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Chat Your Way to Success: Navigating Dental Practice Website Chat Solutions

By December 7, 2023No Comments

Chat Your Way to Success: Navigating Dental Practice Website Chat Solutions

Live chats are beating out phones, social media, and email as people’s preferred way to communicate with a business. It’s clear why: no long wait times, awkward interactions, or being transferred across space and time. Customers can enjoy the convenience of an instant response without having to work nearly as hard.

Your dental practice is no exception. You can improve your dental marketing by implementing a chat feature to your website and utilizing chat features across your external platforms (social media, Google Business Profile & Maps). You’ll beat out the competition as a more convenient, relevant, and thoughtful provider. 

The good news is that your options for chatting online are varied and constantly improving.

Why Your Dental Website Needs a Chat Feature

Adding dental online chat to your website can improve patient relationships, lower the number of phone calls occupying your team, and help convert website visitors into new patients. If you’re working on improving your website, remember: the best dental website designs should include a chat feature. 

There are three main options for adding chat to your website: Chatbots, AI Chatbots, and Live Chat. Each of these has its advantages and shortcomings so choose what works best for you and your practice.

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Chatbots

If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution, chatbots are the way to go. They are more limited in their ability to give detailed or unique responses, which can sometimes lead to patient frustration. However, they can help you field commonly asked questions. Even if a chatbot has to escalate the chat to a live phone call or email, it has at least got the ball rolling on the conversation.

AI Chatbots

AI Chatbots are more specifically tailored to serve your practice based on machine learning and large language model programming. They can answer more questions than a regular chatbot and sound incredibly human. Customer service tasks and AI are on a collision course. 

In order for an AI bot to be fully customized to your practice the AI chat require training. It’s needs a knowledge-base that it pulls from to answer questions. If you want it to answer questions about your new patient special you’ll have to give it that information. If you want it to answer questions about which insurance plans you accept, it’ll need that information in the knowledge-base.

An AI chat bot can also be trained to understand your specific tone, services, and values. AI technology is evolving at an incredibly fast pace. In the very near future a patient will call a dental practice and speak with an AI customer service bot and not even know that it’s AI. That’s how good AI is becoming at managing conversations and customer service tasks.   

Live Chat

Live chat is the gold standard for patient care. As much as technology can help, it can’t replace live human interaction. With live chat, patients get instant answers to their queries, regardless of how unique or specialized the question may be. Your live chat becomes an extension of your practice and shows the quality of care you provide in person and online.

Naturally, live chat is the most expensive option for managing your website chat solutions. However, there are options so that you don’t have to tie up your staff or break the budget. Choosing a dental marketing company to manage your live chats can be the perfect way to give quality care 24/7 and let your staff focus on patients when they are in the practice.

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Outsourcing Dental Practice Website Chat is the Way to Go

There are a ton of benefits to outsourcing dental marketing services, including providing the best possible care on your live chat. Live chat can elevate your patient communication process.

Empathetic Care

While Chatbots can technically “get the job done,” they can’t quite master the empathetic nature of a human being. Dental care and dental problems can be scary and intimidating and require sensitivity to human emotion. AI is getting very close to being able to manage these conversations but live chat is the gold standard. Real authentic human conversations are just the thing a nervous patient needs to confidently make an appointment to address a longstanding issue.

Holistic Online Response Team

You are likely getting hit with questions not just on your website, but across the internet on your Google Business Profile and social media. It can be exhausting to keep a pulse on every platform. Even Google Maps allows your practice to communicate with patients online, so if you aren’t watching and responding to comments and reviews, outsourcing with a dental marketing company can help. On top of live chat, a dental marketing company can help you leverage the dental social media publisher to respond to DM’s and social media comments as well. 

Better Quality Chats 

There’s a clear advantage to partnering with a dental marketing company. Where other companies might need additional training to understand the unique challenges and problems facing both dentists and patients, dental marketers are well acquainted with the dental industry. Their sales reps are equipped to turn website visitors into new patients and help retain existing patients. Additionally, outsourcing live chat means you can provide care 24/7, 365 days a year with little to no effort on your part.

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Outsource Live Chat with My Social Practice

Outsourcing marketing tasks like dental blogging and live chat can be extremely valuable. AI and chatbots can get you part of the way there, but when you are ready to truly scale and maximize your impact with online chat, look to the dental marketing pros to get the job done right.  

If you need help managing your chat feature or social media comments, get a demo of our premium social media service today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of dental practice website chat?

The first moment a new visitor lands on your website is crucial. Having a chatbot function gives the option to get care and questions answered on demand—without the hassle of calling or searching through your site.

For individuals looking for a new dental care provider, you can outperform the competition by giving them what they need when they need it. This will improve your client experience and dental brand reputation. You’ll also free up precious time and resources for your already busy dental staff by fielding questions online instead of over the phone.

What’s the difference between chatbots and AI chatbots?

When you are determining what type of chatbot to use for your dental website, consider this: chatbots are restricted by pre-determined responses to specific questions. They can only answer what information they have been programmed to respond to. While this is a cost-effective solution, they are highly restrictive and can cause some user frustration. 

AI Chatbots can understand a broader range of conversational queues and answer a more varied amount of questions. They still require some information and training to be fully successful.

How can chatbots and live chat help my dental practice?

It depends on the chat solution you choose. Chatbots can tackle frequently asked questions like hours, practice location, and appointment availability. If they need to, they can guide patients to more information should they need it. A shocking 86% of patients would rather talk to a chatbot than fill out online forms. 

Whether it’s a chatbot or a live chat, these conversations can be the beginning of your patient-dentist relationship. They can help you improve your reputation and patient care. Overall it is a positive addition to your dental marketing strategy.

Can I run live chat on my dental website with my team?

Live chat can be a tedious process to handle internally. While admittedly easier to respond to than competing phone calls, being tied to the computer to manage live chats can be just as frustrating for your staff when they have other responsibilities. Also, your staff is unlikely able to handle the live chat 24/7, 365 days a year, and will be restricted to only answering responses during business hours. Mishandling your chat feature (missing or delayed responses) can fracture patients’ trust in your practice. 

Outsourcing your live chat to a dental marketing company can make a huge impact on the success of your live chat. They are well-trained to support both dentists and patients through live chat.

About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert 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 practices grow through SEO for dentists. 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 dental SEO or our dental website service, please give us a call.

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