Embracing Online Scheduling: A Must for Modern Dentistry

Author: Grace Rizza

In an era where convenience reigns supreme, why do some dentists still resist the shift to online scheduling? This reluctance often stems from concerns about patient reliability and maintaining control over schedules. However, the benefits of adopting online scheduling far outweigh these apprehensions, making it imperative for dentists to embrace this change for their practice’s success.

One common argument against online scheduling is that patients who book online are more likely to miss their appointments. Dentists worry about the financial impact of no-shows and last-minute cancellations. To address this, some propose a simple yet effective solution: requiring a deposit at the time of booking. By implementing a deposit policy, dentists can significantly reduce no-shows and ensure that patients are committed to their appointments.

Another concern is the fear of losing control over schedules. Dentists value the ability to manage their time efficiently and may worry that online scheduling could disrupt their workflow. However, studies show that the majority of patients prefer the convenience of booking appointments online. Dentists can capitalize on this preference by offering online scheduling exclusively for new patient appointments, allowing them to maintain control over their existing patient schedules.

Furthermore, dentists can strategically schedule new patient appointments at the end of the day. This approach not only accommodates patient preferences but also offers a practical solution to mitigate the impact of no-shows. If a new patient fails to appear for their appointment, the dentist can release the team for the day, reducing overhead costs associated with unused chair time.

Despite these compelling arguments, some dentists remain resistant to change. However, in today’s digital age, adaptation is key to staying competitive and meeting patient expectations. Embracing online scheduling not only enhances patient convenience but also streamlines practice operations and improves financial outcomes.

When comparing digital marketing campaigns for dentists that include online scheduling, to those which do not; it is clear that the rewards far outweigh the risks. Dentists investing in digital marketing, should also allow new patients the opportunity to book online. Out of 30 leads, 28 tend to choose online scheduling over a form submission or phone call. For those not offering online scheduling, the number of new patients resulting from the marketing itself drops significantly. It can be presumed that patients seeking a dentist from an online search are more likely to become an actual new patient if once finding the website, landing page, or listing; they’re able to easily book online.

In conclusion, dentists must overcome their hesitation towards online scheduling to thrive in a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape. By implementing deposit policies, strategically scheduling appointments, and leveraging technology, dentists can enhance patient experience, optimize practice efficiency, and experience long-term success.

To learn more about implementing effective and ethical marketing for your dental practice, schedule your complimentary marketing planning session here.

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