We all know that maintaining good communication with your patients is key to a successful dental practice. The challenge most providers face is creating an efficient system that streamlines essential patient communication without sacrificing the personalization that builds strong, lasting patient relationships. Enter: Voicemail Drops.
What are Voicemail Drops?
A simple explanation of a voicemail drop is when you “drop” a pre-recorded message into someone’s voicemail inbox. This process delivers the message, but the person’s phone doesn’t ring. Instead, it looks like they have a missed call and have a new voicemail notification.
Dental Intelligence's Voicemail Drops system delivers your desired message without the time and hassle of making manual phone calls. With a little upfront planning to personalize messages as much as possible, voicemail drops allow you to reach everyone on your list simultaneously while maintaining a personal touch.
When are Voicemail Drops Particularly Useful?
Voicemail drops are fully customizable and can be used in a variety of situations – the sky is the limit. Some of the most common ways to integrate voicemail drops into your patient engagement strategy are:
- Pre-Op Calls: Patients need specific information to prepare for upcoming treatments. Instead of manually calling each patient, you can record pre-op instructions for common procedures and send them in bulk as voicemail drops. For instance, doctors can record stock messaging for patients receiving specific procedures like root canals, fillings, or crowns. These messages can then be scheduled to drop into patients' voicemail inboxes at the perfect time. Patients appreciate the extra care and attention to prepare them for their appointment, and further build trust with you as their provider.
- Post-Op Calls: After an in-depth procedure, many providers like to follow up to check on the patient. A lot of dentists are still making these phone calls themselves at the end of the day – often when they are already tired and ready to be home. A voicemail drop allows you to send essential post-op information in just a few seconds, letting your patients know you care without spending an extra hour after the office closes for the night.
- Personal Events: Add a personal touch to your marketing efforts by sending messages for a patient’s personal events. A birthday message is a great way to build trust and stay top-of-mind with your patients. Another great way to build patient loyalty is by dropping them a voicemail on their patient anniversary – a simple recording thanking them for their continued business shows that you value the ongoing relationship.
- Unscheduled Treatment: If a patient leaves the office with unscheduled treatment, a voicemail drop is a simple way to send a quick reminder. Bonus: if you're using online scheduling, let them know in your voicemail message that you'll be following up with a link that allows them to schedule their next appointment right from their phone. Using these tools together is an effective way to boost case acceptance!
- Payment Collections: Voicemail drops offer a significant Return on Investment (ROI) when you used to collect outstanding payments. Simply filter your patient list to those with outstanding balances, then drop a voicemail reminding them that payment is due. This strategy adds a personal touch to your collections process – the voice of the provider or office manager reminding them of an outstanding balance has significantly more impact than just receiving a bill in the mail.
- Office Closures: If your office needs to close for an emergency, a voicemail drop can be an effective way to spread the word.
- New Patient Welcome: Before a new patient comes for an appointment, send a new patient welcome message to create an inviting experience and prepare them for what to expect. This message sets the tone for a good relationship from the moment they walk through the door.
Voicemail Drops Alternatives: What Most Offices Use
Implementing a voicemail drop system has the noticeable benefit of reducing busy work in the office each day. In the past, most pre-op, post-op, and appointment reminder calls were personal, one-to-one phone calls. A staff member sits on the phone and manually dials each number to hold a conversation with every person on the list.
Prior to voicemail drops, birthday messages and collections notifications were usually sent by mail. This time-consuming process involves printing, addressing, stamping, and post office delivery to send information to each patient. This outdated method is inefficient, inconvenient for the patient, and prone to miscommunication or delayed payments.
In comparison, voicemail drops save both time and money. You reduce busy work in the office and avoid unnecessary expenses for mailers and printing. In addition, many dental practices experience an attributable profit margin increase from voicemail drops.
Best Practices for Voicemail Drops
Consider these best practices when using voicemail drops for dental patient engagement. We recommend these tips:
- Refresh Your Messages: Proactively swap out your messages every few weeks. It’s wise to update these pre-recorded messages, especially when patients receive post-op or collection calls multiple times. Refreshing the message is essential for maintaining that personal touch and preventing things from feeling redundant or robotic.
- Consistency in Communication: Set a regular cadence to reach out to patients on a schedule. Make voicemail drops part of your daily or weekly routine to ensure the messages are always relevant and timely and that no one falls through the cracks.
- Be Specific: Mentioned earlier, in order for patients to get the most value out of voicemail drops, it’s important for messages to be as specific as possible. For example, a voicemail drop initiative for pre-op instructions will be much more effective if each message is tailored to a specific procedure. Similarly, unscheduled treatment messages should also contain details about what treatment needs to be scheduled. Subtle variations of the same message can be recorded, but these little personalization touches can go a long way to achieving desired outcomes.
Making Your Voicemail Drops Sound Natural
Create a personalized experience to make your messages sound as natural as possible. Here are a few tips to help:
- Smile: Record the message with a smile on your face to make it sound welcoming and happy.
- Repeat: If you are requesting a callback, repeat your name and phone number at the end of the message.
- Test: Try different versions of the same message to see which format produces the best response.
- Follow-Up: Pair voicemail drops with other forms of communication, such as following an "unscheduled treatment" voicemail with your online scheduling link, or following an "outstanding balance" voicemail with a text-to-pay link.
Voicemail drops make it possible for you to connect with patients on a personal level without the manual process of phone calls and one-on-one conversations. Most dental practices can save at least 20 hours of manual tasks each month by taking advantage of voicemail drops from Dental Intelligence. Simply pre-record your message, then send or schedule the voicemail with one click.