In the twenty-first century, communication with our patients has become a breeze, but has it become more effective? We now have patient communication services that offer texting and email to patients. However, some argue that it seems like we have lost the ability to mix it up a bit and truly reach our patient base effectively. I’m not going to lie, I think texting is an amazing feature for dental offices, especially in the busy dental office. It can help book last minute cancellations and even get into contact with a patient you haven’t spoken to in 18 months. If you do not currently have this feature, I definitely recommend it. There are many amazing companies that offer this service and I really believe it is needed in order to have effective communication with your patients in today’s age.
However, my fear is that dental offices are getting stuck relying on only texting their patients, which leaves out the personal touch. I know a phone conversation can be scary and awkward at times, especially when you are collecting payments, calling on outstanding treatment, or scheduling past-due recare. Honestly, sometimes it may feel like you just don’t have the time to make phone calls. However, while I know texting is easy and efficient for your team, I would not say it is the best way of communication. The best type of communication is a mixture of all four approaches: text, email, phone and the good old snail mail. Take the temperature of how your office is currently doing in communication? Do you rely heavily on one method over another? Try simply changing up the way you communicate, especially if your aging reports are high or your books are open,
Let’s look at example of this in action:
Overdue Patient A/R:
Contact 1: letter in mail and email
Contact 2: phone call and text
Contact 3: letter in mail and email
Contact 4: phone call and text
Think about it, today our patients are getting bombarded with texts and emails all day long. Soon enough, your messages will fall into spam or just get blindly deleted. You can stand out from the pack by embracing personalized phone calls and hand-written letters. Yes, I said it, hand-written letters. Do you remember the last time you received a hand-written letter in the mail? How did it make you feel? Special, didn’t it. Let’s make our patients feel special and stand out from the crowd of overloaded noise in their inboxes. This tactic is especially helpful for collections and unscheduled appointments.
What can you implement today? Start sending all your recare patients who are 6 months overdue a hand-written letter from their hygienist or a team member. Mix up your communication styles and utilize all four avenues: texting, email, phone calls, and mail. For all my dental freebies sent directly to your inbox, visit my website by clicking here.