The era of rotary phones and snail mail is long over. You will barely find any households still occupying a landline, anymore. Why? Because since the year 2000, we have been slowly immersed in an era where technology is king. At what point have you seen anyone not carrying a smartphone? Are you carrying a smartphone? How many apps does it currently occupy? One? Two? More? If you are asking the question of what is an app, then let me explain in a way that won’t make you furrow your brows in confusion. An app is simply a software program that can either be used online or on mobile devices. Do you remember the Apple phone advertisement in which their slogan was: “There’s an app for that.” (You can watch it here).
Well, now there is an app for pretty much everything — Facebook, Google, Microsoft Word, Kodi, etc. And the list continues. The app is the big thing now. Instead of it being the brand new, exclusive to Apple only thing, it’s the thing all phones have and what most people can’t live without. Why is this important? Because the dental industry needs to evolve to suit the now commonplace lifestyle of their patients, and just like Apple’s 2009 slogan, “There’s an app for that.”
What do you do with this information? Are you at this moment asking yourself if getting an app for your practice is worth it? In this blog post, I am going to provide you with 5 influential reasons why it absolutely is.
According to crtc.gc.ca, the statistics of communications for Canadians in 2016 reveal that “More Canadian households have mobile phones (85.6%) than landlines (75.5%) — a big change from ten years ago, when just over half of Canadian households subscribed to mobile phones (62.9%) and almost all subscribed to landlines (94.0%).” This gives you an idea of just how influential technology has been on communications, and why it is doubly important for you to “get with the times” and provide your patients with an alternative way to contact you that better fits this era and the people in it.
Even though I continue to stand by person-to-person communications as the number one form of communication, supplying alternative ways of connecting to your office in order to view past appointments, confirm or request to reschedule appointments, or even just fill in or update the medical questionnaire, all without sacrificing the patient-centered value of your practice, can legitimately help your practice be more successful. Not only will your practice be able to assist your patients even at your busiest time, your patients will appreciate their direct connection with you at all times.
An app that provides incredible benefits to their customers is almost guaranteed to encourage positive word-of-mouth as patients discuss this app with people they know, and in turn embolden them to check out a dental professional who has decided to advance their practice out of the age of landlines.
This is the beginning of a new era for the dental industry, and trust me, you want to be on that train before it leaves the station. This kind of revolutionary breakthrough in patient communications is the first of its kind and has the type of influence to put you and your team in the forefront of your industry and really enhance your visibility in the community.
Visibility is important when it comes to patient retention, but it is especially important regarding recalls and reminders that a patient would otherwise forget about. Out of sight, out of mind as the old saying goes. A phone app, however, is always there, always keeping you visible to your patients. And since our phones have become an extension of our bodies in some ways, your practice app will act as a beacon, leading your patients right back to you and reducing the amount of cancellations and no-shows.
What is your favourite app on your phone and how has it changed the way you see that company now? Let us know in the comments section below. As always, we’d love to hear from you.