Your dental website in a post Covid-19 world
Your dental website in a post Covid-19 world
It may be time to move the start of your patient journey online
July 13, 2020

Often the first point of contact for new patients to your practice is via your website. In recent times, people have been spending more time at home and some people have had more free time on their hands. We’ve become used to the convenience of working remotely, shopping online and conducting social interactions via a screen. You can encourage patients to be more proactive about their dental health by providing more facilities online via your website, whether that’s asking a question via a web form, scheduling an appointment online, paying a bill online or speaking face to face with a dentist or treatment coordinator.

Now more than ever, it’s likely that your website will need to do a lot of the hard work before the patient even steps inside your practice and your website can become an extension of your practice with its own functions to perform. Practices may find themselves working with reduced teams and number of patients that you can see each day so you may decide to move the start of your patient journey online. Using a video consultation that the patient books via the website, the treatment coordinator can still manage high value treatments (HVTs), triage patients and filter out time wasters without taking up valuable space and time at the practice. Dentists may even be able to use the down time between patients where the surgery is being decontaminated to introduce themselves on the treatment coordinator’s video call with potential patients to provide more value to the patient.

A lot of practices are involving 3rd party applications such as SmileMate, DenToGo, Acuity Scheduling for video consultations, remote assessments and monitoring. Using these platforms means that your website can reach a lot of potential patients in a simple way and expand what you can offer the patient with regards to experience and service before you’ve even physically seen them. Some applications feature a full AI report based on the patient’s answers and uploaded images so they’ve already received valuable information from the practice and are invested in the process which helps to convert them to treatment. This is especially true when paired with a great follow-up process from the practice team.

Other ways to start the relationship with the patient is to offer alternative ways of contacting the practice other than the standard phone and contact form methods – by adding an online chat facility to the site you might catch people who are juggling busy schedules, perhaps with work and children, who might not otherwise have the time to call or they’d call over the weekend when the practice might be closed or understaffed. Some chat plug-ins can be automated so answer simple questions and collect data so someone at the practice can contact them when they are able. An alternative method would be to add a WhatsApp link to the site making it easy for someone to send quick fire messages.

It’s important to make the most of the leads that you’ve got with data capture and retargeting – once you understand how much it costs to obtain a lead – you’ll want to have a clear process for nurturing that lead. We recommend our dental marketing client’s use DenGro, a CRM platform to capture, nurture and convert enquiries to treatment as part of their marketing initiatives. The platform helps dental teams monitor performance and measure ROI on multiple marketing sources. At Hive we are able to offer our clients a discount on the monthly fee so please get in touch with us if you would like to arrange a demonstration.

Many people enquiring about treatment will be uncertain about their future budgets so it’s a good idea to make any membership plans or finance offers very clear on the website so that they can see that they have options even with higher priced treatment. Real time finance calculators are often available to demonstrate how costs can be spread which can be helpful to reassure patients that they can afford their required care. It’s also important to keep blogging about the importance of preventative dentistry – in a world where budgets are going to be tight it’s important to realise preventative dentistry can save higher cost treatment further down the line.

Dentistry has a lot of safety regulations and the past few months have been uncertain – there’s been a lot of speculation about how practices will fare in a post Covid world. But there’s already a lot of procedures in place in terms of cross infection that mean dentistry is already a safe environment and your patients will need to be reassured about these processes. All practices will have a new patient journey in place which can be explained in detail before visiting your practice so that it quickly becomes the new normal and patients feel reassured that they know what to expect. For some nervous patients or children who haven’t had much exposure to the dentist this pre-planning can help towards a positive experience. This can be in the form of an infographic or something more visual like a video demonstrating the new normal.

Your website needs to provide existing and new patients with as much information as you can provide to help convert them to a lead – they’ll want to see up-to-date processes that take into account Covid-19 and perhaps Google will deem this content as relevant (which being one of Google’s priority for ranking sites might stand you in better stead for SEO). It might also be time to reevaluate your SEO keywords – if the trends are focussed around safety and affordability it’s worth adding long-tail keyword phrases throughout your site that will help you retain more of the search volume of the ever evolving SEO phrases.

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Hive Business and does not constitute formal tax advice. Any tax outcomes will be based on individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future. You should seek specific advice before embarking on any course of action. Hive Business does not provide regulated Financial Advice, including advice on investment, insurance or lending products or their suitability for you. This article is provided for information only and does not constitute, and should not be interpreted as, investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or otherwise transact, or not transact, in any investment including Bitcoin and other crypto. Any use you wish to make of any information contained within this article is, therefore, entirely at your own risk.

By Hannah Kemp Production Manager
If you have any questions or comments about this article, please get in touch.
Call Now Button