Effective communication with clients is essential for any business, and even more so for service-based industries like dentistry. Choosing the right telephony system is thus a crucial step towards success. Many dental practices opt for cloud-based telephone facilities – a transition that all modern dental offices should consider.
Given the significance of telephone systems in the current business landscape, it is crucial to analyze all aspects of this decision. Here is a comprehensive guide for dentists on everything they need to know about cloud phone systems.
Dental Office Phone system
A dental office phone system is an essential part of any dental practice. It allows the staff to stay connected with patients, schedule and confirm appointments, and provide customer service. When selecting a phone system for your dental office, there are many considerations to consider. Therefore, it is important to do your research and shop around for the best system that meets the needs of your practice.
Compare Phone Systems
First, it’s important to consider the type of phone system you need. There are traditional landline systems, on-premise systems, and cloud-based VoIP systems. Cloud-based systems are becoming increasingly popular among dental offices due to their cost savings and scalability.
When comparing phone systems, it’s important to consider features such as call forwarding, caller ID, automatic call routing, music on hold, voicemail to email, and conference calling. VoIP-based systems usually include many of these features. It’s also important to factor in costs such as installation fees, monthly fees for service and hardware, and any additional features you may need.
Here are some of the features to look for when selecting a phone system for a dental office:
Voicemail is essential for any medical office. It allows staff to return calls promptly and provide patients with updated information on their appointments quickly. Look for systems that include basic voicemail features as well as more complex options such as personalized greetings, automatic forwarding, and voicemail-to-email capability.
Automated Call Handling
Automated call-handling features can significantly reduce the time spent taking calls from patients and help streamline appointment scheduling processes. Look for systems that allow you to set up automated responses or menus so patients can easily find the information they need without having to wait for someone to answer the phone.
Conference calling is a great way to keep everyone in the office connected with patients outside of normal business hours. Look for systems that offer easy conference setup and HD audio quality so meetings stay clear and organized.
Many phone systems now offer mobile integration features so you can take advantage of your dental office’s phone system no matter where you are. This feature allows you to answer calls on your cell phone or laptop if necessary, as well as forward calls between landlines and mobile phones with just a few clicks.
Evaluate the cost of implementing and maintaining the system. Cloud-based systems are typically more affordable than traditional options, with real savings of between 30% – 50%. However, there may be additional charges associated with certain features, so always check first. As a result, it’s important to compare the cost of different providers and systems before making a decision. Also, consider factors such as installation fees and monthly subscription costs.
Look for providers that offer customer service with knowledgeable staff who can provide solutions promptly. Check to see if the provider offers technical support 24/7 as well as live chat or email support. Additionally, inquire about the availability of online tutorials and video guides that can help you troubleshoot any issues with your phone system.
What is a Cloud Phone System?
Before even thinking about the idea of utilizing cloud-based telephone services, you first need to understand what they do. Voice over Internet Protocol is a term that describes the technologies and methods used to deliver voice and multimedia communications through the Internet.
A hosted cloud system will include the software needed to manage contacts, conduct voice calls over WiFi signals, and send/receive SMS messages. Essentially, then, it can be the all-in-one system used for internal and client communications.
Why are Cloud Systems Useful for Dental Practices?
Cloud systems aren’t simply a new technology. They are powerful platforms that can bring the business into the modern age, unlocking a host of benefits for dental practice.
There are many reasons why a dental practice may wish to upgrade the telephony systems to a cloud infrastructure. Some of the most compelling incentives are:
Satisfy Client Expectations
The generational shift from baby boomers to millennials and Gen Z has been bigger than any other, and technology has been at the heart of it all. Aside from evolving situations regarding the devices used, client patterns have changed too. For example, almost 75% of Americans no longer answer calls from unknown numbers. As such, sending an SMS and allowing users to request a callback.
Cloud Systems provide far greater versatility than traditional methods, enabling the dental practice to tailor its services to each client. Moreover, interactions across several devices such as cell phones, tablets, and computers provide a far stronger connection.
Clients expect some degree of automation and self-service when it comes to booking appointments or making payments. Use automated appointment reminder systems to send text messages and emails.
Switching to cloud technologies increases communicational security. Additional support comes from data encryption, strong passwords, and other protective features. This can inspire greater trust from your patients as well as the employees.
As well as upgrading the security with the best interests of the business in mind, cloud technologies also ensure that your dental practice complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations, which is another major incentive.
Security is paramount for both clients and dental practices. Cloud-based phone systems offer secure encryption for all data transmissions between devices. This helps protect the confidentiality of sensitive patient information.
The financial implications play a key role in every major business decision. Hosting calls via a WiFi connection can cut ongoing costs by removing the need for minutes and other costs associated with traditional telephony.
Switching to a cloud service provider doesn’t only boast the potential to reduce the overheads. It also opens up new possibilities regarding revenue and further enhances the financial benefits of making the upgrade from traditional phones to WiFi-based communications. Better still, the increased sense of organization can boost savings further. After all, time is money.
Provide a Better Customer Experience
Using a cloud service also enables you to answer calls, even when the office closes. After all, your cloud infrastructure can assign the numbers and redirect calls to your smartphone or other devices. This added availability can win you a lot of new clients. Patients needing emergency dentistry who cannot gain access to their usual dentist may call you.
Increased availability can also take your sense of professionalism to a whole new level. This can reduce the strain on your business during peak hours. Yet another reason for new and experienced dentistry owners to choose cloud technologies.
Cloud phone systems allow you to analyze call information in far greater detail than traditional telephony infrastructure. Whether looking at the generic patterns or interactions with individual clients, cloud platforms enable you to see everything regarding inbound calls, outbound calls, and other interactions such as SMS messaging.
Learning more about the patient journey and which steps result in conversions and increased bookings can have a huge influence in the bid to unlock the very best strategies. From streamlining call routes to focusing on the most effective elements, success is assured.
Personalization can have a telling influence on the patient experience, putting their minds at ease and pointing them toward the desired outcomes. Whether it’s through automation, using personalized greetings, or dragging up the client’s history, the cloud is the ideal solution.
A cloud system can also be integrated with other tech features such as appointment management systems to avoid the threat of cancellations and other organizational mishaps. Retaining a greater number of clients through personalization will also have a huge influence on the practice’s bottom line.
How to use cloud systems in your dental practice?
While the right cloud service provider can support you through the process, strategic preparations are vital for any dental practice wishing to implement such a system.
Your dental practice will need to make a list of all employees that require cloud systems. This process should extend to the number of devices that will incorporate the technology. All devices should be capable of working with any applications or software needed to utilize the new technologies.
Given that interactions will take place over an internet connection, it’s important to ensure that the dental office is equipped with the best online infrastructure. Without it, the quality of the calls will suffer, completely undermining the purpose of cloud technology.
It’s unlikely that you will require all cloud features, which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various options before setting your priorities. This step will also help you stick to your budget.
After ordering the equipment and hardware, it’ll be necessary to ensure that any cables or network switches are installed.
Appreciating the benefits of implementing cloud technologies is one thing, but the switch is only worth making when you invest in the right cloud service provider. After all, this is the only way to gain the full benefits of modern communication features. Routers are installed with optimum performance in mind. Once configured, you should test the equipment before going live. Ongoing analysis and testing should enable your dental practice to keep the cloud system in perfect health, thus allowing you to reap the full rewards of the telecommunication upgrade.
What to Look for in a Cloud Phone System
When selecting a cloud phone system for your dental office, there are several key features to consider. First and foremost, you want a reliable system that will connect seamlessly with your other communication tools. Look for systems that offer HD audio quality, as well as the ability to easily switch between calls and other tasks such as logging patient information or scheduling appointments.
You’ll also want an easy-to-use system that will enable you to quickly and efficiently manage your calls. Look for features such as call forwarding, call routing, voicemail, automated attendants, and virtual receptionists. Finally, consider the cost of the system; while a cloud phone system is an investment in your practice’s communication capabilities, it should not break the bank.
You need to place trust in the cloud provider, which is why checking their history and credentials is essential. The use of the technology is only worthwhile when the service is reliable.
When selecting a phone system for your dental office, reputation should be top of mind. Look into the company’s track record to see how long they have been in business and if they have any customer reviews or feedback from other businesses who are using their services. It’s important to do your due diligence and research the provider thoroughly, as a poor reputational history could result in unreliable system performance, which could cost you more in the long run.
Installation and support
Having a reliable, secure, and feature-rich phone system for your dental office is essential to keeping your practice running smoothly. A cloud provider can provide you with the technological support and expertise necessary to get your phone systems installed and configured quickly. Furthermore, they can offer 24/7 remote monitoring and maintenance services to ensure that your phone system runs without issue. Cloud providers also allow you to scale up or down your phone system as needed, enabling you to make the most of your investment.
Depending on your needs, you may want to look for Caller ID, Live Call Forwarding, Group SMS Chat, Message Notification, and more.
Caller ID is a great feature that allows dental offices to identify incoming calls and know who is calling before they answer. This can help them decide whether a call needs to be answered right away or if it can wait until later.
Live Call Forwarding is another useful feature that allows users to transfer incoming calls from one extension to another without having to hang up and dial again. This is especially helpful in dental offices where multiple staff members need to be available to answer calls. With live call forwarding, incoming calls can be quickly transferred to the extension of the appropriate staff member. This ensures that calls are answered promptly and efficiently, eliminating long wait times and frustration. Live call forwarding also allows users to make transfers without the caller being aware of it, providing a seamless and professional customer service experience.
Auto Attendant Feature
An auto attendant feature is an essential tool for any dental office’s phone system. Used properly, it helps streamline communication with patients while improving customer service and reducing costs. An auto attendant is a menu-driven automated telephone system that uses voice prompts to allow callers to direct themselves to various departments or individuals within the business. The auto attendant will provide a list of available options, such as “ Press 1 for Appointments” or “Press 2 for Billing.” This feature helps direct callers to the right department quickly and efficiently, saving time and money for both the dental office and the patient. Furthermore, having an auto attendant can help reduce the workload of receptionists and other administrative staff by allowing them to focus on more important tasks.
Business Hour Call Queue
Dental offices have unique needs when it comes to phone systems, and one of the most important features is a Business Hour Call Queue. This feature allows for incoming calls to be handled differently during regular business hours and after-hours, providing convenience and improved customer service.
During regular business hours, calls are routed to an automated attendant that offers options such as pressing a number or choosing from a menu of options. This allows callers to quickly reach the department or person they are looking for without having to wait on hold or be transferred multiple times. After hours, the system can be set up to take messages and route them accordingly, ensuring customers’ needs are met even when the office is closed.
When it comes to phone systems for dental offices, price is an important factor. Cloud-based phone systems tend to offer greater flexibility and scalability than traditional on-premise solutions. This means that the cost of a cloud system can evolve as your practice grows without having to pay for additional hardware or maintenance fees.
Because they require less capital investment upfront, cloud-based phone systems are generally more cost-effective than traditional on-premise solutions. However, it is important to consider the long-term running costs of a cloud system as well as the installation costs. This will ensure that you make an informed decision and get the best deal for your practice.
When running a dental office, you often need to scale up or down the size of your phone systems. As your practice grows, you may find yourself needing to add more lines or features. To keep up with your growing dental office, it is important to have a phone system that can easily scale up in line with your needs.
Scalability is an important feature when selecting a phone system for a dental office, as it allows you to easily add and remove lines and features as your needs change. Having the flexibility to quickly add or remove lines will allow you to optimize your phone system and ensure that it is tailored to the specific needs of your practice.
The Final Word
Choosing the right phone system for your dental practice is an important decision that will determine how efficient and successful your communication with patients, colleagues, and staff is. It’s essential to consider a few key factors when selecting the best system for your needs.
First, make sure you understand what types of features are available. This includes options like automated attendant systems, call queues, and scalability. Secondly, consider the cost of the phone system and how it fits into your budget. Finally, consider how easily you can scale up or down your system as your practice grows or shrinks.
The right phone system can have a significant impact on the success of your dental practice. Ensure that you make an informed decision by researching the best phone systems for your needs and budget. The professionals at Carolina Digital Phone are here to answer your questions. Call (336) 544-4000 today to learn more about the benefits of cloud-based phone systems for dental offices.