Over the next couple of weeks we'll bring you a few articles discussing the end-to-end patient experience and how they can integrate with Dentally or other dental software that you use. This topic is so vast that we felt it was only right that we break it up a little. Today we'll be discussing patient discovering your practice and how they could book.

A lot of people talk about providing an excellent patient experience. But patient experience isn't just when the patient is in the practice, it extends outside the surgery room. It is about how a patient experiences your practices brand when they are undertaking treatment, when they are between checkups but also their experience when not directly being treated.

Discovery

When a patient first discovers your brand, any thing they learn about you will frame all future experiences so it is extremely important to ensure that your core mission is expressed in all of your outward messaging. From your Twitter activity through what people say about your practice to their friends you want everything to convey what your brand is about and how you want to be perceived. This can be a complex task as there are many different channels that a potential patient will hear about you:

  • Social Media
  • Online advertising
  • Profiles in local publications
  • Word of mouth
  • Website

Of these, the easiest to control and use to express your brand values are your website, any advertising you do and your social media. At this point if your social media looks spammy and your website looks like it was built in the 90's patients will switch off immediately and find a practice that conveys a more modern and nicer brand. A lot of practices don't like to spend money on revamping their website however it can make a huge difference. A word of warning however, some providers of website design do really overcharge dentists so always remember to check their portfolio and seek references if you think it is needed.

We've discussed some various strategies for website design and strategy as well as social media strategy in the past on this blog so if you need further information you should check those out.

Booking

Online booking is a must these days and it can serve two purposes. Firstly if you use a paid tool, like Zesty or another company like them this can serve to attract new patients to your practice. Secondly you may just want to make it easier for your existing patients to book checkups.

This has a number of added benefits:

  • It gives the practice the ability to better manage and organise it's appointment book.
  • Gives the patient the ability to manage their own bookings. This can help remove some of the burden from a busy reception.

Check out Dentally's integrations for more about other dental software that we interact with.

Picture credit: Jan Fidler