Same-day cancellations are the bane of your practice’s schedule. You think that you’re fully booked — only to get a last-minute phone call from a new patient who tells you that they’re not going to make it in after all.
Even worse is when they don’t call at all. This takes your chances of filling their slot from slim to none.
Now, a certain amount of this is inevitable. New patients — especially new marketing patients — can be unreliable.
But there’s also a lot you can do to reduce your same-day cancellation rate. And since we’re living in a new, modern age, one of those tactics involves AI.
Reducing Same-Day Cancellations Starts With Building Relationships
People cancel a new patient appointment at the last minute for any number of reasons. Sometimes, life just happens — a kid gets sick, a problem comes up at work, or someone gets a flat tire on the way to your office.
But often, people no-show because of anxiety. They might be worried about the cost or don’t want to deal with any complications that might come up or just plain feel scared of going to the dentist.
You can’t do much about the life happens stuff. But you can work to address a potential patient’s anxiety, which will significantly increase your odds of seeing them show up in your waiting room.
The key here is to start building relationships with your new patients before they reach your waiting room. If they feel a personal connection to someone at your practice, they’ll also feel safer showing up — because they’ll know someone there.
Here’s How to Use AI to Do It
So, the gold standard for building pre-appointment relationships is to have one of your doctors call each new patient before their first visit. This can be a simple, five-minute check-in where the doctor can ask the patient how they’re feeling about their upcoming visit, plus talk through any urgent symptoms or concerns.
We’re big fans of this approach. But we also know that your doctors are busy… and just like with patients, life happens.
Here’s where AI comes in. Any number of companies (we use Tavus ourselves) now give you the ability to record one video that AI can then personalize for any number of individual recipients.
What this means is that instead of calling each patient individually (which again, we recommend doing if you can spare the time), you can now shoot a single short video telling your new patients how excited you are to welcome them to your practice… and then AI will create a separate version of that video for each new patient where you say that person’s name at the beginning.
Pretty cool, we think.
Exactly the same as a phone call with a doctor? Of course not. But sending a personal welcome video counts for a lot more than sending nothing at all.
We’re guessing that the practice leaders who jump on this technology will see their revenue rise as a result. And even better, more patients will make it in the door for care.
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