How Conversation Intelligence Helps Dental Marketers Drive High-Value Patients

Kayla Hammersmith Senior Content Marketing Manager, DialogTech

Consider these stats:

  • The US is projected to spend $140 billion on dental care in 2019. 
  • 72% of dental patients don’t have one provider in mind while searching for dentists online. 
  • 86% of dental patients call after performing a search. 
  • The average cost per acquisition for a dental patient ranges between $150 to $300

These aren’t just interesting statistics. They tell a story that dental marketers need to hear. 

Americans are spending a lot on dental care — and, according to a study by the Delta Dental Plans Association, they even want to visit the dentist more. Patients often turn to the internet to find providers. Then, they pick up the phone to ask questions and schedule appointments. While dental marketers spend a few hundred dollars on acquiring these patients, an intelligent marketing team can ensure these patients are high-value and bring in revenue from their retention, referrals, procedures, insurance providers, or all of the above. 

Find out what constitutes a high-value dental patient and how conversation intelligence helps dental marketers drive these valuable conversions. 

What Is a High-Value Dental Patient?

There isn’t just one kind of high-value dental patient. Evaluate the following:

Patient longevity and retention: According to the California Dental Association, the average dental office has a 65% retention rate (where retention is defined as active patients within the last 18 months with a future appointment scheduled). Most patients don’t want to go to a new dentist every six months. Typically, both patients and dental offices alike are looking for a long-term relationship. If you spend a few hundred marketing dollars acquiring a new patient, you ultimately want this patient to stay with your office for years to come. After all, visiting a dentist isn’t a one-time thing — or it shouldn’t be! A long-term patient is a high-value patient since they can visit twice a year for preventative visits, need other procedures, and refer friends and family. 

Referrals: Another type of high-value patient is one that provides you with referrals. Patient retention isn’t just about getting one individual to keep coming back — it’s also about that individual bringing their family members and referring friends. Dental patients can have a ripple effect. Your marketing can bring in one lead, but you don’t have to think of it as just one visit. Ideally, this one lead grows into a loyal patient who brings in loyal family members and friends, who then refer your organization to others who can become loyal patients with referrals of their own. Consider the lifetime value of a lead.

Procedures: Not all dental procedures are created equal. While a conventional cleaning might just bring in $150 in revenue, other procedures will bring in much more. A high-value patient can also be one that requires more extensive services or costly procedures. For example, a single implant can cost at least $1,000 per tooth. Other high-value procedures include periodontal surgery, veneers, root canals, crowns, orthodontics, and laser whitening. 

Insurance Providers: A patient’s insurance provider is another layer to their value. While Medicare and Medicaid patients can bring in less revenue to a dental organization, higher-tier insurance providers can bring in more money. Different insurance providers have different revenue values, so arm yourself with this information. 

For the dental industry, there’s no single profile for a high-value patient. Keep the above in mind when evaluating what channels generate high-value patients and how you can optimize your marketing strategy to drive even more. 

How Does Conversation Intelligence Help Dental Marketers Drive High-Value Patients?

Conversation intelligence platforms like DialogTech help you optimize marketing spend to drive more high-value new patient calls more efficiently. Conversation intelligence combines the attribution of call tracking with AI-driven conversation analytics to provide meaningful and actionable marketing insights from callers.

Here’s how it works. Patients call your practice from a trackable phone number on your website, from call extensions in search results, or from your offline campaigns and other marketing materials.

Insert trackable phone numbers in your dental ads

Then, the platform captures the marketing source, name, number, and location of the caller and routes to it to the best agent to receive the call. The conversation is recorded and transcribed, and AI gleans insights from the call about the caller’s intent, urgency, outcome, and potential value as a patient. 

DialogTech for dental transcribes phone conversations

A sample transcription between a caller and a dental office

For example, you can learn:

  • If the call is a lead vs. a non-sales call
  • The services and procedures they’re interested in
  • If they’re a new or returning patient
  • If they have a family
  • Their insurance provider
  • If an appointment was set
  • The caller’s predicted value

And that’s not all. This call data is activated in your marketing stack — with tools like Google Ads, Facebook Ad Managers, Google Analytics, Adobe, Salesforce, and much more — to help you personalize patient experiences and make smarter optimizations. 

Overall, a conversation intelligence solution is key to uncovering which marketing campaigns are driving the most high-value patient calls and helping marketers effectively prioritize spend and adjust strategy to optimize faster and achieve a higher ROI. 

Three specific technologies within DialogTech that help dental marketers drive these high-value patients are contextual call routing, email alerts, and the ability to help you build audiences based on conversation insights.

Contextual Call Routing: You can ensure high-value calls get answered first. For example, you can route callers with Medicare or Medicaid to call centers and route callers with higher-tier insurance providers directly to agents. Another routing strategy is to route callers interested in getting implants to agents and route all calls related to cleanings to call centers. Sending valuable leads directly to agents — and even bumping them to the top of the list — will help increase conversion rates for the patients likely to drive the most revenue. 

Email Alerts for Hot Leads: 12% of dental leads are missed opportunities. You especially don’t want to miss any high-value leads. With DialogTech, you can get email lead alerts when good prospects call but don’t convert. These alerts will help your team follow up ASAP and recover business opportunities, get back in touch with high-value leads, and get them in the chair. 


An example of how emails for hot leads look in your DialogTech dashboard

Build Audiences Based on Conversation Insights: When you activate the data that conversation intelligence gathers from your calls, you can use the information on callers’ insurance providers, procedures they’re interested in, whether they booked an appointment or not during their call, and more to help you target them in your digital marketing. For example, you can build audiences based on their interest in laser whitening and target them with paid search, display, and social ads. 

For more information on how calls are a powerful way to improve your marketing strategies and drive high-value patients, download our DialogTech for Dental Toolkit

Download the DialogTech for Dental Toolkit to learn more about how you can drive high-value patients.

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