Lighthouse Dental used texting to get in touch with hard-to-reach patients and cut down on missed appointments with just a few simple steps. Read on to find out how.
Since 2014, Lighthouse Dental Centre has provided excellent dental care to its community in Langley, BC.
Communicating effectively with patients who don’t respond to phone calls.
Lighthouse Dental has seen a big reduction in missed appointments due to text reminders and a significant increase in patient satisfaction.
Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu, D.D.S. runs Lighthouse Dental and Blue Water Dental and strives to give patients the care and information they need as easily as possible.
The Lighthouse Dental team found that phone calls and voicemails to patients were becoming less and less effective, especially with younger patients. Calling these patients led to rounds of phone tag and countless wasted hours.
It’s a common problem. The numbers say that 75% of millennials avoid phone calls — and another study found that 75% of millennial respondents feel that texts are a helpful way to get things like appointment reminders.
Second, the team was looking for a way to reduce their use of paper copies when it came to postoperative instructions, practice information, and other important details. They found that using paper was both wasteful and outdated.
To get a better patient response rate, Lighthouse Dental turned to SMS. After researching a few online texting platforms, Dr. Sidhu and his staff decided on SimpleTexting due to its easy setup, access to the features they wanted, and fast response times from the support team.
Mostly, Lighthouse Dental uses SMS to communicate one-on-one with patients. If the office realizes that a patient hasn’t yet confirmed their appointment, the team will send a quick appointment reminder text message to get a confirmation.
The customer service communications don’t stop there. Patients are also encouraged to send in images when they have questions about a symptom or issue they’re experiencing after a procedure.
The Lighthouse Dental office also uses templates to answer FAQs and ask for Google reviews, and they use their SimpleTexting inbox to send out links for postoperative instructions.
Of course, as we’ve pointed out before, texting is best when you can share the workload. Lighthouse Dental does just that.
Within the team, Dr. Sidhu, his receptionist, and his office manager all have access to the account on the different devices in the office so that each of them can manage important conversations from the front office or the back, wherever they happen to be.
This has been a big relief to Dr. Sidhu in particular, given that he used to hand out his personal number to patients who had concerns or questions.
While most patients didn’t abuse the privilege, he mentioned that he feels much less pressure knowing that he can handle patient needs on his own timeline without having his personal cell number out there.
All those features have led to a smoother, more effective dental practice for the team running Lighthouse Dental, and that boost in efficiency has led to excellent results where patients are concerned.
Where phone calls and voicemails went unanswered, the practice experiences nearly a 100% response rate when sending texts.
They’ve also seen a huge reduction in missed appointments, and Dr. Sidhu pointed out that this is likely due to the fact that patients recognize the practice’s number and feel comfortable responding to their texts.
The benefits extend beyond improved appointment practices. According to the team, years ago, only about 35% of Lighthouse Dental’s website visitors found the site via mobile. Lately, that number looks more like 60% of visitors coming from mobile devices.
Numbers and results are one thing, but at the end of the day, Lighthouse Dental started using SimpleTexting to make their patients’ experience better. In that regard, they’ve succeeded.
“As a dentist we don't really learn a lot of things about business. That word itself, ‘user experience’ was not in my vocabulary. But it's important, right? Yes, we're a dental office, and we're providing medical treatment for people. But at the same time, we're also a business and interaction with our business is important for our users or patients.”
Since putting texting to work in their practice, the team has heard rave reviews. Patients love that Lighthouse is technologically up-to-date and that they have a convenient way to get in touch with the team.
Texting means more convenient, consistent, and user-friendly patient communications for you and your team with minimal cost and even less effort.
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