The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence (Part 3/3): Universal Appointment Scheduling | Doctor.com
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The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence (Part 3/3): Universal Appointment Scheduling

Woo hoo, you’re almost there!  Universal appointment scheduling is the third and final part of our course, The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence. For parts one and two, visit: The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence: Mastering Your Online Profile and The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence: Mastering Your Online Reputation

In parts one and two of The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence, you’ve learned to be more visible online by going beyond your website and SEO.  You’ve also learned to build up a credible reputation through organic reviews and attract more qualified patients on Google and Yelp.  Your presence is starting to perform for you.  But, there is one just more step you need to take to turn your traffic into tangible business.  This is the primary reason why you’ve been doing all this work in the first place.

Today, 61% of consumers would switch providers to get an appointment quickly*.  In your patients’ final stage of search for care, you want to do everything you possibly can to remove any last mile hurdles for your patients so they request an appointment with you.  Our final post takes your customer experience one layer deeper and shows you why your practice needs universal appointment scheduling.

Universal Appointment Scheduling Confirms More Appointment Requests and Reduces Administrative Costs

When your online presence starts to generate interest for your practice, and all you have for your potential patients to get in touch with you is a phone number, it disrupts their patient journey, breaks their customer experience and costs your practice time and money:

  1. Patients may fail to call you in their transition from online to phone, and abandon their journey with you altogether – so you risk losing that opportunity!
  2. Leaving patients on hold when they call in could add to a frustrating customer experience for them, and again lead to abandonment.
  3. Letting your staff manually attend to incoming calls or reminder calls may come at the high cost of billable, value-added work.
  4. Yet, failure on your staff to respond to calls due to other busy work could lose you opportunities.

What is a practice like yours to do?  The good news is the most successful practices address these issues by incorporating universal appointment scheduling into their customer experience.

With universal appointment scheduling, you are making it easy for your patients to request an appointment directly with you through your listings by a mere click of a button.  Whether your potential patients see you on Google, Yelp, Healthgrades or Bing, they can request an appointment with you quickly, 24/7.  Your potential patients no longer need to ‘X’ out of their browsers, pick up the phone and dial your number – only to be put on hold.  More importantly, you can free up your staff to focus on more productive work, such as tending to in-office patients!

With universal appointment scheduling, you can capture and confirm more of the appointment requests that come in to your practice – even while you are asleep – than if you were to transition your patients to a phone.  It contributes to a positive customer experience, online and in the office, and helps you to engage your office staff more effectively.

Universal Appointment Scheduling Minimizes the Cost of No-Shows and Last Minute Cancellations

How many of you have suffered no-shows or last minute cancellations?

Regardless of the size of your practice, or the specialty that you are in, no-shows is a fact of life for all practices and cost a lot of money.  And this cost can only go up as the cost of care increases!

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.  No-shows have reported to cost the healthcare industry a staggering $150 billion and more a year*.  Assuming your dental practice sees 100 patients a month.  With an average no show rate of 5-7% at an estimated cost of $200 per appointment, your practice could lose up to $43,400 a month on no-shows alone!

With universal appointment scheduling, you can send out automated appointment reminders to your confirmed patients as the most effective way to combat patient no-shows, retain more of your appointment revenue, and avoid paying your office staff to manually make appointment reminder calls.

Universal appointment scheduling has been a winning tool for our doctors and dentists who have established a strong and active presence, especially on Yelp and Google.  If you want to learn more and see what universal appointment scheduling can do for your listings, request a FREE strategy session by clicking here.

You have now come to the end your three part guide and should be on your way to build out a sustainable online presence for your practice.  We hope that our guide has helped you master the fundamentals of practice marketing online and provided tips you can start to implement immediately to manage your online presence and make more money for your practice.

Ready to take a quick scan of your online presence?  Visit our online tool here.  If you have any questions on your scan, or around digital marketing, patient engagement and private practice management in general, reach out to us directly here.  We’ll be happy to help!

Want to access the entire course on Building a Sustainable Online Presence at once?  Check out our FREE webinar, “The Customer Experience: Kickstart Your Online Presence in 2018“.

References:

* https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-patient-engagement-consumer-loyalty

*http://www.post-gazette.com/business/businessnews/2013/02/24/No-shows-cost-health-care-system-billions/stories/201302240381

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