Staying connected with your patients should always be priority. The COVID pandemic has underscored the importance of using the Internet to communicate with patients about changes to services, business hours, or safety precautions that your practice has adopted. You can update this information on your social media, or even your business website, but don’t stop there. Today on the blog, Bryant Consultants wants to share tips on using your Google Business listing to connect with your patients and keep them informed about changes to your practice.
Why Use Google Services?
Google is by far the most used search engine on the Internet. Google Business listing now makes it easy to stay connected and update your patients on changes to your practice. Maybe you have to adjust your office hours, or temporarily close. How will patients stay informed of these changes? Updating this information on your Google Business listing means that a quick online search of your practice lets others know when you’re open, are aware of any changes to your services (maybe you have temporarily postponed specific procedures due to COVID), and even book virtual consults right from your Google listing.
Changes to Services Offered
The American Dental Association, along with local state governments have set forth guidelines for dentists and other medical practitioners on how to proceed with elective procedures. These guidelines or recommendations may look different across the board. If your practice borders another state or even a different county, patients may easily be confused as to what they can and cannot expect to get from your practice.
Google Business listing now allows you to update your services so that anyone searching online for your practice will know firsthand what you offer, or the services you’ve temporarily postponed.
The post-covid world looks different than what we are used to, and patients need to know what to expect when visiting your practice.
- Do you need them to wait in their vehicle and call the office before entering your practice?
- Should they plan on bringing their own facemask?
- Are patients allowed to bring their children with them to their appointment or should they make childcare arrangements ahead of time?
- What measures is your practice taking to ensure your patients’ health and safety?
Patients want, and need to know how to prepare for their appointment, and what to expect when they get there. Provide these updates on your Google Business listing for patients to access easily. Everyone expects information at their fingertips, and some people may even pass up a business listing that doesn’t provide enough info to answer their questions. We are so deep into a digital age where not everyone wants to even pick up the phone to call! They expect to get their questions answered online. Google Business allows you to post relevant updates regarding your practice’s protocols, and how those changes affect your patients. Covid recommendations and guidelines are changing so rapidly, you can easily update this information on your Google Business listing, instead of having to mail out letters every couple of weeks.
The most significant change of all is that Google Business now allows you to add a direct link for virtual consultations. Despite the fact that most states are partially lifting shelter-at-home mandates, many people still are hesitant to venture into public, let alone visit a medical or dentist office unless absolutely necessary. This could mean that many of your patients are lacking much-needed dental care, or ignoring problems that you know good and well are going to worsen unless treatment is sought. Remember, a lot of patients will wait to call you until they are in severe pain! Providing online consultations, and making it easy to access through your Google Business listing is exceptionally helpful for your patients, or those looking for a new dentist.
We know that COVID-19 isn’t going away, and probably will spike again during flu season later this year. This means that virtual consultation will be the go-to for many patients. Make accessing your virtual consults easy and simple by adding a direct link to your Google Business listing. This way, when a prospective patient searches Google for a dentist, and your listing comes up as a nearby practice, they can click on your listing and immediately book a virtual consult, all without even having to call your office. Adding this link to your Google Business listing could make a significant difference in attracting new patients to your practice. Patients can conveniently find out if their dental problem is something that needs immediate attention, or could wait until they are able to make an appointment. Talk about service!
Which virtual consultation program should I use?
At Bryant Consultants, we recommend Smile Virtual, an online platform that allows patients to connect with and learn how you can improve their smile, all from the comfort of their own home. One of the best benefits about it is it’s HIPPA compliant. Right now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Smile Virtual is offering a $0 start up cost, which is a $3,000 value. Now, you can add a direct link to your Google Business page that directs patients right to your virtual consultation platform. This ease of access could attract new patients to your practice, and it offers a way for your patients of record to get the information they need to decide how to move forward with their smile needs.
If you’d like to find out how to implement Smile Virtual into your dental practice, contact Bryant Consultants today!
Our experienced website designers at Bryant Consultants understand Google analytics, and how to integrate these services into your business listing. Managing online presence takes time, and you’re busy helping patients! Let us do the heavy lifting for you.
At Bryant Consultants, we understand that this feels like an uncertain time, but it doesn’t have to be. We are here for you when you need us the most. Ready to learn more? Call (877) 768-4799 or connect with us directly. We provide consultation, training, and coaching and will continue to post relevant updates that benefit your practice. To ensure that you receive the latest updates, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.