Do Dentists Really Need a Website?
Dear Dr. Findmeeasy,
Now more than ever, people want the convenience of shopping on the internet. They get to choose whether it’s the break of day or the middle of the night when they find businesses. With a website, you are never closed. Your physical office hours limit the working person from calling you when their schedule allows. Your appointment reminder then goes on a list for the future, and often gets postponed.
Your website is where your potential patients or patients of record go to become educated about your treatments and services. Questions about financing or dental insurance are answered, and a map to the practice and parking information is provided. They can also see pictures of the physical location and the doctor and dental team. It is a forum where you can shine with your special talents and gifts as a cosmetic dentist or implant specialist. By providing this kind of information, the consumer can call to schedule instead of just to get information.
The website can provide support information for existing patients by offering them online appointment requests and post-operative information following a dental procedure, or even how to get emergency care after hours. The more information that you have with helpful tips and articles relevant to current dental trends, the more visits you will get to your website and thus more patients. An important part of relationship building is the confidence that the potential patient will gain when reading about your community involvement, your family, your team and your services. With the right information, a patient can decide if this is the right practice for them before they even call your office.
As for the expense, dental websites are very affordable due to the return on the initial and ongoing investment. If you own the website you have more control and less overall expense. With your own dental website you can add links to professional associations and social media such as Facebook. It is recommended to set up a business Facebook page rather than a personal Facebook page. Social media is a positive way to connect with your patients and with the current trends that affect society as a whole.
If you are using appointment reminder/survey software, you can link the reviews to your website also. Every practice has its patients that want contact by telephone only, but they are becoming the minority. With practice software allowing us to contact patients with email or text, it is becoming more and more obvious that being inaccessible online via a website is archaic.
Established practices with a solid patient base often underestimate the power of a website and social media. After twenty years or so in practice, the thought of change can be scary. But when patient numbers begin to drop and there are frequent unscheduled time units in the once busy day, thoughts should go towards creating visibility of the practice to new patients.
Once you are online, keeping your website updated and current is important. This task can be delegated to a team member who has experience or creative talent, or one who has a desire to learn. For more help with assessing your market strengths, contact McKenzie Management today.Forward this article to a friend
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