If you focus on call conversion, not only will your patient get the experience you want, they’ll get the experience they want which will improve practice reputation, appointments and referrals, which in turn boosts production.
The key is acquiring good data and analytics that power informed decision-making and drive action. This single strategic decision can significantly accelerate practice recovery and growth.
We can quantify the answers to the following questions, and I’ll share some real-world examples below with actual data from actual dental practices currently connected with Practice ZEBRA (the all-in-one dental software) using our call-conversion and call-coaching technologies.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What could it mean to your practice if you could identify the team members that could consistently convert over 90% of calls versus those better suited to clinical duties only?
- What would it mean to your practice if you were able to more-swiftly connect with new-patient callers live?
- What are the top reasons patients don’t convert?
- Are you using your “gut” to make important marketing decisions and accidentally cutting off the wrong new-patient powerhouse?
- Would you be surprised to learn that there’s an opportunity for your front desk team to get even better?
By focusing on these call conversion milestones, not anecdotally, but by using data and analytics, you’ll be able to confidently say, “Missed calls are at an all-time low and new appointments are at an all-time high!” Not only because it will show in your metrics reports – but also because of the significant impact to production and profits.
Across the industry, you hear experts state that 50% of new patients are lost at the front desk. And that is likely true for the average dental practice. For Practice ZEBRA users, the results are a lot more promising after getting visibility to the results.
After call tracking, scoring, and phone power telephone training, our top clients are showing well over 95% answer and conversion rates. What does this mean financially? It could be significant depending on how well your team is doing now and how excited they are to be the best.
These are actual metrics from Practice ZEBRA between our average client conversion and top-performing conversion. For ease of use, the calculation uses 100 new-patient calls per month at our client average of $1785 in first-year revenue.
The average practice onboarding 40-50 new patients per month is doing pretty well. That’s a good pace for a single practitioner. BUT what if your practice is getting far more callers who could be patients?
Realistically no one can go from average to top-performing overnight. That’s a huge leap (but the data proves it is achievable) … BUT what if you could just incrementally improve call answer and conversion by 10%? A 10% improvement goal is reasonable, right? It would mean just a few more new patients coming through each month, but a very significant bump to both your patient count and your topline production over the long term.
Quantify this at your practice.
Start with your new-patient value – the amount, on average, a new patient contributes over the first twelve-month period with your practice.
How many new patients does your office average monthly?
You can get these data points in Practice ZEBRA.
Now … what if?
What would your practice realize financially if you increased your monthly new-patient conversion by just 5%, 10%… What’s reasonable based on your marketing, your call volume, and current conversion rates? Regardless of what you’re spending on marketing, once you know your call conversion rates, you’ll be able to see whether a vast improvement is possible.
Call handling. The system in Practice ZEBRA scores call handlers on a 25-point grading system, specifically designed for new dental patients. It’s been applied to hundreds of thousands of dental-patient calls since launch in August 2013. That means that you get an objective evaluation of each employee's telephone skills which allows targeted training (using ZEBRA’s Phone Power Tutorials) to address specific skill gaps. This saves you time and effort in evaluating your dental office’s new-patient call handling, detects changes and trends in employee performance, and helps retain good team members because the support empowers them to succeed.
One of the biggest challenges front desk teams have is getting to calls in the first place.
Many calls go to voicemail and new patients don’t often leave a message, or if they do, the return call takes too long for their patience. Maybe your office is closed on Fridays and you only have voicemail. Implement an instant alert that goes to both the patient and the office when a new patient is missed and hits voicemail.
MISSED CALL ALERTS are available in Practice ZEBRA and helps our top-performing practices to still capture those patients even though they can’t answer over 90% live. If you’re using ZEBRA now, get these activated for your account. Set it up in Account Settings or call your Account Manager now.
It’s important to quantify these callers. These are prospective patients that you’ve worked hard to generate, you’ve invested in marketing, you’ve invested in patient communications to ask for referrals – you want to capture these calls. Implement an automated alert so your team can respond fast to these high-value patients before they move to a competitor.
Practice ZEBRA’s alert not only sends your team a text/email, but you can customize a text message to your new patients – which acknowledges that you know they’re interested, that you care, and that you value their business. This helps patients be patient knowing that you’ll be back to them shortly to answer questions and schedule their appointment.
So now you know how many calls are getting answered live and you know your conversion rate. If your conversion rate is low, it’s not always just on the shoulders of your front desk team.
When you track and score calls, you’ll find the common reasons that are consistent objections to patients not scheduling. These are reasons that you could impact with a different offer strategy, retargeting of marketing, or operational adjustments to deliver the value your target audience is looking for, and to support your team in converting more patients. For example, if insurance is a problem for your team, as it is for many, maybe it’s time to consider an in-house membership plan (US only). Or maybe the primary reason is that you are booking too far in advance, so an adjustment in operating hours or dedicated new-patient times would be the fix.
You can get this data in Practice ZEBRA.
And then there is gut decision-making. There is power in that for sure. But not when it comes to areas where hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue is at stake – especially when you can have clear visibility of results through call tracking, conversion, and proper attribution. When you’re spending a lot on dental advertising, you want to know your calls are being answered and converted, and you also want to know the source that’s providing the best return. Practice ZEBRA is the only dental software to provide proper attribution – down to the penny patients spend – through address/phone/web matching.
At Patient NEWS, for almost all new clients, putting a focus on call answer and conversion rates is something that has a very immediate and significant impact on revenue. And this is even when, or especially when, you have a stellar front desk team that feels they are acing every new-patient call. With Practice ZEBRA on your side, you can make training, marketing, capacity, and operational decisions with real-time data and no longer rely on anecdotal or gut decisions that might not be the best for the success of your dental practice.
If you’re just not sure about your call handling metrics, if you’re not sure why your marketing campaigns aren’t resulting in the new patients or appointments you want, then maybe it’s time to put your focus on call conversion. Making an effort to understand your call handling metrics and then improving how your inbound calls are handled may just be the part of your marketing mix that’s been missing. With Practice ZEBRA, you’ll have all of these metrics at your fingertips including industry comparisons and training support. Schedule a free demo today.
Hey, if you’re already a ZEBRA user, make sure you have missed call alerts set up for your account. And make sure you also activate missed opportunity alerts that detect when a quality new patient hangs up without scheduling. Ask your Account Manager today.