calendar that says follow up

Best Practices for Following Up with Pending Ortho Patients

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

Maximize patient starts with SmileSuite’s done-for-you service. Click here to learn more about our game-changing technology and service that ensure’s perfect follow-up. 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

A stopwatch

Five Effective Ways to Follow-Up With Non-Starts

Not every patient who attends an initial orthodontic consultation will result in a same day start. But just because a patient doesn’t immediately commit, it doesn’t mean you should give up. A proper follow-up protocol can maximize patient starts and improve your overall conversion rates. Think about it, an increase of conversions by 2-3% could add thousands to your bottom line each year. Here are five simple ways you can improve your patient follow-up strategy.

Create a follow-up schedule

Map out a schedule for your Treatment Coordinators that details when follow-ups should be happening. The schedule should be refined over time based on what converts best for your practice. The follow-up schedule should extend 3- 6 months after the initial consultation, with the most frequent touch-points occurring immediately after.

MAXIMIZE PATIENT STARTS WITH SMILESUITE’S DONE-FOR-YOU SERVICE. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR GAME-CHANGING TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICE THAT ENSURE’S PERFECT FOLLOW-UP.

Test different follow-up methods

Test different ways of following up. Emails, phone calls, postcards, and even text messages are all great ways to stay top of mind. Test a variety of follow-up methods and maximize your efforts on the channels that work best. Click here to learn how SmileSuite’s StartAlytics helps practices use data to measure if their follow-up protocol is hitting the target or “missing the mark.”

Use content within your follow-ups

Don’t just follow-up asking for a signed contract– include information that the patient will find helpful in your follow-up protocol. Patient testimonials, appliance videos, FAQs are just some examples of content that can be incorporated into your follow-up strategy. The right content can establish authority and trust, and will help the patient make a faster decision.

Keep track of attempts

Patients may not always respond to the first follow-up attempt. The key is not to give up after the first, or even second follow-up. According to a number of studies, six follow-up attempts is the optimal number. Approximately 93% of all converted leads are reached by the sixth attempt. The key takeaway here is to be persistent.

Use a smart system to keep track of follow-ups

SmileSuite, a presentation system aimed at turning consults into contracts, will help you and your Treatment Coordinator dominate your follow-up strategy. Within SmileSuite, you can create auto-reminders that will notify your TC to make sure patients don’t get lost in the pipeline. These reminders can be set at different intervals, allowing you to stick to your follow-up schedule, and can be fully customized depending on your practice’s need. Whether you want your TC to follow-up with a phone call, send an email, or mail a postcard, SmileSuite will automatically remind your TC so no one fall through the cracks.

 

SIGN UP FOR A FREE DEMO TODAY. PRACTICES USING OUR SOFTWARE AND SERVICES ARE SEEING AN 11% INCREASE IN PENDING PATIENT START RATES. SEE WHY SMILESUITE IS THE FOLLOW-UP SYSTEM EVERY ORTHODONTIST NEEDS.

Orthodontist working on a young patient

Reduce Observation Patient Drop-off with This Simple Solution

How many observation patients does your orthodontic practice have on its roster? Regardless of how many are in the pipeline, you can safely bet that at least half, possibly more, will never begin treatment in your practice. Losing ten observation patients in any given year, could be equivalent to losing $50,000 or more in revenue.

One problem with observation patients is that appointments are spread far out. Typically, an orthodontist sees an observation patient once or twice a year. Scheduling appointments 6 or 12 months ahead of time may not be convenient for the patient. Therefore, it is likely the patient will push off scheduling the next appointment, or if they do schedule an appointment, they may simply not show up.

The onus is on your practice to keep your observation patients “front and center.” One way to make sure these patients stay on your radar is to consistently run a report and see who is ready for their next appointment. However, consistency is sometimes difficult in an ideal world. Your office staff is busy or may even experience staff turn-over, so it’s easy for these reports to be placed on the back burner. Plus, who wants to run another report?

An easier way to ensure your observation patients come back for their next visit is to recruit a SmileSuite Virtual Assistant to ensure these patients show up. In SmileSuite, simply link a VA task to the observation procedure. This task could be to follow-up with a text, email or personalized phone call reminding them that they are due for their observation appointment.

SmileSuite really makes it that simple. No more running reports. No more losing track of patients. And as an added benefit, practices can include an additional automated task, such as a reminder to send a postcard three months before the next visit. It’s a nice touch and an easy way to keep patients engaged with your practice.

Use SmileSuite and never forget about another observation patient again.

SmileSuite helps orthodontists create flexible treatment presentations so they can start more patients, maximize profits, and make data-driven decisions with ease.

SIGN UP FOR A FREE DEMO TODAY. PRACTICES USING OUR SOFTWARE AND SERVICES ARE SEEING AN 11% INCREASE IN PENDING PATIENT START RATES. SEE WHY SMILESUITE IS THE FOLLOW-UP SYSTEM EVERY ORTHODONTIST NEEDS.

smiling girl with braces

A Case Study on How We Increased Phase II Conversion Rates by 16.3%

A 3-step plan to boosting Phase II Patient Conversion Rates

By Anthony Bonavoglia, DDS, MS (Orthodontist and Founder of SmileSuite – the pending patient solution)

Did you know the national average of patient true conversion rates who have completed Phase I treatment, and are presented with Phase II treatment is approximately 50%? Yikes. That’s 15-20% lower than the average overall practice conversion rate. 

As they say, the most cost-effective marketing method is to focus on the lowest hanging fruit. And Phase II patients are it! They are existing patients who are already familiar with your practice, so you don’t have to spend marketing dollars to “acquire” them as patients.   Continue reading

Reduce New Patient Lag Periods and Increase Your Practice’s Profits

 

We’ve previously touched upon the patient journey, which explains the steps patients take from the time they discover your practice to the time they sign the contract. Here’s a brief overview of that journey.`

— 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

 

Great marketing content will make your practice discoverable; an impressive presentation will give your practice credibility during the consideration phase; and proper follow-up will help patients decide that your practice is right for their treatment.

All orthodontists need to pay close attention to the “decision” phase, especially the amount of time patients spend deciding before signing the contract, in other words the “lag period.”

If your practice has an average lag period that is very long, it is likely that potential patients are dropping off, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost business. A long lag period could also indicate that you are not following-up enough, or that there are inefficiencies within your follow-up protocol.

But how do you measure the lag period?

Say hello to SmileSuite, an orthodontic presentation system aimed at turning consults into contracts. Prior to SmileSuite, practices haven’t been able to efficiently track this metric, making it impossible to know whether follow-up protocols are effective.

With SmileSuite, not only can you track follow-up on all patients, but also follow-ups on individual treatment recommendations.

 

For example, you can track the lag period for patients who are presented clear aligners. If there’s a long lag period, you can make adjustments with the way Treatment Coordinators are following up. Perhaps more follow-up is needed, or more information about clear aligners should be provided to educate the patient to help them decide sooner.

Simple changes to your follow-up protocols could lead to bigger profits. So isn’t it time you had a system like SmileSuite, to help you figure out what you need to fix?