The days of playing phone tag to get in touch with patients are behind us. With dental appointment reminder software, you can send personalized, automated reminders to keep patients informed days or months before their dental appointment.
A successful dental practice needs patients, and having a solid communication system for sending automatic dental appointment reminders can help you see more new patients while retaining your existing ones. Our team at Weave developed this guide for sending appointment reminders to help dental professionals build stronger connections with their patients as they grow their practice.
Importance of Appointment Reminders
Most people miss appointments because they are busy or simply forget about the dental exam they scheduled six months before. Automated reminders are the best way to prevent a patient from letting their scheduled appointment slip. Better communication helps your dental office provide superior patient care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 26% of U.S. adults have untreated tooth decay, and 46% show signs of gum disease. Dental appointment reminder software with natural, personalized messages can not just help you get more patients in for dental care, but it can promote good oral hygiene in your community.
Besides improving overall oral health in your patients, automated dental appointment reminders can provide your practice with the following benefits:
- Increased revenue potential
- Boosted productivity in the office
- Improved patient satisfaction
Forgetfulness is one of the top reasons dental patients miss their dental appointment. Too many forgotten appointments can hurt your practice. Modern dental software with tools for patient communication can enable you to send multiple friendly reminders to your patients ahead of their appointments, boosting your overall attendance and revenue.
Getting a patient to answer calls is challenging, and staff often find themselves trying multiple times to call a patient for an appointment confirmation. Think about how many patients you have and imagine how much time it takes to make that many phone calls. Appointment reminder software allows you to send an automated text or email to your patient, reducing calling time so your staff can focus on other tasks.
Improved Patient Satisfaction
A text reminder is typically much easier for patients to reply to, and a personalized message can even brighten their day. So not only do dental appointment reminders increase attendance and revenue, but they also improve each patient’s experience with your dental practice. Higher satisfaction leads to more referrals and more patients.
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When Is the Best Time To Send Appointment Reminders?
One of the most crucial steps in developing an automated appointment reminder system is deciding the right timing. You don’t want to annoy your patients with too many text reminders, but you should send the right number to make sure they remember their appointment.
The appropriate reminder frequency might be different depending on the type of appointment. For example, regular dental exams are less urgent than oral surgery appointments. You can adjust the settings of your dental appointment reminder software to send a text or email at a particular time based on the appointment type.
To minimize no-shows, you need to find the sweet spot that’s not too early or too late but increases the chance a patient will respond to a confirmation request.
Below is our recommendation for an effective timing strategy that gets more patients to confirm and show up for their appointments:
- Routine check-up reminders for cleaning or dental x-rays can be 1 to 4 weeks and 3 to 5 days before the appointment.
- Special appointments for surgeries or emergency dental care should have an automated reminder a few days and a few hours before the appointment.
A text or email a few weeks ahead typically gets the most patient confirmations. It’s close enough to the appointment that the patient is less likely to forget, but it gives them enough time to plan around it. Sending a reminder a few days before the appointment reduces the chance of scheduling conflicts while sending it a couple of hours before reminds the patient they have somewhere to be that day.
What Should a Dental Appointment Reminder Include?
As the Dental Health Society pointed out in an article, almost 20% of Americans are afraid of going to the dentist. With appointment reminder software, your dental practice can send friendly, personalized messages to your patients to help them associate positive feelings with their upcoming appointment. But what should you include in your emails and text message reminders to have the best impact?
The essential information is, of course, the time and date of the appointment and the name of the dentist the patient is seeing. It’s also important to embody the personality of your dental practice’s brand and add a personal touch to show that you care about the patient and their needs.
Branding and Personality
Your brand includes the values of your business and the tone you use when marketing or talking to patients. The automated text reminders you send should reflect your brand’s personality, which might depend on whether your practice focuses on a specific area like cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics.
If you have a strong image as a dental office, patients are more likely to form connections and stay loyal to your practice. They might also spread the word about you to their friends and family, effectively bringing in new patients who enjoy the unique environment you’ve created.
Think about how you can make your patient interactions different from those of your competitors. If your office is more modern than others, you might take a more casual approach with your patients. Your texts or email reminders might include less formal language or even emojis, making your office sound more friendly and fun.
Effective branding can offer the following benefits for your dental practice:
- Increased visibility among competitors
- Heightened customer loyalty
- Improved credibility
- Boosted employee retention
An Individual and Personal Touch
Besides using software to customize your communication to fit your brand, you can also take a step further and add a personal touch to your text and email messages.
Innovative appointment reminder software like Weave can save unique insights about your patients for you to quickly reference when calling or messaging them. This feature can help you tailor your messages to fit the preferences of specific patients.
If you see that a patient’s birthday is on or near their appointment, you can add a friendly “Happy birthday!” to your dental appointment text reminders. Personalized messages tell patients that your practice sees them as more than faceless individuals. Whether it comes from the administrative staff, the hygienist, or the dentist, personable communication keeps patients around for years to come.
Automating Appointment Reminders With Weave
Weave is an all-in-one communication platform that gives businesses better tools for messaging or calling patients, scheduling appointments, receiving payments, and much more.
Our software makes sending dental appointment reminders more convenient for you and your patients, allowing you to schedule messages at just the right time with a personal touch to make your patients smile. You can also smooth the check-in process by sending documents ahead of time, such as a new patient form or a brochure on dental cleaning expectations.
With improved patient communication, you’ll have fewer no-shows. For stronger patient relationships, try Weave today. Sign up online for a demo or call us at 866-308-2039.