What you don’t measure, you can’t manage. In many dental offices, the management team doesn’t measure the number of calls from potential new patients who don’t convert into appointments.
Think about that: people have taken the time to call your office to make an appointment, but something changed their mind. When your staff fails to book a first appointment, it’s lost revenue.
Dentists that see flat or declining new patient numbers are turning to call tracking and coaching organizations like Patient Prism to discover where they are missing opportunities.
“It’s a management tool my offices use every day to improve our service to patients,” said Dr. Nilash Patel of Serenity Dental near Tampa, FL. “Our front-office conversions are up by more than 90% in six months.”
The best call tracking companies provide data that goes beyond just converting more callers into patients.
Here are some of the ways that successful dental group practices use call-tracking data to make important business decisions.
1. Real-time call tracking helps you measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
You can see the number of new patient calls coming from each type of marketing you do, which helps you judge the effectiveness of each method.
One small group practice wasn’t sure if its billboard marketing efforts were profitable until the managers began measuring the calls coming in from each billboard location and the call conversion percentage.
The group discovered three locations were generating a lot of calls, but another two were not. They canceled the two non-performing billboards.
2. Call tracking clarifies how potential patients find you online.
The best call tracking companies are certified Google Partners and can integrate with your Google Adwords account so you can tie results back to individual marketing campaigns right down to the keyword level.
The best companies will also show you the path your potential patients took on your website, including which pages they visited and for how long.
3. Call tracking shows if your phone tree is working.
Does your phone system require patients to press 1 if they are a current patient or 2 if they are a new patient? How long does it take for a caller to connect with a live person in your office? Find out if your phone set-up is leading to hang-ups, dropped calls, and other missed opportunities.
4. Call tracking provides operational data.
Dentists and group practice managers use call tracking software to determine whether any changes are needed in the hours of operation. For example, if you miss a lot of calls before you open at 8:30 a.m., it may be valuable to have a team member come in earlier. If you miss a lot of calls at lunchtime, it may make sense to stagger the front desk team’s lunch breaks so someone is always available to answer the phone.
5. Call tracking can help you decide which additional services to provide.
The best call tracking companies provide keyword data that lets you know which services patients are requesting during their phone call. This can help you decide whether to start offering new services such as dental implants, Invisalign® treatment, take-home teeth whitening, et cetera.
6. It can help you determine whether to open another office.
A call tracking service can help you determine whether to open another office and the best patient base to target. For example, you may decide to expand the payor types you accept at a new office if your original office gets a lot of calls for certain dental insurance plans.
7. Call tracking analyzes the performance of individual team members.
You’ll see who your stars are and who might need additional training. It gives you measurable data to include in performance reviews and to motivate team members.
8. Call tracking lets you compare the effectiveness of call center employees versus office receptionists.
Many group practices and DSOs have a mix of offices. Some direct new patient calls to a call center. Others route calls directly to the office.
A call tracking dashboard shows which method produces more booked appointments – and the reasons for any missed opportunities. You can view the data across different time increments, so you can spot trends and make adjustments.
9. The best call tracking companies include call coaching.
The best call tracking companies include call coaching which empowers team members, improves their skills and value to the team, and lowers staff turnover.
Patient Prism has a library of more than 300 short training videos on everything from dental office leadership to call-handling skills to hygiene best practices. Successful dental groups love having access to continuous learning modules.
"The best call tracking companies include call coaching which empowers team members"
10. It makes it easy to see trends.
Many dental group practices struggle to understand trends across multiple offices and regions. Aggregated call tracking data makes it easy to see trends, and to present that information to the executive team and other key stakeholders. You can generate reports for individual offices, a region, a brand, or the entire company.
Of course, all of the same benefits that call tracking provides group dental offices can also be applied to individual dental offices. New patient acquisition is the lifeblood of every dental office. Keep your practice healthy by knowing your numbers, enhancing your team’s customer service skills, and turning more callers into happy patients.
Amol Nirgudkar, Co-Founder and CEO of Patient Prism, LLC
Amol helps dentists grow their practices and reach their goals. He is in an unusual position to offer practical insights. As a certified public accountant, business consultant, author, entrepreneur, and former owner of several dental practices, he has 20 years of experience working with dental practices, both large and small.
Amol has also written several articles and e-books and published a paperback book called Profitable Niches in General Dentistry (2014).
In his spare time, Amol also runs a quantitative hedge fund and travels the country with his 13-year-old piano prodigy daughter to piano competitions.
Patient Prism is a call-tracking and call-coaching platform designed exclusively for dental practices to improve call conversion and increase dental office revenue. Through a combination of artificial intelligence and experienced call coaches, we have analyzed more than 4 million phone calls, identified best practices, and made an immediate difference in dental practice revenues.