In an ideal world, patients will start the same day they are presented treatment. But the reality is that most patients need some time to consider their options. According data collected by SmileSuite, approximately 29% of patients across all practices will have a same-day-start. But what about the remaining 70% of patients? Investing in orthodontic treatment is not like shopping for a candy bar. It’s a considerable investment, so many patients need time to weigh their options. There are three important phases of the patient’s journey that all orthodontists should be aware of:
- Phase 1: Discovery – This is when a patient discovers you through your marketing content and learns more about your practice
- Phase 2: Consideration – During this phase, a patient attends a consultation and is considering treatment
- Phase 3: Decision – This typically takes place after they leave the consultation room, and it’s the phase when patients decide whether or not to start treatment
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Throughout the patient’s journey, the third phase is the most important, and successful orthodontists who have a solid follow-up process are the ones most likely to get the patient to say, “eyes.” If you don’t have consistent and timely follow-up protocols, you’ll see patients drop-off during this critical phase, costing your practice thousands of dollars a year.
The challenge for many practices is dedicating the time and the resources to follow-up. For a treatment coordinator, this requires finding time to make phone calls or send follow-up emails, all while attending new patients. Your TCs are busy, so it’s easy to forget, or put new patient follow-up on the back burner.
Luckily, SmileSuite, an orthodontist presentation system aimed at turning consults to contracts, makes the follow-up process easy and requires minimal effort on your end. We recently assisted a client by updating and completing their follow-up auto-tasks. The result? They added over $100k to their production calendar! Click here to request a free demo, and in the meantime, check out these tips aimed at improving your follow-up and increasing patient starts.
- Create a standardized system that maps out your follow-up touchpoints and implement this system across all pending patients. This system is essentially a schedule on when you plan to follow-up. For example: Day 1 after initial consultation: Make a follow-up call; Day 3 after initial consultation: Send follow-up email.
- Vary your follow-up across different platforms. Follow-up by email, phone, and text messages. This maximizes your exposure and ensures you stay on the patient’s radar.
- Don’t give up. Most practices make the mistake of stopping their follow-up a couple of weeks after the initial consultation. SmileSuite has found that successful follow-up protocols should run the span of approximately seven touch points spread out over the span of two months.
It’s time you made your follow-up process more efficient. Let SmileSuite work on your behalf.
SmileSuite helps orthodontists create flexible treatment presentations so they can start more patients, maximize profits, and make data-driven decisions with ease.