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The benefits of creating a mobile app for your dental practice

March 14, 2017
Most of your patients have their smartphones nearby 24/7. Mobile apps make their lives easy and more efficient. How about creating a mobile app for your dental practice?

Most of your patients have their smartphones nearby 24/7. Mobile apps make their lives easy and more efficient. How about creating a mobile app for your dental practice?

These days, no matter what you want to do, it’s increasingly likely that there is, in fact, an app for that. People have become attached to their smartphones not only because it allows them to check their social networks and email wherever they go, but also because they can shop, make appointments, do their banking, and a host of other chores that used to take more time.

People expect their phones to connect them to their favorite stores, banks, libraries, and TVs, so why should their dental practice be any different? Can your patients easily connect with you through their phones like they do with their banks or fantasy football teams? If not, it’s time for you to start thinking that way.

The mobile app market shows no signs of slowing down, with more than 268 billion apps projected to be downloaded in 2017. There are numerous pre-existing apps that can be bought and adapted to your practice, or you can hire a designer to create one for you. No matter how you go about it, setting up an app for your patients can make life easier for everyone. Here are some of the biggest reasons you should consider creating a mobile app for your dental practice.

Smartphones have taken over the world because of their convenience factor, and your dental practice can take advantage of that. From your app, patients could pay bills, schedule their appointments, or ask you questions no matter where they are. The 24/7 nature of an app means your patients can pay bills as soon as they think of it, which means greater convenience for them and better patient relations for you.

As people get busier and time becomes tighter than ever, the ability to schedule appointments through an app becomes a lifesaver for some. An app can even provide patients with push notifications when last-minute openings become available in your schedule. This can do a lot to reduce the frustration patients may feel when trying to schedule an appointment.

Patient retention
Sending postcards to remind your patients to set up their next appointment isn’t just outdated today, it’s costly and environmentally wasteful. Rather than spending all that money on postage and using natural resources, an app can provide automated and instantaneous connections to your patients. Although you may still need to send correspondence to keep older patients informed, many of the items you need to mail patients can be offloaded onto an app. From there, patients can make appointments, check the status of their appointments, and receive notices about their treatment, all in one place. What’s more, notifications make it possible for patients to receive pertinent information as soon as you send it.

Customer service
Your dental practice is a business, and like all businesses, it needs exemplary customer service to succeed. Your patients have multiple platforms for posting reviews of your practice online, and you need to be able to respond to them. Whether you address patients’ issues or thank them for a positive review, an app can put you in contact with your office’s social media accounts as well as your patients’. You can also use the app as a way to ask patients to share their positive experiences on your Facebook page, Yelp profile, or any other online presence.

It’s important not to overlook the image your practice projects with a mobile app. Patients are more likely to consider your practice as a technology leader and more willing to put their trust in you if they see your practice has embraced the latest technology. With so much competition out there, every little advantage you can create for yourself is vital. It’s harder to stand out among other dental practices if you’re still relying on mass-mailed postcards and in-person payments as large parts of your patient relations.

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Chris Pautsch is founder and CEO of KeyLimeTie. KeyLimeTie is a full-service design, development, and digital strategy agency, helping clients communicate more effectively and intimately with their customers through interactive marketing channels.