Tech Talk: The Technology Communication Checklist For Orthodontists
Dental Specialists Rely On “Word Of Mouth” For More Than Just Dental Health
Your telephone system isn’t just your primary mode of communication with current and prospective patients – it’s your lifeline. You depend on your telephone system to work and provide the utmost in reliability.
When patients call your practice for the first time, they expect either an interactive voice response offering self-guided prompts or a live person greeting them upon answer – anything else presents a complicated and confusing scenario that you can’t afford to have happened.
If an existing patient calls after hours for an urgent dental need, it’s a logical expectation that an automated message plays with guidance on how to reach the orthodontist in case of emergency – but if there’s no answer or just “dead” air, the patient becomes frustrated – and possibly scared, not knowing what to do next.
Both of these situations are entirely avoidable with a few simple steps.
Modern dental practices are migrating to voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) telephone systems and enjoying the benefits. VoIP systems rely on the Internet for communication, rather than legacy public exchange (or “privacy branch exchange”, commonly called PBX) systems which can experience interruption and cost more for features like long-distance calling.
VoIP isn’t new – early VoIP systems emerged in the mid-1990’s and were expensive. In the last 20 years, system costs have decreased significantly – by more than 50% – and new VoIP features continue to get added. VoIP users today enjoy great features like:
- Call Waiting
- Call Forwarding
- Caller ID
These features are staples to telecommunication by now – but also voicemail, unlimited long distance included in the cost, and modern systems no longer require a device purchase but can be used with existing hardware.
The option to have unlimited long distance calling including at the same monthly service rate has made VoIP a popular choice for personal and professional users alike, but more businesses are embracing the flexibility of VoIP systems with features like accessing systems using smartphones. In fact, professional VoIP use has exploded in recent years, and a newer service model has emerged: cloud-based VoIP.
Cloud-based VoIP is the same concept as “standard” VoIP except that providers like FreedomVoice now provide toll-free and local telephone numbers with virtual service that routes calls with no complicated setup or contract.
Orthodontists using cloud-based VoIP telephone service have unparalleled reliability with features that grow with your practice. As your patient base expands, so can your cloud-based telephone service. New features include a customizable virtual receptionist and voicemail-to-email options. If you prefer to listen to your messages rather than read the emailed transcript, another feature is to access voicemail remotely through a smartphone app.
Cloud-based VoIP means no on-site server or system to configure and just require a high-speed Internet connection, like any VoIP system. Some systems are cross-platform friendly and don’t require the need for a desktop handset.
Orthodontic practices and oral surgery has evolved, and total communications systems have adapted to the needs of these busy medical providers, giving patients a greater peace of mind and access when it’s needed.
Enjoy cloud-based VoIP and telecommunications features like:
- Plug-and-play setup
- Users enjoy being able to simply plug in a device and use it, with no complicated set-up or configuration.
- No contracts
- Service contracts for telecommunications are becoming a thing of the past – for good reason.
- Quality handsets with clarity
- Quality reception, reliable service, and clear calls
- The world is your office
- Going on vacation? No one needs to know! Taking calls from anywhere means orthodontists can answer questions or provide assistance from an out-of-town conference without disrupting patient care.
- Scalable and flexible
- Add more devices as your office – or offices! – grow, and everything will sync nicely together for fluid communication.
Cloud-based VoIP offers more modern features, too:
- Smart number routing: Generate routing rules based on the caller’s number
- Very helpful in the case of new patients calling one of the multiple dental practice locations and routing to the closest location, or in case of emergencies and reaching the closest oral surgeon
- Simultaneous ring: Ring calls to multiple devices at once
- Custom hold music or choose from a hold music library
- Record calls
- Helpful for training or legal purposes
- 3-Way Conferencing
- Call blocking: Helpful for unwanted robocalls or repeated calls from telemarketers
Modern telecommunications systems now include a plethora of advanced features that support modern medical practices, and cloud-based VoIP solutions are going even further. It’s no surprise that more medical practices are choosing cloud-based VoIP more than traditional VoIP now.
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As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.