The three primary goals of any successful dental practice is maintaining a high appointment conversion rate, growing your new patient base, and of course retaining existing patients. If you’re marketing your dental practice, every time that phone rings, you have paid for that ring to occur! However, once that phone rings, and you ask a patient to hold, do you return to the line to find that they’re no longer there? This is an area many practices struggle with (or any business for that matter).
Dental on hold marketing is critical to attracting, converting, engaging and retaining both new prospective patients and existing ones. AT&T reports that the average business receives over 100 calls per day, and that 70% of callers are placed on hold. An even more staggering statistic is more than 35% of callers who wait in silence or canned music hang-up in less than 45 seconds. Lost calls mean lost appointments, lost opportunity and ultimately lost revenues.
When that phone rings are you doing everything possible to accomplish the 3 main goals? Once your staff has placed a caller on hold, what are they going to hear? Some practices play music or radio, giving you no control over the content. Do you really want to broadcast a competitor’s ad to your patient on hold? Many dental offices don’t take consideration into caller on hold time at all, and simply leave callers waiting in “dead-air”. Patients would rather have a root canal, than wait in eternal silence. But, with custom branded on hold messaging, callers will wait up to three minutes, giving you the chance to serve them.
The AADC suggests that the average dental practice receives over 250 calls a month just from new prospective patients alone, (this doesn’t include the number of existing patient calls per month), and new prospective patients represents approximately $500 in revenue. As noted above, industry benchmarks indicate 175 of those callers will end up on-hold, and that 62 of those callers will hang-up before giving you the chance to serve them. When you do the math: 62 lost callers per month, times 12 months, equals 745 lost callers per year! And, if the average new patient represents $500 in revenue, than you’re losing a potential $372,500 per year in new patient revenue due to lost calls and appointments.
You have two highly targeted audiences in which you can present your marketing message to, thus dental messages on-hold is the most effective tools for your practice to enhance patient communication, increase revenues, strengthen patient loyalty and improve in office efficiency as well as the customer experience.
Listed below are just a just a few of the many topics you can include in your music on hold recording.
• Qualifications of your doctors and staff
• Provide Oral health tips
• Introduce new patient specials
• Promote add-on services/treatments (eg.teeth whitening, invisilign, cosmetic dentistry, etc.)
• Hours and Location
• Insurances and Financing Options
• Ask for valuable referrals (or any referral programs)
• Website and Social Media Channels
• Convenient on-line appointment scheduling
• Encourage requests for online reviews
On hold marketing is truly a unique, highly targeted and invaluable in-bound marketing opportunity for your practice, one that should not be over-looked! A survey conducted by Call Center Technologies showed that callers who are exposed to messages on hold, results in a 25% increase in offerings mentioned while on-hold. This can mean some real added profit centers for your practice.
Additionally, when you implement custom on-hold strategy at your dental practice, you can improve efficiency of your office staff by helping to answer frequently asked questions such as hours and location which cause increased hold times. By answering these common questions, you help to reduce hold time, freeing up staff to handle other tasks.
Maxi-Marketing reports that 88% of callers prefer on hold messages to the alternatives (dead-air, radio or canned music). So, the bottom line is; “what callers hear while on-hold” with your practice can be the difference between a great customer experience, or like having a root canal being performed on the phone while waiting for your staff to return to the line!
Are you using message on hold marketing at your dental practice? Have a question or comment? Let us know in the comments section below.