I saw an interesting post on Facebook that got me thinking about the use of ChatGPT and dental marketing. A doctor was online asking how they can convert and handle "price shoppers". Now, "price shoppers" are those potential patients that call your front office asking, "how much is...?" or "how much do you charge for...?" I wanted to see if ChatGPT could help with this and give effective strategies for converting these patients. I asked ChatGPT the following questions and received the following solutions.

An example of what an initial ChatGPt prompt looks like.
Figure 1: An example of what an initial ChatGPt prompt looks like.

ChatGPT and Dental Marketing:  Asking the Initial Question

I am a dental practice. My front office gets a lot of callers who are price shopping. This means they just want to know the price of a crown, an implant, or any procedure. How can ChatGPT help handle new patient "price shoppers?”

As an AI (Artificial Intelligence) language model, I can provide you with some potential strategies to handle new patient "price shoppers" at your dental practice. Here are some tips that may help:

  1. Provide general pricing information on your website: One way to reduce the number of price shoppers calling your front office is by providing some general pricing information on your website. This can include ranges or estimates for common procedures, such as crowns and implants. By doing so, potential patients can have an idea of what to expect, and you may receive fewer calls asking for pricing information.
  2. Offer a free consultation: Another approach is to offer a free consultation for new patients. This way, they can come in and discuss their needs with you, and you can provide an estimate based on their unique situation. This can also help build rapport with potential patients, as they may be more likely to choose your practice over others that don't offer a free consultation.
  3. Emphasize the importance of quality over price: When speaking with potential patients who are price shopping, it can be helpful to emphasize the importance of quality over price. Explain the benefits of choosing a qualified and experienced dentist, even if their prices may be slightly higher. This can help potential patients understand that while cost is important, it's not the only factor to consider when choosing a dental practice.
  4. Train your front office staff: It is important to train your front office staff on how to handle price shoppers effectively. They should be polite and professional, while also being able to answer questions and provide information in a clear and concise manner. Consider providing scripts or guidelines to help them handle these types of calls.
  5. Offer financing options: Finally, consider offering financing options for patients who may not be able to afford the entire cost of a procedure upfront. This can make your services more accessible to a wider range of patients and may help you retain patients who might otherwise choose a different practice based on price alone.

Clarifying Your Concerns

How can I do option 1 (provide general pricing on my website) without scaring new potential patients away and having competitors looking at my prices and under bidding me?

That is a valid concern. Here are some suggestions to provide pricing information on your website without scaring away potential patients or having competitors underbidding you:

  1. Use ranges or estimates: Instead of providing an exact price for each procedure, use ranges or estimates. For example, you could provide a range for the cost of a crown or implant, such as "between $1,000 and $1,500." This gives potential patients an idea of what to expect without providing an exact price.
  2. Explain that prices may vary: Make it clear on your website that prices may vary depending on the patient's unique situation. You can explain that a procedure's cost can depend on factors such as the case's complexity, the materials used, and the practice's location.
  3. Highlight the value of your services: Instead of focusing solely on price, emphasize the value of your services. Explain why your practice is the best choice for patients, highlighting your experience, qualifications, and commitment to patient care.
  4. Make pricing information available to registered patients: Consider making detailed pricing information available only to registered patients who have already scheduled a consultation. This can help ensure that only serious potential patients have access to this information.
  5. Consider not listing prices at all: Finally, if you are concerned about competitors underbidding you or scaring away potential patients, you may consider not listing prices at all. Instead, focus on highlighting your expertise and the benefits of choosing your practice. You can still offer a free consultation to provide potential patients with an estimate and answer any pricing questions they may have.

 

Overall, the key is to strike a balance between providing useful information to potential patients and protecting your practice from competitors. By being transparent about pricing without providing exact numbers, highlighting the value of your services, and offering a free consultation, you can help potential patients make informed decisions while protecting your practice.

Callers are potential patients who are looking to connect with a new dentist.
Figure 2: Callers are potential patients who are looking to connect with a new dentist.

Expanding on the Strategy

How can I make the "free consultation" so convincing that the patient will make an appointment?

Offering a free consultation is a terrific way to encourage potential patients to choose your practice. Here are some suggestions to make the free consultation more convincing:

  1. Highlight the value of consultation: When promoting free consultation, emphasize the value that patients will receive. Explain that the consultation is an opportunity for them to speak with an expert in dental care, discuss their concerns and goals, and receive personalized recommendations for their unique situation.
  2. Provide clear instructions on how to schedule a consultation: Make it easy for potential patients to schedule a consultation by providing clear instructions on your website, social media, or any other marketing channels you use. Consider using an online booking system to make the process as seamless as possible.
  3. Use patient testimonials: Sharing testimonials from satisfied patients who have undergone the same or similar procedures can be a powerful way to convince potential patients to schedule a consultation. When people hear about others' positive experiences, it can help build trust and confidence in your practice.
  4. Offer a special promotion: To sweeten the deal, consider offering a special promotion or discount for patients who schedule a consultation. For example, you could offer a percentage off the cost of a procedure or a free teeth cleaning with a procedure. This can provide an additional incentive for potential patients to take advantage of the free consultation.
  5. Follow up after the consultation: After the consultation, be sure to follow up with potential patients to answer any questions they may have and provide additional information as needed. This can help build a relationship with the patient and show that you are invested in their dental health.

 

Overall, by highlighting the value of the consultation, providing clear instructions on how to schedule, using patient testimonials, offering a special promotion, and following up after the consultation, you can make the free consultation a convincing and attractive offer for potential patients.

Developing Your Implementation Plan

How can I do this over the phone?

If you are trying to convince potential patients to schedule a free consultation over the phone, here are some tips that may help:

  1. Build rapport: When speaking with potential patients, it is important to build rapport and establish a friendly and professional tone. Use their name, actively listen to their concerns, and be patient and courteous throughout the call. This can help build trust and make them more likely to consider scheduling a consultation.
  2. Explain the value of the consultation: As with promoting the consultation online, emphasize the value that patients will receive by scheduling a consultation. Explain that the consultation is an opportunity for them to discuss their dental concerns and goals with an expert, receive personalized recommendations, and learn more about the procedures they may be interested in.
  3. Address their specific concerns: If a potential patient has specific concerns or questions about a procedure, be sure to address them during the call. Provide clear and concise answers and reassure them that they will have an opportunity to ask additional questions during the consultation.
  4. Schedule the consultation during the call: If a potential patient is interested in scheduling a consultation, be sure to schedule the appointment during the call. Provide clear instructions on what they need to bring to the consultation and any other relevant information, such as parking or office hours.
  5. Follow up after the call: After the call, be sure to follow up with the potential patient to confirm the appointment and answer any additional questions they may have. This can help build trust and ensure that the patient feels comfortable and confident about the consultation.

 

Overall, by building rapport, emphasizing the value of the consultation, addressing specific concerns, scheduling the consultation during the call, and following up after the call, you can convince potential patients to schedule a free consultation over the phone.

Training your front office staff to handle these calls could increase your business with an influx of new patients.
Figure 3: Training your front office staff to handle these calls could increase your business with an influx of new patients.

Using Scripts to Train Team Members

Can you give me 4 convincing scripts & examples I can tell the "price shopper" over the phone?

Here are some sample scripts you can use to address price shoppers over the phone:

Emphasize the importance of quality care:

  1. "Thank you for calling. While we understand that cost is a key factor when it comes to dental procedures, it is important to remember that quality care should be your top priority. At our practice, we take pride in providing our patients with the highest level of care possible. We use only the best materials and state-of-the-art technology to ensure that our patients receive the best possible outcomes. While our prices may be slightly higher than some other practices, we believe that the value of our care is worth the investment."

 

Explain the variables involved in pricing:

  1. "Thank you for calling. We understand that you are looking for information about the cost of a specific procedure. However, it is important to note that pricing can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the materials used, and the expertise of the provider. That's why we offer a free consultation, where we can assess your unique situation and provide you with a personalized estimate based on your needs."

 

Highlight the long-term benefits:

  1. "Thank you for calling. While it may be tempting to choose a provider based solely on price, it is important to think about the long-term benefits of quality care. By choosing a qualified and experienced provider, you can reduce the risk of complications and ensure that you achieve the best possible outcomes. At our practice, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the highest level of care and expertise, which can help save you money and time in the long run."

 

Offer financing options:

  1. "Thank you for calling. We understand that cost can be a concern for many of our patients. That is why we offer a variety of financing options, including payment plans and dental financing programs. We believe that everyone should have access to quality dental care, regardless of their financial situation. By offering financing options, we hope to make our services more accessible to a wider range of patients."

 

Remember to speak in a professional, friendly tone and actively listen to the caller's concerns. By emphasizing the value of quality care, explaining the variables involved in pricing, highlighting long-term benefits, and offering financing options, you can convince potential patients that your practice is the best choice, even if your prices may be slightly higher than others.

By being honest and transparent, actively listening to the caller's concerns, providing specific examples of quality care, and offering alternative options, the front office staff can handle tricky situations when dealing with price shoppers over the phone in a professional and effective manner.

Dental Practice Management Problem Solving Using ChatGPT

Using ChatGPT and dental marketing can be a great starting point with scripts and outlines of how you can handle price shoppers and possibly convert them into new patients. These are great examples and prompts you can utilize to create systems. As you use the strategies and examples, I think you can make some tweaks here and there and add protocols and procedures to the steps. You can then apply this to other pain points in your practice. By adding more depth to your marketing through these types of techniques you can also see an increase in production and in the overall value of your practice.‚Äč


Michael Arias is the host of The Dental Marketer podcast and founder of a ground dental marketing firm.