See Chief Marketing Officer Jay Gordman’s full video discussing this dental clients’ pivot during the pandemic: Full Video.
During the month of March 2020, due to the highly communicable nature of COVID-19, the State of Nebraska required all dental offices to close except for emergency procedures. This led to limited staff hours, and it became difficult for patients to connect with a dentist to ask questions about dental concerns. Dentists needed a new way to understand each patient’s situation and determine whether emergency treatment was needed, and the new process had to be communicated to patients. In addition, the Today’s Dental offices wanted to continue reaching out to new patients.
yorCMO and company team members determined that the best way to communicate with patients would be via tele-dentistry. However, packaged tele-dentistry software options took a long time to implement and many had been rushed to market and were not quite ready for public use. The team decided to keep it simple, using existing online communication tools plus a website landing page, paid online ads and social media to communicate with existing and new patients.
Introducing a New Concept in Dentistry
The term tele-dentistry is very new to dental patients, and during initial outreach many thought it meant a phone call. For that reason, the team decided to use the phrase “text-a-dentist” to describe the new service. To let patients know about the new service and educate them on the process, the company sent an email to them and added social media posts to individual offices’ social media pages. We decided to use Google Voice for diagnosis. This tool is not only easy to use and free but is HIPAA compliant. A new landing page on the company’s website introduced the term “text-a-dentist”, provided instructions and showed screenshots of sample text communications.
Getting the Word Out to New Patients
To continue reaching out to new patients, who we all knew could become long-term patients even after offices opened, we ramped up Google Adwords for “teledentistry” and other more commonly used emergency dental keywords. We knew “text-a-dentist” was too new a term to gain traction in web searches. The ads drove traffic to the new educational landing page.
The new term “text-a-dentist” was well-received and the concept was clear according to patients who responded to the email. Following the email drop, several appointments began to come in each day, which restored some of the lost business and helped maintain ongoing patient relationships.
Consolidation of Services to Full-Time Locations
Enough appointments for emergency dental services were made after the email was sent to existing patients that the company decided to consolidate services to a limited number of locations that would solely provide emergency services during the pandemic lockdown.
Building Confidence and Trust
Patients are rightly concerned about visiting dental offices during a global health crisis. Even though emergency dental conditions must be addressed, those concerns are the same. No one wants forced exposure to a contagious health condition that could cause serious health issues. Today’s Dental’s efforts to provide an easy-to-use service and educate patients helped alleviate those concerns – and built confidence and trust for the future.
The new “text-a-dentist” service created by Today’s Dental and the yorCMO fractional marketing professional will be incorporated into the company’s regular business model as a way to not only care for existing patients but attract new ones. It’s a development that might not have happened without the coronavirus – and a great example of a silver lining that can be found in this cloud for businesses of all sizes and types.
YorCMO’s fractional marketing solution partners you with a member of our expert team (a yorCMO), who follows a proven process to help you drive profitable growth, ensure sustainability and build intrinsic value. Our process supports B2B and B2C companies regardless of size or industry. YorCMO is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with a distributed team of highly experienced yorCMOs serving clients throughout the United States and worldwide.
About the Author:
Jay is co-founder of yorCMO.
Jay also founded Webtivity Group to help companies break through the confusion of how to effectively use their website and digital marketing efforts to meet their business objectives.
Jay is a successful digital marketing and ecommerce professional that helps companies across multiple industries grow revenue using a broad range of strategies. He has a deep understanding of the challenges companies face when trying to balance the diverse components of growing revenue across all marketing channels. He has been called “Tactegic” for his ability to blend strategic thinking and tactical execution to achieve measurable results.