Complete The Marketing Cycle

In every dental publication, forum or blog, dentists are bombarded by the necessity of marketing their practices to the public. Every marketing agent from billboards and postcards to algorithm-driven social media campaigns are pushing their wares, guaranteeing results from their media-generated lead production. As for the veracity of those claims, that is a discussion for another day (after all, marketers are marketing their goods and services as much as you are yours). Suffice it to say, and I quote a wise friend of mine who said, “Marketing involves information that is in the vicinity of truth.”

One thing that we can all agree on is that the goal of any marketing campaign is to bring leads into your office who will become patients who pay, stay and refer. If this is the goal, then why do many dentists never see the growth in new patients they expect? If your marketing company is smart, it will provide you one or more dynamic tracking numbers so they can see exactly when anyone responds to their campaign. Then they will deliver you the bad news: “We generated more than the number leads we guaranteed, but your office could not convert them into patients on the initial phone call or live chat.” They will have the call logs, and some will have recorded calls to prove that they did send you the leads, but your office either failed to convert them, or never answered the calls that came in during afterhours. This is the breakdown in the marketing system that so few people fail to understand. Providing your office with leads is what they guarantee, converting them into patients is your job. And let’s be honest, most traditional staff members are not good at selling the office and inviting leads into the office for appointments.

How to fix the problem has be the subject of many experiments and frustrations. The original idea was forwarding the office number to a cell phone and then having an employee take the phone home to answer after hour calls. That works fine in some states, but not in all. In some states, anyone who takes a phone home is to be paid every hour they are responsible for the phone. When discovered, the owed overtime, tax liability and possible fines can be catastrophic to the unsuspecting practice. As we go to a work-at-home telecommuter workforce, more of these laws are being passed in more and more states. Some practice-owners will use traditional answering services, but those call handlers are limited to taking messages and have no idea of how convert an inquiring lead into a scheduled new patient. Also, answering services are not set up to handle chats or texts.

What many people do not understand about marketing to the public is that once you start a modern advertising campaign, then you have to be able to answer calls 24/7 because the internet is a 24/7 medium. Leads will not call when it is convenient for you, but when it is convenient for them. At our contact center we handle calls and texts 24 hours a day, afterhours, weekends and holidays, and we schedule new patients directly into your practice management software. We send you a text and/or email to let you know every time you get a new patient scheduled.

So, if you have one office or dozens of offices, we can get your phone covered and keep new patients coming into your office while you and your staff enjoy your time off. You will no longer have calls and chats disappear into the marketing gap from the leads your advertising campaigns generate.


John Ross