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Brush up with SMS: How dentists can integrate text messaging

Dental offices are facing a number of challenges when it comes to growing their business, including acquiring new patients and retaining existing ones. One of the key ways to maintain and grow your practice is by offering an outstanding and enjoyable patient experience.

Part of that experience is meeting patients where they are, which, in most cases, is on their phone. In the United States, people now check their phones over 96 times a day – that’s once every ten minutes. SMS text messaging is the quickest way for you to cut through the noise and reach your patients with the information they need.

Here are some top ways to utilise text messaging for dentists and dental offices.


Send appointment confirmations and reminders

The easiest and most effective way to make sure that patients don’t miss their dental appointment is by sending a quick reminder text. Allowing patients to confirm their attendance, reschedule or cancel right from the message is the easiest way to reduce no shows.

An example SMS showing an appointment reminder being sent

RELATED: Read our ebook on reducing no-shows and missed appointments for more thorough advice on sending reminder messages.

Another way to utilise SMS is to improve efficiencies surrounding handling last-minute appointments. For example, with SMS you can text your waitlisted patients with any last-minute cancellations — offering a convenient option for patients to get seen and a faster way for your team to fill openings than making individual phone calls.

Stay top-of-mind by sending promotional offers

Taking care of our teeth can sometimes fall by the wayside. Use texting to send promotional offers and deals to remind customers to come in. For example, text your patients about new offer discounts on whitening services or let patients know about a new service that your practice is providing.

A phone showing an example promotional text message for dentists

You can also engage with patients by sending general reminders about the importance of dental health. Share tips on teeth hygiene in between appointments to build patient relationships and make sure that they remember to come back for regular cleanings.

 

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Provide useful patient care information

Given that 90% of messages are opened within 90 seconds, texting is the most effective way to communicate important information with your patients. Use texting to share pre and post-op instructions plus guidelines to make sure that your patients know exactly what to expect.

An example SMS that a dentist might send a patient regarding care instructions

PRO TIP: You can go one step further and offer an exceptional patient experience by incorporating two-way messaging. Patients who have just had a procedure or are experiencing a minor emergency often have quick questions that they want answers to, especially outside of typical office hours. Allow your customers to text their questions to your office and respond on your computer or mobile device to offer your patients even better patient care. This may help you become the preferred dental practice in your area in no time!


Solicit feedback and reviews

Online reviews are critical to continuing to grow your business and positive reviews make more than 70% of consumers trust a local business more. Asking for reviews through text is the quickest way to allow your customers to post a review online.

Additionally, SMS gives you the opportunity to gather important insights so that you can continue to offer the best patient care possible. Send your customers a quick survey via text message to gather immediate feedback.

An example SMS a dentist might send to ask a client for a review

RELATED: Check out our top 5 SMS feedback and survey templates.


Send a reminder to encourage patients to pay by text

Does your dental office offer payment plans? Sending patients text reminders about their plan and bill reminders is an easy way to stay in touch with your customers and prompt action. Allowing them the opportunity to access and pay their bill through a link in a text message is an easy way to ensure that you get paid, sometimes even sooner than scheduled.

 

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Final thoughts and further reading

Making sure that your dental office is offering a seamless and hassle-free experience for patients is the key to ensuring that they return and refer more business to you. Make it easy on yourself with SMS text messaging – send reminders, alerts and engage directly with your patients. Are you ready to get started with SMS? Setup a free trial or chat with one of our messaging experts.

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