The Evolution of Consultations
The advances of technology, specifically smartphones, have changed the expectations of consumers and the internal processes of dental practices. These advances have benefits and have presented an opportunity for dental providers to change how they interact with their patients and transform how consultations are conducted. Technology and smartphones have changed the world and adapting to the changes in technology is important to stay relevant and up-to-date.
Traditionally, patients seeking dental care have to call the office, find a time that meets the scheduling needs of both parties, and come into the office for a 30 minute office visit. What are the downfalls of this traditional method? Well for starters, time. Time is valuable. For dental providers, making the most out of your day and filling up appointment time slots with the right patient profile is essential. For potential patients searching for options, taking time out of their day to attend an initial consultation to find out answers must be arranged around their busy schedule. With time being a factor, some potential patients might opt out of seeking treatment altogether. Why waste time committing to an appointment that you are walking into blind with no prior information? Virtual consultations save time for providers and patients. Patients can perform a virtual consultation when they have five free minutes, anytime, anywhere. Providers, in return, can submit back an initial treatment plan with the information consumers are seeking, before committing to a their in-office visit. People are scared of the unknown – if they receive initial answers without having to step foot into your office, they are more likely to schedule an appointment, show up informed and ready to start treatment.
Another aspect to consider in regards to the concept of time is time wasted. How many times have you reserved appointment time for a patient who was not informed, not sure if they wanted treatment, and ultimately experienced sticker shock? It happens quite often and the result is wasted time and resources. When you have minimal interaction prior to meeting potential patients, you have no idea what to expect and aren’t aware of their case, needs and expectations. If your starting treatment conversion rate of those who come in for their in-office initial consult is low, a virtual consultation platform is something you’re going to want to provide as an alternative option to your customers.
Progressive, forward thinking practices have already started replacing traditional consultations with virtual consultations. What have the results been, so far? Saved time, a higher treatment start conversion rate, and access to preview the patient case.
How can virtual consultations be implemented effectively into your practice’s processes? When someone shows interest and contacts your practice – via phone, contact form, or live chat, to schedule an appointment – practices are immediately presenting the option of a virtual consultation. The interested patient receives directions to perform the virtual consultation using SmileSnap, which is a simple, guided process. The doctor can review the case, provide answers, and patients show up committed to start treatment.
SmileSnap is much more than a marketing and new patient acquisition tool – it can modernize and transform how you perform consultations. Ditch the traditional consultation and get on-board with virtual consultations.