You’ve probably seen website chats on just about every e-commerce site you visit, and with good reason. They’re a great tool for generating new business, and they can do the same to help your dental website convert leads into new patients.
Without a chat feature on your website, your patients are probably contacting you by phone or, to a lesser extent, by email. But both contact methods have drawbacks that can discourage people from reaching out to you.
Chat, on the other hand, combines the benefits of each method of communicating to increase the chances of people responding to you and, sooner or later, scheduling an appointment.
Not sure if adding chat is a good idea for your office? Below are some key benefits that might change your mind.
Always there for you.
Chats can be made available 24/7, so your patients can always reach out to you, any time, anywhere, on any device. Now, it’s not likely that you’ll have someone from your team up late at night or during the wee hours of the morning to keep an eye on your chat inbox, but (depending on your chat software) you can set up automated chatbots to cover the times when you’re offline. Your bots can ask clarifying questions or provide simple answers, based on how the user responds to your pre-defined prompts.
No need to be shy.
The idea of picking up a telephone and initiating a conversation, especially with someone they’ve never spoken with before, can be off-putting to your website visitors. That’s even more true in today’s world where texting is becoming preferable to voice discussions.
Chat allows patients to “text” their inquiry to you and take some of that anxiety out of the initial contact. There’s a good chance that first chat will lead to a phone call to answer a question in greater detail or schedule an appointment, but chat can be a great way to break the ice.
Don’t feel pressured.
A live phone call can force one or both parties to come up with hurried answers on the spot. Chat offers a little leeway since it gives you some time to collect your information before you respond. That gives patients time to double-check their calendars and confirm with family members for conflicts before scheduling an appointment. It also gives your team members an opportunity to consult with the doctor and give the patient the most thorough answer possible for questions about treatment.
The more your patients use chat to contact your office, the less time your front desk team needs to spend answering phones. If those calls are to schedule appointments, then picking up the phone is obviously time well spent. But many of the chat conversations will be for questions from people who are still kicking the tires, like “how much do you charge for a cleaning” or “do you accept my insurance.” Being able to answer those inquiries as a chat during the small gaps of time you have rather than dropping everything to pick up a phone call can add a lot of productive time to your day.