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Chatbot Talk: How AI Chatbots Are Changing the Dentist’s Office

June 3, 2022
by Grace Lau, Dialpad


In the era of remote work, flexibility is vital. For some businesses, that means investing in a free phone number so that employees can work from home while customers can still call them anywhere, free of charge. For others, instead of hiring human agents to work in different time zones, AI chatbots can be a versatile solution, extending customer service and providing a better overall customer experience.

Modern technology has changed your dentist office. How are AI chatbots transforming practices? Let’s drill down.

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What is an AI chatbot?

An AI chatbot is a computer program that can chat with humans and simulate conversation in real-time. Chatbots work by processing inputs or identifying general keywords, which trigger the bot to produce an instant response.

Today, a wide range of businesses deploy chatbots to answer basic questions and handle simple requests. And with customers reaching out to businesses on a growing number of communication channels, these automated tools can optimize the flow of conversation across channels.

Chatbots in the dentist’s office?

Chatbots are growing popular in the healthcare sector, now used by top healthcare companies like Pfizer and the UK NHS, making the lives of patients and healthcare staff easier.

Chatbots have become an integral part of the patient journey for dental practices, freeing live agents from the burden of answering repetitive questions and lower-level tasks, sparing them for more complicated interactions. Then, if the automated assistant cannot answer the query, they can pass patients over to one of your clinic’s staff.

Streamlining the customer experience and automating frequently occurring processes helps dental practices save time and resources and allows staff to focus on their other valuable work.

As well as maximizing productivity, incorporating a chatbot saves you from losing patients if the phone line is busy. Chatbots can chat with multiple patients at once and ensure you generate more appointments to help grow your practice.

Alternatively, if a patient visits your website to inquire about dental implants, a chatbot makes it easy to browse real-time information about your range of services and check price lists. By automating common processes, you save customers’ time.

What are the advantages of dental chatbots?

Chatbots can complement their human representatives. And for those who have nailed their sales forecasting, these tools help dental practices scale their business in the future.

Around-the-clock care

One of the biggest advantages of AI chatbots is that your dental clinic can extend its coverage and provide automated support to potential patients outside of regular business hours. Short of having a dentist available to support customers at their beck and call, having a chatbot is the next best option. It’s a great way to nurture potential patients 24/7 and provide critical dental information about procedures, prices, and treatment options for their dental care. These days, omnichannel communication for customer service is becoming a must-have. Well, chatbots help you deliver a seamless customer experience.

Automate your practice to save money

Chatbots aren’t just an invaluable addition to dental practices because they improve customer service. As a massive time saver and efficient tool, they also help your dental practice staff. It’s likely that your representatives spend most of their day answering the phone and going back and forth to find appointments.

A chatbot can more cost-effectively handle these repetitive tasks than agents would. By automating frequent processes, such as appointment reminders, you can increase your practice productivity.

Clients don’t need to wait in line before staff looks into queries, and this empowers your team to focus their attention on higher-value work. Say goodbye to wait times that can turn patients away to look elsewhere for dental care when phone lines are busy.

Help patients schedule appointments

With a chatbot, scheduling an appointment with your office anytime and anywhere is quick and easy. Some patients struggle to find the time to contact you amid their busy schedules. Patients can easily access your calendar and book appointments outside your business hours directly from your AI chatbot.

Makes information available about your services

From teeth whitening to root canals to dental fillings, providing patients with information about the treatments and procedures you offer improves the customer experience. Chatbots can ask the user for details of their problem and suggest the service best suited to the patient’s needs.

It will help give users an idea of the dental care they will need, the benefits, prices, and potential side effects, before they have this confirmed by their actual dentists. AI chatbots can provide instant answers to these queries and smarter overall digital experiences, helping users along the customer journey and converting them into patients for your dental clinic.

However you gauge customer satisfaction, and NPS surveys don’t give the whole picture, chatbots help you drive costs down and increase CSAT scores.

FAQ

Chatbots are also an effective tool for educating and informing your website users about all things dental. Instead of calling your practice with common questions about dental health, website visitors can get answers to questions such as “how often should I visit the dentist?”

Customers can get information by inputting queries, and you can link them to pages with tips on, for example, how to brush their teeth. Such self-service functionality enables your practice to provide virtual dental help without patients having to place a call.

The most effective chatbots should play nice with your other tools, so dental staff have access to contextual information. And if your chatbot has mobile apps, they should work across devices and web browsers.

Talk about better customer experience

AI chatbots have come a long way since their underwhelming inception. And they’re changing the dentist’s office – for the better. Far from repelling frustrated customers, today’s website chatbots keep potential patients coming to your site for relevant information and elevate your practice.

Thanks to advances in natural language processing and machine learning, chatbots are only getting better at pulling information from across knowledge bases and asking for additional information to process requests. What more can chatbots do beyond saving your practice time and resources and increased accessibility for patients? In the future, dental practices can program smart bots to understand even tricky questions, come up with the best answers, and carry out more dynamic conversations with patients. OK, you know the drill.


About the Author

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content.


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