Customers are the heart of your dental practice; without them, you’d have no clinic to maintain. Yet managing a successful dental clinic and keeping track of patient appointments and your marketing efforts is a challenge. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes into play.
If you’re not convinced of the benefits of CRM software and prefer maintaining customer relationships the old-fashioned way – handshakes, business cards, and follow-up calls – this article is for you. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of CRM and the five key benefits of Customer Relationship Management software. Maybe we’ll change your mind.
What Is Customer Relationship Management?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software are applications used to help businesses track customer interactions and communications. CRM enables you to contact customers in one place without rifling through hard files and awkward spreadsheets. However, that’s not all CRM is used for. Many CRM applications also include task management and marketing functionality, such as segmenting customers by demographics.
Although CRM is used across many industries, several dental-specific applications are available, like Dentally and Systems for Dentists. You can also have bespoke CRM and dental management software developed, so its functionality perfectly suits your needs. Alternatively, CRM functionality can be built directly into your website with an employee portal. See our dental website development services for more information.
Primary Features of CRM Services
Though each CRM application may vary, they should generally come with the following integral features.
1. Contact Book
CRM software should always include contact book functionality, which provides a place for you to store patient contact information securely. This is one of the most essential features of CRM software as it’s at the core of its purpose: to manage patient communications.
2. Messaging System
Contacting your patients directly from your CRM software is a crucial feature. It speeds up communication and removes the need for inconvenient bulk email and separate messaging software. You should be able to send emails and even SMS messages to patients directly from your CRM application.
Every dental practice is different in some way, whether in services offered or management processes. As a result, CRM software should have valuable customization options so it can be tweaked to suit your requirements. This may be as simple as being able to input additional patient filtration fields, such as sorting by those who have attended your practice before. Or customization functionality could be as complex as allowing embedded code on dashboards.
4. Third-Party Integration
If you use additional management software like ClickUp for task management and QuickBooks or Excel for accounting, you’ll want to integrate these applications into your CRM software. Though not necessarily for these programs, most CRM applications will have third-party integration options so that you can manage your clinic from one comprehensive place.
5. Data Visualization
In any business, tracking customer retention and sales is crucial; this extends to dental practices. Gaining a clear understanding of how many patients return to your clinic and how many new patients you regularly receive is essential data used to manage marketing efforts better. CRM applications should have data visualization functionality so patient retention rates can be viewed on a clearly labeled chart. This makes reading data simple, which helps keep you and your team on the same page.
Five Benefits of CRM
So, now that you understand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software let’s look at the five benefits of CRM.
1. Faster Patient Communication
Messaging and contact book functionality built directly into CRM software can rapidly speed up patient communication. As messages appear, you can conveniently reply within your software. This removes the need for you to keep email accounts open to watch incoming messages. Having all communications in one place also helps to prevent messages from falling through the cracks in a sea of emails.
Having the ability to respond to patient queries swiftly is excellent for customer retention and your reputation as a business. For instance, 86 percent of customers are more likely to grow loyal to a business after a positive customer service experience, such as a quick and attentive response to a query. As a result, Custom Relationship Management software can help you to increase patient loyalty and inspire repeat business.
2. Automated Appointment Reminders
Sometimes, even the most important appointments slip patients’ minds – this is understandable with the chaotic nature of modern life. However, missed appointments cause frustrating issues for dental clinics, ultimately wasting time that could otherwise be taken up by paying customers. CRM applications can help to resolve this issue.
Due to the implemented messaging systems in most CRM applications, you can organize automated appointment reminders. This helps keep patients on top of their dental appointment and oral health while allowing you to stay confident in your day’s schedule.
3. Improved Knowledge of Customers
Having all your patient information in one place, such as age, name, address, previous appointment and work hours allows you to tailor customer service experiences to match individuals. For example, understanding what time of day works best for your patients enables you to make appointments and treatment suggestions based on their circumstances. Remembering your patients’ information creates a meaningful connection and helps to inspire positive feelings about your practice.
Not only does knowing your customers improve their customer service experience, but it can also help to streamline your booking process. Having patient information digitized means there’s no need to dig out old paper files before contacting customers. All in all, CRM software makes for an improved customer experience and also saves your time.
4. Increased Data Privacy
CRM helps to increase data privacy and protect customer information, as well. This is because information stored in Customer Relationship Management applications is typically saved to cloud-based services using intelligent data encryption technology. As a result, it’s difficult for people to gain access to patient information without the proper credentials and permissions.
Moreover, not having multiple email tabs and spreadsheets open that contain sensitive customer information reduces the chances of data being leaked to prying eyes. The same applies to paper copies of documents. When the information is stored digitally, it is protected by the above-discussed encryption and cannot simply be taken out of a filing cabinet.
5. Data and Process Automation
Using Custom Relationship Management software allows you to automate essential business tasks and data processing. For example, CRM can be used to schedule repeat appointments and follow-up consultations automatically. It can also be used to collate crucial data, such as how much revenue a specific demographic has generated, and allows you to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
Using CRM for automation helps to take the administrative burden off of your team, and enables you to focus on more important duties. Additionally, it reduces the possibility of human error, so you can work confidently knowing that your data is processed accurately and without effort.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a Marketing Tool
Marketing is the art of convincing people to engage with or purchase your products and services. The key to a successful marketing campaign? Excellent communication, it’s no surprise that Customer Relationship Management software can be an integral part of running an effective marketing campaign.
In particular, CRM is a great tool for email and social media marketing campaigns. This is because, as previously mentioned, CRM allows you to email and message patients. As a result, CRM can be used to send regular news and promotional letters.
Regarding social media, integrating your social media accounts allows you to track the success of your posts and following. This means you can identify which types of social media posts are successful and worth recreating and which ones are performing poorly.
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As you can see, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is instrumental in efficiently managing your dental practice. However, to warrant the use of CRM software, you first need a solid customer base. Fortunately, the Dental SEO Experts can help.
We have a team of specialist SEO and digital marketing professionals ready to help you grow your practice by generating patient leads. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.