I have a brand new patient in the chair, as I type this. She is a nursing instructor and hasn’t been to a dentist in three years. She wasn’t happy with a crown done by her last dentist (bite never felt right after three adjustments). So, she went online looking for a new dentist.
She found my website and a few others. She emailed ALL of them requesting an appointment. I got the appointment request on a Friday (office closed) while I was in Las Vegas at the Townie Meeting. In her appointment request, she indicated she could be contacted by email or by phone.
I replied to her email from Las Vegas as follows:
As promised, on Monday, my office manager called her to set up the appointment.
I like to chat with new patients a bit before starting the exam, getting to know them. Where are you from? What kind of work do you do? And, so on. Of course, I also bring up how they found us.
So, you found us on the web?
Did you use Google? Which search terms?
Yes. I searched for a dentist in my town. I looked at several websites. And, I have to tell you something.
What is it?
I emailed three different dentists. You’re the only one that responded. I got your email right away, and then Jo-Anne called me that Monday. Nobody else contacted me back.
Wow and holy crap! OK, folks… if you have a dental practice website with any sort of “Contact Us” functionality (and you should), you MUST respond to those requests! It’s like not answering your phone… which apparently happens in some offices, as well!
My practice website emails go into a special folder, so I can see them right away. If it’s over the weekend, I try to send a brief response back letting the person know we got the appointment request. When I get to the office, I print out the email and hand it to my office manager. She gets on the phone right away to call the prospective patient.
I get TONS of emails every day from a variety of sources… probably about 100 a day. And, even I miss some. But, I don’t miss the ones coming from my dental practice website. They go into a separate folder that gets my attention. Another possible solution is to have them go directly to your office manager’s email. You could even set up a special account just for that.
Whichever way you do it… just do it, Dental Warriors. Or don’t… and miss out on the new patients! OK… x-rays are done. Back to work I go!