Today’s patients expect answers to their questions almost immediately. Big brands like Amazon and Apple have created seamless online integrations to improve the overall experience of their customers. You don’t have the budgets of Amazon and Apple, but your patients expect the same type of services and response time with dental webchat.
This is where dental webchat becomes essential. Webchat services are inexpensive while at the same time exponentially improving your practice reputation and dental marketing efforts.
What Is Dental Webchat?
It’s what it sounds like: It’s software that resides on the homepage of your website. It allows patients and potential patients to communicate with your team immediately.
In a study by 99Firms researchers found that 79% of consumers prefer live chat. In comparison, 42% of businesses think that customers prefer the phone. These statistics represent a disparity in perception. Consumers want Webchat, but small businesses don’t believe their clients want it. In our research, we’ve found that this disparity is just as significant in the dental industry.
A study in Inc. revealed that 42% of consumers prefer live chat over other forms of communication. A J.D. Power survey found that 42% of customers prefer live chat compared to only 23% for email and 16% for social media.
In another consumer study, live chat recently overtook the phone as the top online customer service channel.
Webchat improves your online reputation management efforts. Emarketer found that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
Online research companies have found that your patients would like to have the option to chat with your team via your website.
Here are six benefits of adding chat to your website.
Dental Webchat Increases Your Team’s Productivity
Real-time chat can dramatically improve customer service. Rather than having a team member speak with one patient at a time on the phone, with Webchat, a team member can manage multiple conversations at once.
Some chat services offer a one-to-one conversation capability. When investigating the Webchat options, make sure that you find a chat system that has the flexibility to manage multiple conversations at once.
One other dental chatbot function that you’ll want to make sure you have is to transfer a chat conversation to another member of the team. For example, suppose you have a patient in the chat that has a technical question that needs to be answered by another team member. In that case, you’ll want the ability to transfer the Webchat to the correct team member.
Dental Webchat Helps You Get An Edge Over Competitors
Response time gives your practice an edge over your competition. If a potential patient emails one of your competitors with a question, studies have shown that the response time to email is around ten hours. If that same patient then chats on your website, you can engage in real-time with the patient, answer their question and build trust. Webchat allows you to schedule an appointment before your competitor checks their email.
If you think that you’re late to the party by adding a chat to your website, you’re wrong. A live chat study of small businesses found that most did not have Webchat on their website. Conservative estimates show that less than 30% of practices have Webchat on their website in the dental industry.
Webchat Helps Convert More New Dental Patients
According to a research article by Forrester, consumers/patients who use live chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert to purchase than patients who don’t use Webchat.
Unfortunately, potential patients come to your website and leave without someone on your team starting a conversation with them. Every website visitor who is not already a current patient is a potential new patient. For those patients who do not want to talk on the phone, a chat widget on your homepage will help convert them to an appointment.
Webchat Helps Build Relationships with Patients
79% of consumers prefer live chat because it offers an immediate response. Studies have shown that consumer satisfaction rates on chat widgets are 92%. Why are these stats so high? In a chat session, your team member can assess the patient’s tone and sentiment, which allows them to adjust their style to fit the patient’s needs.
Your team member has the opportunity to mirror the potential patient’s tone and formality, which helps to build rapport, trust and improve patient satisfaction rates.
Chat Patterns Are Great Insight Into New Marketing Efforts
Once your practice implements Webchat, you’ll notice trends and patterns over time as patients ask similar questions. These patterns will offer valuable insight which can help you to improve your overall marketing strategies.
For example, suppose you receive numerous questions about whether or not you provide a take-home teeth whitening service. In that case, you may want to add a page to your website or a banner on your homepage letting website visitors know what you do or do not provide.
Webchat conversations can be saved and used for training. As you aggregate positive and negative feedback, you’ll be able to use that to improve patients satisfaction
Dental Webchat Improves Dental Patient Experience and Reputation
Chat improves patient experience, which is tied directly to your online dental reputation management. Your dental practice brand improves as you convert a higher percentage of potential patients into scheduled patients.
The main reason patients give positive reviews regarding chat is because of its immediacy. A patient’s ability to connect with one of your team members at the exact moment that they have a question is a benefit that you should take advantage of.
The real-time effect of Webchat can also save your practice from a negative review on a review site. Search engines will display negative reviews. Webchat provides an opportunity to connect with the unhappy patient, build trust, and hopefully reach a reasonable conclusion without being blindsided by a negative review.
Leverage AI and Implement a Chatbot
Chatbots are software that uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to manage chats without a human involved. Chatbots are an ai powered chat solution. In the past few years, the artificial intelligence of chatbots has improved, solving some of the concerns that chatbots were unable to manage the conversation correctly.
You may want to use a dental chatbot because 21% of chats are unanswered, which is staggering. This shows that dental practices are still learning (or unaware) of how vital Webchat can be to their online reputation.
According to ZenDesk almost all chats are received between 7 am and 7 pm. The highest number of chats come between 11 am and 3 pm. If you are a practice that shuts down for lunch, you’ll miss out on potential Webchats. Setting up a chatbot to manage your website during this time is a no-brainer.
When you start investigating the different chat systems, you’ll want to find one that can transition from Webchat to texting on a mobile phone. Patient chats begin online but need to transition to mobile because the patients may have to leave their computer before the chat session is over. In these situations, you’ll want to transition the chat to a texting conversation.
How To Implement Live Chat On Your Dental Website?
If you are ready to add a chat system to your dental office’s website, you should look for the following functionality:
- Ability to manage multiple chats at once.
- Reassign a chat to a different team member.
- Multiple chat widgets for practices with multiple locations.
- A chatbot option.
- Customization and branding options.
- The ability to switch from Webchat to texting.
All of the above functionality is included in the Patient Communication service by My Social practice. Not only do we provide dental services developed for the dental industry, we also provide fantastic support and training.
Find New Patients With Help From Dental Marketing Experts
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is an expert dental marketer and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of SEO for dental practices or our dental websites service, you can learn more here. Also please read our Google My Business reviews.