When asking the question, “should I add live chat to my dental practice website?”, the answer is a loud “Yes.” Here is the reality; your patients want options. They want options when it comes to the restaurants they choose to go to. They want options when it comes to what school they sent their kids to. They want options when it comes to what kind of car they decide to purchase. And believe it or not, they want options when it comes to how they schedule an appointment at your office.
As our world continues to adjust in the wake of COVID-19 and social distancing, it’s become more important to understand that your patients want and need options. One of these many options includes a live website chat feature.
Why Should I Add Live Chat to My Dental Practice Website?
When potential new patients visit your website, they want instant gratification. The numbers say that you have 15 seconds to engage a visitor before they leave your website. Engaging your website visitors means presenting them with engaging calls to action to keep them interacting with your company and brand. So what are your “calls to action”? According to the website experience gurus at Optimizely, “a call to action is a prompt on a website that tells the user to take some specified action.” Here are some great examples of a call to action:
- Read more articles
- Sign-up for our newsletter
- Share on social media
- Schedule an appointment
Live chat gives your website visitors a focused call to action to schedule an appointment with you. But, even deeper than a call to action, a live website chat feature also:
- Keeps potential patients on your website longer.
- Helps facilitate the process of scheduling an appointment.
- Creates a familiarity with your brand, so they become your patient for life.
Interact with Your Patients in Real-Time with Live Website Chat
So what are the benefits of having a ‘live chat’? First, it provides a live, real-time interaction. Let’s take your existing patients for example. During this unprecedented time, your existing patient base wants the option to speak with someone at your office. But they may not have the time to pick up the phone and call. If your office is overloaded with calls, a live chat feature would allow you to offset some of these calls. In addition, you want to offer every opportunity of convenience for your patients. Giving your patients a live chat feature on your website provides a convenience that goes above and beyond what is considered ‘necessary’.
Live Website Chat Works 24/7
Another important feature to consider is a website chat that is 24/7. By the end of 2019, 66% of US health systems offered digital self-scheduling and 64% of patients were booking appointments digitally. This is an example of technology developing to meet growing demand. Your potential new patients and existing patients have jobs, responsibilities, kids, etc to take care of and they may not have the time to schedule appointments during work hours. Having a website chat feature that is 24/7 allows your patient base to facilitate scheduling an appointment after your office hours or over the weekend.
Live Chat Agents That Understand Your Practice
With the addition of a website chat feature, you may be wondering, “How does the person speaking to my existing/potential new patients know anything about my office?” “How do they know what insurance my office covers?” When researching a live website chat option, consider one that offers a questionnaire that the live agents can reference during a conversation. This improves the live agents’ ability to respond to most of the questions your patients will be asking.
Live Website Chat Can Build Trust
At the end of the day, the importance of modernizing your overall patient experience is paramount to attracting new patients and gaining their trust. When your patients come to the office, they are expecting your team and doctors to deliver exceptional service and experience. Adding a live website chat feature provides a fantastic first impression, in which these potential new patients begin to build trust in you and your practice.