In today’s competitive environment, it’s likely that your practice makes a lot of effort to attract new patients. A prospective client that calls by phone is very likely to schedule an appointment and perhaps become a regular patient. If the client experience is positive, they may even bring you a few referrals. But what happens when a prospective client or current patient calls and is placed on hold?
Research shows 94% of advertising budgets are devoted to driving action and getting clients to call a business, yet only 6% is spent on managing the call. A caller may quickly tire or become impatient with dull music or a single repetitive message, and if they’re left in silence, they may think your staff has abandoned them. In either case, it’s highly likely that they will hang up and may never call back.
A custom message on-hold program for dental practices can keep callers engaged and interested, and ultimately keep them on the line until a team member returns. It can help resolve caller disengagement issues by:
1. Engaging Callers so They Stay on the Line
Studies show that more than 70% of callers are placed on hold by a business for an average of 45 seconds. Of the callers who are on hold, 60% will hang up and 30% of those who hang up will not call again. A custom message on-hold program for dental practices is a great way to keep your caller engaged, so they stay on the line long enough for your staff to take their call. Your on-hold messages fill the time and reduce the caller’s level of frustration for having been placed on hold. Plus, a caller is more apt to listen to and absorb interesting custom messages than a single, canned, and repetitive recording that says, “please hold, we’ll be right with you”.
2. Educating Patients About Procedures
Many patients are apprehensive about a routine visit to the dentist. When they need a dental procedure, the anxiety can increase gradually, or in some cases, it can skyrocket. You don’t want your patients to neglect their dental health because they’re afraid of the process. When someone calls to schedule a procedure, a custom message on-hold program for dental practices can provide reassurance to those patients by educating them. Perhaps it’s just a description of how the procedure works, the care offered by the staff, or a mention of nitrous oxide or full sedation dentistry that will build their confidence in following through with the procedure. Listening to your on-hold message about a dental procedure can prepare a worried patient for their appointment. A calm patient makes your job a lot easier!
3. Promoting Your Practice While Callers are on Hold
How much do your patients or potential clients know about your dental practice? Are they familiar with the services you offer? Are you known for your “gentle dental” approach for apprehensive patients? Does the practice have extended hours or weekend appointments available? These are the types of things you’ll want to boast about and a custom message on-hold program for dental practices is the perfect way to do so. While callers are placed on hold, you’ve got their attention for a few seconds to a few minutes. Use your on-hold message to let them know you have the tools and services to solve their dental problems. At the end of most messages, there’s a call to action, and when one of your team members picks up the call, the caller just might schedule an appointment. This is what we call a “win-win” situation.
4. Building Trust
What makes your current patients feel comfortable about putting their dental health in your hands? Why would a prospective patient choose your practice? The answer is trust. Establishing and maintaining trust is a multi-dimensional task, and a custom message on-hold for dental practices is one of the building blocks toward that goal. Customize your on-hold messages to list your educational credentials, years of experience, expertise in various areas, research conducted, accolades, and continuing education efforts. Mention of technicians’ and support staff’s attention and the positive office environment can also put an apprehensive patient at ease. Hearing about these details is a gateway to credibility and then the trust built with exceptional care is up to you.
5. Establishing or Continuing to Convey Your “Brand”
What is your practice known for? What makes your dentists better than the rest? Patients have many options when choosing a dental practice. An on-hold message can highlight what makes you stand out above the competition. Are you known for a particular specialty? Do you offer cosmetic dentistry or include Botox? Are your dentists all women? Do you practice holistic dentistry? The things that make you unique create your “brand” and it’s important that the brand message is consistent across all channels, like your website, your printed materials, and your social media. A custom message on-hold program is the icing on the cake when it comes to conveying your brand “voice”. Let it work for you to tie your client-facing messaging together.
6. Creating a Positive Client Experience
When a caller is placed on hold and is subjected to silence, endless sleep-inducing music, annoying beeps, or a boring and repetitive robotic message, this negative experience may make them hang up, never call again, or worse yet, give you bad reviews. It is said that if a client has a positive experience at a business, they will tell a few people they know, but if they have a negative experience, they will tell EVERYONE they know. It is also said that word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective means of touting a service. A custom message on-hold for dental practices keeps the client engaged, provides information on dental services, offers education on dental procedures, and overall, keeps the client happy. Happy clients will give you glowing reviews and refer you to other potential patients, which is one of the positive results of using a custom message on-hold program.
In short, a custom message on-hold program can help dental practices convert callers into regular patients, while at the same time offering them informative on-hold messages that educate, reassure, promote, and exhibit outstanding customer service.
Customize the On-Hold Experience for Your Callers
In conclusion, your practice needs on-hold messages to engage your callers, forge a connection with prospective clients, and create and maintain a positive image (and potentially earn referrals!) so new and existing patients can:
- Feel valued while on hold
- Be reassured about procedures and protocols and know what to expect
- Learn about your practice and the services you offer
- Feel a sense of trust in the dental care you provide
- Remember the positive experience and spread the word
To learn more about why your practice needs a custom message on-hold for dental practices, call InTouch at (877) 493-9003.