UIC Dental is now Unique Dental Scheduling

We are excited to announce that UIC Dental is changing our company name to Unique Dental Scheduling.

New Logo for Unique Dental Scheduling

New Logo for Unique Dental Scheduling

As anyone that has started a dental practice or a company knows, naming a business is challenging.  And changing names is even harder. However, in this case, we know it is time and are excited for the future of Unique Dental Scheduling.

The “UIC” of UIC Dental stands for Unique Integrated Communications which has meaning obvious to us internally. However, to the dental community, it is likely a confusing acronym. Not to mention how easy it is to transpose UIC with UCI or to confuse with the University of Illinois @ Chicago Dental School with which we have no affiliation other than the shared acronym.

Unique Dental Scheduling better reflects what we do – schedule your dental patients when your office is unavailable – and will be simpler for your team. You can refer to us as Unique, Unique Dental, Unique Dental Scheduling, Unique Scheduling, or if you truly love acronyms – UDS.

No Change to the Service

We remain committed to providing a high quality service to our clients with the change to Unique Dental Scheduling. The look of our reports are refreshed and a new logo has debuted, but the core of our service remains unchanged. We look forward to serving both our current customers as well as new practices in the future joining our team in the future.

New Website and Email Domain: www.dentalscheduling.com

With this name change, we are also changing our web and email domains in the coming weeks to dentalscheduling.com. For our current clients, the good news remains that any @dentalscheduling.com emails will remain active and our phone numbers will remain the same. It remains as easy as always to connect with our team.

We are excited for the evolution of Unique Dental Scheduling – formerly UIC Dental – and we look forward to continued success in helping dental offices schedule more new patients and realize more profit by capturing marketing leads when they call.

Increasing Dental Office Profit

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Are your practice numbers not adding up? Are open holes in your schedule creating less production than planned causing overhead to seem overwhelming? What steps are you taking to correct these problems that eat into your profit?

In the May 2016 edition of Dentaltown, Dr. Howard Farran expands on dentists being upset with large overhead and low profit. According to Dr. Farran:

“I see dentists upset because their overhead is high, they’re struggling … and yet staff members still expect a raise every year, based solely on the fact that Earth made it around the sun. No matter if your overhead went up, and insurance companies paid you less.”

Dr. Farran continues on, explaining the value of knowing your numbers and making sure your team is also aware of these goals. When everyone knows the stats and is working towards a shared goal, the team will be more likely to create a schedule conducive to your production goals being met and creating the profit you are looking seeking.

How UIC Dental Helps Reach Your Goals and Create Profit

More New Patients

Dentistry is competitive. Why else would you spend resources seeking new patients via print and mail advertising, a great website with strong SEO, Google AdWords, social media, etc…? No matter the kind of marketing you are doing, you have to be able to schedule patients when they call. Any time you are not answering the phone during peak hours, it leaves the possibility that a new patient and their family will move on to the next office in their search results that does answer. UIC Dental answers all of the peak hours each week and beyond, eliminating lost marketing leads and increasing profit for your office by scheduling patients at the time they call.

Schedule per Your Guidelines

At UIC Dental, we schedule directly in your practice management system and follow your specific guidelines. Experienced in Dentrix, Eaglesoft, OpenDental, Curve Hero, Dolphin, MacPractice, EasyDental, SoftDent, XL Dent, and even a Google calendar, UIC Dental has yet to find a dental practice management software with which we cannot schedule.

We also schedule based on the office’s defined protocol with chairs, providers, length of appointment, insurance, and services to be added to each appointment type. This means that if you have a specific provider and spot saved for high value doctor time, a new patient hygiene block saved, or even a limit on when emergency exams can be scheduled, we schedule patients based on your specific rules. The office’s daily goal and the ideal schedule will not be interrupted because you supplemented your availability, but more patients will be scheduled more efficiently.

More Saved Appointments

Rescheduled and cancelled appointments are an unfortunate fact of every dental schedule. With voicemail, the office has no ability to attempt to save the appointment when a patient leaves a message. UIC Dental offers the expertise and ability to attempt to save the appointment and keep it on the schedule as productive time. If there is a cancellation that was beyond saving, the office can know about it in real time instead of the next morning, allowing the ability to fill that slot via a ASAP list or adjust the time staff arrives if it is the first patient in the morning.

 

More production on less overhead means more profit, allowing you and your team to feel good knowing they earned their raise this year!

Effectively Using SEO For New Patients

Every day, prospective patients are searching for dental practices. It could be a family new to town, a person who perhaps did not have insurance and now does with a new job, or even someone unhappy with their current office. Now more than ever, the first step for any search is Google, Bing, or some other search engine which is why SEO is so important for a dental practice.

What is SEO?

DIQ Image, Internet Marketing SEOSEO stands for search engine optimization and is a system or process to enhance your office’s online search results from Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. More simply, SEO makes sure search engines can find your website so new patients can find you when searching for a new dentist. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness.

Marketing Expert Brad Schorr addresses some recent developments in internet marketing in his recent article on dentistryiq.com. Brad discusses how to take advantage of SEO and get more patients as recent changes are in favor of dental practices. According to Brad:

The big changes to leverage

The most important developments to consider are these:

  • Mobile Internet use is exploding—it now exceeds desktop use, and the gap is widening rapidly.
  • Google is working hard to promote local businesses in its search results and advertising.

How do these changes help dental practices?

  • Mobile Internet users are apt to use their smartphones to search for dentists, book appointments and request information—it’s fast, convenient and increasingly familiar.
  • Dental practices, local in nature, get a bigger “bang for the buck” for investments in SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.

Capitalizing on SEO

Effective SEO is a huge part of the new patient process, but not the only piece of the puzzle. Once a patient finds your site, it needs to be convenient and clearly express the value of your office so they feel good about scheduling an appointment. Finally, once they decide to schedule, you need to make sure you do not miss that phone call. 

SEO is a great tool, but it can only get you so far in the new patient acquisition process. Offices need to make sure there is a process in place so these marketing leads are not lost. 

 

Looking for ways to increase your office’s availability and new patient production? Click here to contact us and learn how UIC Dental can help supplement your current phone answering process and grow new patient production. The value of the service is guaranteed as UIC Dental promises the service will create at least FOUR (4) times the cost in new patient production value.

 

Four Excellent Values for Dental Office Development

4Dental Office Professional Development

There are many avenues for development available to dental professionals.  Continuing education courses, local or national conferences, or even going back to school for a college or graduate degree can provide significant personal growth and value to a practice. However, these development tools also might not fit into a busy schedule or office budget. This does not mean that you should ignore a worthwhile development process. Below are four excellent sites that dental office professionals can use for on-demand and valuable professional development at your convenience.

Front Office Rocks

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Front Office Rocks is a training resource developed for dentists who need specialized training for their team on all aspects of the front desk. They offer free videos on:

A comprehensive library of videos is available to subscribers and Front Office Rocks also hosts Live Events as one day programs to get your office the training it needs to help reach the ultimate in customer service status. UIC Dental highly recommends a live event for any practice looking to turn their front office staff into customer service rock stars.

front office rocks live event processional development

Lifehacker U

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Schools like Yale University, MIT, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, and many more are all offering free online classes that you can audit and the website Lifehacker has compiled a listing of some popular classes which provides an in depth look and many different online classes.

Some potentially interesting topics for dental offices:

Higher learning has never been so affordable and convenient.

Audible.com

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An audiobook as professional development might sound weird, but what better way to spend your daily commute than listening and learning? Audible is not free, but there is a great trial offer that offers a three month subscription at a discounted rate of $9 which includes three free audiobooks. For example, you could grab the following titles about dentistry, marketing, and self-improvement for just $9:

Becoming Remarkable: Creating a Dental Practice Everyone Talks About

Written by: Fred Joyal

Becoming Remarkable Audible

List Building Basics: How to Generate Unstoppable Targeted Subscribers in Any Market

Written by: Anthony Ekanem

List Building Basics Cover Audible

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Written by: Charles Duhigg

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These audiobooks not meeting your needs? There are thousands to choose from.

Lynda.com

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Lynda.com lets you “learn new business, creative, & tech skills with expert-led online video tutorials– anytime, anywhere.” UIC Dental uses Lynda.com and the videos are informative, interesting, and cover a broad range of topics.

For example, SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) are big topics of conversation in the dental community and Lynda has courses such as Google AdWords Essential Training, Online Marketing Fundamentals, SEO Fundamentals.

Marketing not your thing? There are courses on Google Calendar, Microsoft Office, Communicating with your team, or even Word-of-mouth marketing.

New users get a ten-day free trial, but there is also a better way. Many public libraries offer Lynda for free to library patrons.  For example, locally in Kentucky, both the Louisville Free Public Library and Lexington Public library offer Lynda.com to its cardholders. Check your local library website to see if Lynda.com or similar sites are available to you.

Marketing Strategies for Dentists and Eliminating Lost Leads

TOPpg103_01In the latest edition of Dental Town, Dr. Anissa Holmes outlined some new and exciting ways to attract new patients sharing marketing strategies under three headings: Unique culture, Social media done well, and Relationships. I encourage you to read her entire article as Dr. Holmes has some great ideas about how to wow patients.

Dr. Holmes also outlines her social media strategy and how she is driving new patients to her office including Facebook and Instagram, which Dr. Holmes referred to as “the most effective social media platforms for dentists”. In addition, her office is building relationships with established businesses that cater to similar target audiences and parlaying that into mutually beneficial partnerships.

Marketing is indeed vital, but you must make sure you are able to schedule those leads

At UIC Dental, we agree with Dr. Holmes that marketing is vital to attracting new patients, but also remind any practice that is marketing for new patients to make sure you are available to convert these leads into appointments on the schedule. Patients are going to call when it is convenient for them and this might not match when you are currently in the office and able to schedule that patient.

Marketing Dentistry For example, if a patient calls on Friday and the office is closed, will the office have someone available to make sure this hard earned lead is not lost? What about if a patient is checking out and scheduling their next appointment, but a phone call is coming in at the same time due to increased volume from the marketing efforts?

Voicemail may seem like an acceptable solution, but I promise you that there are new patient leads calling that are not being scheduled because of the highly competitive nature of dentistry. Otherwise, why would you be marketing if patients were already decided on who they would be choosing for their dentistry needs?

No more lost leads

UIC Dental caters to offices with a forward eye for marketing. We offer a service to make sure your marketing efforts do not go wasted by answering the phone when you are not available and scheduling new patients instead of using voicemail. With a guaranteed 4 to 1 return on investment (ROI) in New Patient production, an office can be sure that its marketing will be maximized and all interest generated from those efforts are scheduled right when the patient is calling.

Connecting with Patients via UIC Dental

Connecting with Patients

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In her article appearing on dentistryiq.com, Mary Lynn Wheaton, RDH, MA and Director of Consulting at Pride Institute outlines several phone skills that every dental office should have. Mary mentions connecting with patients as one of those valuable skills:

“You do need to be sure to “connect” with your callers as soon as you can. And by “connect” I mean not only a real live person talks to the caller, but also speaks directly to the caller’s concerns in a language (not dental jargon) the caller understands.”

At UIC Dental, we agree 100% with this assessment and connecting patients to your office via our additional availability is a cornerstone of our service. Our service offers an instant connection by answering the phone when you cannot and serving the patient on their terms, and not just when it is convenient for the office. Today’s generation is used to having service at their convenience and voicemail is extremely outdated.

UIC Dental Staff

UIC Dental hires and trains staff based on the core values of enthusiasm, care, accuracy, and efficiency to provide an unparalleled experience our clients and their patients alike. These customer focused phone skills, and along with the required dental abilities, provide a patient with exceptional experience during their call. We also stand by our service offering our offices 100% transparency with every call via our UIC Answers client website.

Fully Transparent

UIC Answers Sample

Sample Call Detail From UIC Answers Client Website

Every call is tagged, recorded, and searchable with our fully transparent process allowing UIC Dental to deliver supreme quality and detailed reporting. UIC Answers offers downloadable recordings of each and every call we answer for an office and our offices have the ability to rate and provide detailed feedback on calls directly to our Team Leaders. This ensures a great experience for patients and the ability connect with callers turning those them into patients in your schedule.

If connecting with patients (both new and current) is important to your practice, contact us to learn how our unique set of phone skills, dental expertise, availability, and cost-effectiveness can work for your practice.

Turning Snow Days into Productive Days

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When winter hits, it can create issues that are impossible to plan for. Schools will be closed and many local businesses, including dentist offices, can also be forced to close their doors for a day or delay opening. While school children enjoy their day off, UIC Dental gets to work.

In addition to the normal inbound operations for our practices, we offer outbound processes to reschedule, cancel, and confirm appointments for practices in need. A small sampling of how we assist our clients during weather events is below:

• UIC Dental can make additional outbound confirmation calls to supplement their normal process and assure patients that the offices will be open.

• UIC Dental can reschedule a practice’s entire daily production schedule.

• For practices that remain open, UIC Dental enables an office to work with less staff if needed due to call-ins and transportation issues without patient service suffering.

UIC’s capacity to proactively engage patients during these unexpected situations saves our practices significant time and inconvenience along with retaining production value that might otherwise have been lost. This all happens on demand, in real time as such occurrences are not planned events.

 

Increase New Patient Production with Expanded Availability

 

We have all heard it.

“Your call is very important to us, but we are either out of the office or assisting other patients. Please leave your name, phone number, and reason for calling and we will call you back at our earliest convenience.”

 

Overworked businesswoman at homeThat’s right: at our convenience meaning the office and not the caller.

A message such as this tells a patient two things – they are not as important as whatever the office is doing otherwise and the office will get back to them only when it is convenient for the practice. No matter the intent, that is the message being communicated and is an unfortunate first impression if the caller is a new patient looking for a new dentist.

This is significant, as new patient calls make up between 8 to 10% of calls being answered by UIC Dental on behalf of dental practices we partner with. One out of every ten calls is a chance for the practice to shine – to start building a relationship with a new patient. Too often many practices instead choose to rely on voicemail and hope the patient answers when they call back – or has not already scheduled with a practice that DID answer.

Dental practices should be focused on how to demonstrate to patients how much they care about them and value their time. The solution to this is quite simple – prove it to them! This is done by actually answering the phone when a patient calls – when it is convenient to them as the patient.

By proving to the caller that their call is important, the office now has the ability to accelerate the patient’s buying process and get them into the schedule ASAP. The patient will be able to stop searching for information and evaluating alternatives as their decision can be made right then – all because the office was available.

There are several options to increase office availability. A practice can choose to integrate any the following internal solutions:

  • Staggered lunch schedules
  • Front office employee staffed to answer calls during closed days
  • Calls forwarded to the office manager’s cell phone

Trade-offs exist with each of these options, as all require more of front office staff and potentially additional salary and staffing for the expanded hours. Additionally, internal options do not address the issue of multiple calls at once or calls when a patient is in the office checking out and staff is not available to answer the phone.

UIC Dental offers an alternative solution – a third party scheduling service that answers calls as your practice and schedules patients according to your direct guidelines and protocols.  With hours that cover the time before most practices open, after they close, weekends, and throughout the work week, UIC Dental’s availability solutions are an extremely cost effective way to address the problem.

More effective than a traditional answering service, the UIC Dental solution is designed to directly assist patients with most issues they are calling about. Otherwise, practice staff can get caught in a game of phone-tag spending extra time and possibly losing out when potential new patients have already scheduled elsewhere according to need.

The bottom line is availability matters for dental offices! It matters in providing exceptional customer service to your patients and also to your office’s bottom line. I challenge you to think of a competitor in your area and call them during lunch, or on a Friday afternoon, or at 5:30 pm, or on a weekend to see if they answer. If they answer and you are not, you are losing new patients to your competitor and adding availability will help your office compete. If they do not answer, your practice now has to the potential to provide this vital service and have a significant advantage over the competition.

 

4xLooking for ways to increase your office’s availability and new patient production? Click here to contact us and learn how UIC Dental can help supplement your current phone answering process and grow new patient production. The value of the service is guaranteed as UIC Dental promises the service will create at least FOUR (4) times the cost in new patient production value.

 

Differentiation in Dentistry

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There is no denying dentistry is a competitive industry. Around every corner, there seems to be a new office opening and seeking new patients. Forbes had a recent article by Larry Myler profiling how hard it can be for a dentist to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Myler quoted Colorado Springs, CO dentist Dr. Fred Guerra who said:

 “Dental services are basically commoditized and consumers often conclude that one dentist is pretty much the same as the next.”

Reasonable minds may differ on this point, but if that is a patient’s perception, the truth can be irrelevant. To fight this, Myler shows how Dr. Guerra attempted to make sure his patients know how important they are to him.

“In every aspect of service, I try to demonstrate how much I value my patients. I want them to feel our appreciation and think, ‘Man, I’m important!'”

The article then goes on to outline several innovative ways an office can differentiate itself from a competitor such as fancy chairs, no waiting guarantees, aromatherapy, and other inventive perks.

I would also add another, albeit simple solution – make sure your office answers the phone and provides service at the patient’s convenience, not yours. Don’t just tell your patients their call is important to you in a voice message – prove it to them by answering!

If you need help answering calls and becoming more available, UIC Dental is a great solution, but no matter what, make sure you are answering your phone. If not, someone else most assuredly will!

 

 

Are You Providing Five-Star Service?

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Ask yourself simple question – are you providing Five-Star Service? Otherwise, as described by Jay Geier in the October 2015 edition of Dental Town, you will not “stand out from the crowd” and “get you that boatload of referrals you dream about”.

According to Geier:

“99 percent of all businesses – including yours – are based around the comfort of the person or people who run the business. Plain and simple.

The only way you will become truly patient-centric is if you intentionally shift the focus from yourself and your team to what is most convenient for the patient, even when it’s inconvenient for you.”

One of the ways you can become more convenient to your patients is by being available when they call the practice. This will not always be during open hours as many patients call on nights, weekends, off days, lunch hours, or even when you are already on the phone with other patient.

Of course, this level of service can be both costly to the practice by having to staff extra hours and also burdensome on your staff by having to stay late and work weekends. With UIC Dental, you can have the best of both worlds – convenience and availability for your patients while still providing a great work/life balance for you and your staff.

Provide Five-Star Service today and make your practice more available by answering your patient’s calls on their terms with the help of UIC Dental. Click here to learn more.