Communication with patients is easier, but is it more effective?

2020 09 29 21 12 1653 Bond Ashley 400

In the 21st century, communication with our patients has become a breeze, but has it become more effective? We now have 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.

Ashley Bond is the founder of Bond Dental Consulting.Ashley Bond is the founder of Bond Dental Consulting.

Don't get me wrong. 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 initiate 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 to have effective communication with your patients in today's age.

My fear, however, is that dental offices are 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 always the best way of communication. The best type of communication is a mixture of all four approaches: texting, email, phone calls, and good old snail mail. Take the temperature of how your office is currently doing in terms of 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 an example of this in action.

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 handwritten letters.

Yes, I did write that -- handwritten letters. Do you remember the last time you received a handwritten 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 six months overdue a handwritten letter from their hygienist or a team member. Mix up your communication styles and utilize all four avenues: texting, email, phone calls, and mail.

Ashley Bond is the founder of Bond Dental Consulting, a company that specializes in helping practices collect 100% of what is rightfully theirs. She has more than 10 years of experience in the dental field beginning at her father's dental practice, where she saw the ins and outs of everything the business entails.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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