to proceeding with cosmetic dentistry services.

In Part 4 of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community we are going to explore Step 3 — THE EFFECTIVE USE OF A SMILE ANALYSIS FORM.

I am going to share a simple, sensible method that the dentists I consult with use. This technique helps them understand what elective cosmetic dental enhancements patients still want. I can appreciate that you may believe that your patients of record who had interest in enhancing their smile already discussed their interest with you. The surprise – and good news – is that is not necessarily the case.

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

Warning: How Negative Dental Marketing Works

How Negative Dental Marketing WorksTalk about the wrong kind of dental marketing!

Imagine coming into your dental practice one morning to discover that a Hepititius warning about your office had been distributed to your dental patients by your local health services office?

This is exactly what happened to dentist Derek Nordstrom of Edmonton Canada, who knew nothing of the Hepititius complaint.

Apparently, a recorded voice message from Alberta Health Services was calling Dr. Norstrom’s patients to advise them that one of his staff members had hepatitis C, and recommended the patients be tested.

Upon being notified by one of his patients, Dr. Nordstrom cancelled all of his dental appointments and spent the day making phone calls to the Alberta Dental Association and various other health agencies in an attempt to get to the bottom of the complaint.

The only problem was that none of Dr. Norstrom’s staff were sick.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t the only problem…

As if the health complaint wasn’t enough, Nordstrom’s receptionist then discovered websites attacking the dentist and his brother Patrick — also a dentist. According to The Edmonton Journal, one site — nordstromdentist.com — included photos of Dr. Nordstrom alongside anonymous claims of negligent procedures, false billing and even dead ants on his dental chair. The site also included a comment about an Alberta Health Services call about hepatitis C at Nordstrom’s clinic.

Talk about a dental marketing nightmare!

Nordstrom’s lawyer sent notice to the domain registry of the websites attacking the doctor and the sites were immediately suspended.

The bigger question looms as to how someone hacked the 4,000 active patient phone records of Dr. Nordstrom to relay the Hepatitis warning and who is out to get this doctor … and why.

An investigation into the phone messages and malicious websites is moving forward.

Nordstrom told the Edinton Journal that he isn’t sure who’s behind the calls, but finds it troubling someone would raise the question of serious illness to try to discredit him.

“It’s just a sick joke,” Nordstrom said of the hoax. “They’re just trying to hurt me.”

So far Dr. Nordstrom seems to be handling the situation well. I would strongly recommend a very aggressive PR campaign rebutting each accusation separately. While over the years I’ve seen everything from ex-spouse’s fire booming offices to disgruntled employee’s falsely reporting sexual harassment, this particular attack has all the earmarks of an inside job with the help of a professional and enraged computer hacker.

Read more: Hepatitis Claim Against Wainwright Dentist a Hoax, RCMP Say

22% of Dentists Spend Over 5k a Month on Dental Marketing

22% of Dentists Spend Over 5k a Month on Dental MarketingWhat do dentists spend monthly on dental marketing?

It all depends on the dentist you ask.

54% of the dentists who responded to this question in The Wealthy Dentist survey spend over $1,000 a month on marketing, while a mere 7% spend nothing at all.

“We budget 6 percent of collections at approximately $18,000 per month,” revealed a California dentist.

Here are the survey results —

7% — No marketing expenses.
6% — Under $200.
9% — $200-500.
25% — $500-1,000.
20% — $1,000-2,000.
12% — $2,000-5,000.
22% — Over $5,000.

What dentists had to say about their monthly marketing expenses —

“We spend $80,000.00 + a month.” (Texas prosthodontist/orthodontist practice)

“In this rural area, it is difficult to reach a large number of people.” (Rural general dentist)

Internal marketing is clearly the best form of marketing and the least costly. We’ve focused a lot on that the past 2 years and have seen significant benefits and practice growth!” (Texas prosthodontist)

“Our business is less than 2-years-old. We are now over 50% internal referral. I may cut some of the marketing budget for external next year.” (Missouri dentist)

“It seems every year it costs more and more to get a descent ROI.” (California orthodontist)

“Our practice is over 50% dental implant related and we could not do the volume we do without extensive external marketing.” (General dentist)

“$500 – $1,000 and growing.” (South Carolina periodontist)

“We get over 30 new patients a month every month by great “word of mouth” in our community. No amount of “marketing” is better than treating your patients like you would want to be treated!” (California dentist)

“$2,000 – $5,000 and looking to increase.” (Michigan dentist)

What does your practice spend on dental marketing each month?

Internet Dental Marketing: How Google Search Plus Your World Works (video)

Internet Dental Marketing: How Google Search Plus Your World Works (video)Are you curious how the changes to Google search will impact your Internet dental marketing?

Search Plus Your World is what Google is calling their personal search algorithm intended for the users of Google Plus.

When a Google Plus user is signed into Google, their search results will be very different from searches done outside of Google Plus. Search Plus Your World will include photos, blog posts, and recommendations from the user and their friends.

They will see the personal results and the profiles of people they know (or follow) on Google Plus included in their search results. They will also be able to expand their Google circles by discovering people and brands related to their search —  Google will be offering these recommendations to them too.

If the idea of Search Plus Your World has you a little confused, Google has provided the following video, which shows how Google intends personal search to look for the Google Plus user —

These changes to Google search mean that individuals will play an ever-growing part in search results from Google.

Dentists can help their Internet dental marketing efforts by creating and sharing dentistry-related content as always, but with a new attention directed at Google Plus. Maximize impact by educating your dental patients on who you are and how you can help.

What are your initial thoughts about Google’s Search Plus Your World, and how is your dental practice using Google Plus?

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