I got this in my email last Saturday:
I am looking for a new dentist and would like to make an appointment if you are accepting new patients. Thank you!
and this one today:
Preferred Method of Contact: Email
Preferred Appointment Time: No Preference
I have severe tooth pain. I think I have cavities.
Both of these leads came directly to my email and my office manager’s email from my “make an appointment online” link. You can see that link here: http://meadfamilydental.com/appointment.
My office website/blog does pretty well on Google. At least it has up to this point. With all the new changes to Google Places I’m not sure, but my expectation is that we’ll come out in pretty good shape. Maybe even better than before. We’ve got a lot of good Google reviews, so when my site shows up in the top 3 or 4 on Google’s first page, people often check out the site. This is where having great blog content comes in!
They see my site and maybe they browse around. They get the feel for the office from my regular postings and you’ll find that I link to my “make an appointment online” page in almost every one of my blog posts. I learned from my friend Mike Barr that your website needs to not only have engaging content but a “call to action.” If they like what they see, you have to make it easy for them to take the next step. Thus, the “make an appointment online” link.
Getting them to email you is only the first part. Many websites have one of these links. I make it my business to email the patient back as soon as possible. You know why? Because most websites that you ask for more information about never do anything with the request. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve taken the time to fill out a “request for more information” form online and never gotten any response at all.
My goal is to have that prospective patient say to themselves or anyone else around them, “I’ve never been treated so well before!” Or, “wow, the dentist took the time to email me back!” They’re going to have a different kind of experience at my office, and I want them to know that from the very beginning. Here’s what I wrote to one of my most recent requests:
Hi *******! We’d love to have you! Are you having any troubles with your teeth, or are you looking to have a cleaning first? We’ll get back to you first thing on Monday morning to get you set up. Thanks for emailing!Respectfully,Alan Mead DDS
The prospective patient replied:
Thank you for the quick reply! I don’t really have any problems with my teeth that I know of, I’m just a little overdue for a cleaning. I am also interested in your Gold Plan, as I do not currently have dental insurance. Thank you
I think I answered her email on my phone, but I can’t remember. All I know is it took about 2 minutes. I saw her as a new patient this morning. She joined our “Gold Club.” It doesn’t always work out that smoothly, but usually it’s just like that. If I don’t get to it immediately, my office manager does. We just write a friendly, personal email or make a quick call to welcome them. So simple, so effective.
Do you have an appointment form online? If you do, do you answer it immediately and with a kind, personal welcome message? If you don’t have something like it, I highly recommend it! It’s been working really well for us!