After ten years of operating Mosman Village Dentistry as a one-chair practice while raising her children, Dr Jennifer Chang was ready to return to full-time practice with her husband Dr David Chang and expand the business. They decided that getting the practice listed on Healthengine would be the quickest way to get their brand new website on page one of the search results, grow their patient base and fill two chairs.
We checked in with Jennifer and her husband David to talk about their business decisions, explore their three-year journey of growth with HealthEngine, and see how much value they’re still getting from their Healthengine account now they’re successfully filling two chairs every week, and planning to fill a third.
“The first thing I realised back then was how much the marketing landscape had changed over the ten years I’d been raising my children. I knew we had to get online, get onto page one of the search results and offer online bookings. And I knew our brand new website wasn’t going to get us there quickly enough to grow our practice.” says Jennifer.
“We are not digital marketing experts. We are dentists! And HealthEngine has a whole team of SEO and Google Ads (previously AdWords) specialists with knowledge and insights we can immediately tap into at minimal cost.”
Jennifer and David got their practice listed on Healthengine in 2017, initially to grow their patient base, and also signed up with our practice management software partners at Henry Schein One to use their EXACT PMS^.
Starting small while starting a family
Jennifer had been practicing as a dentist for nine years when she and her husband David decided it was time to start a family and a dental practice of their own. The same year their first born arrived, they purchased Mosman Village Dentistry, a well-established one-chair practice with a loyal client base.
“The owner was retiring after 25 years of running it as a solo practitioner, and had spent two years searching for a suitable dentist to continue taking good care of his loyal clients with personalised care and quality cosmetic dental work. That’s exactly what my husband and I pride ourselves on, so it was a perfect match,” says Jennifer.
“For the first ten years, we shared the one chair, with my husband working four days a week, and me working one day a week so I could continue my practice while raising our children.”
”“When I returned to full-time practice after working one day a week for ten years, I knew I wasn’t going to get a sudden flood of new patients rushing in to see me! While our patients are very loyal and recommend us to their neighbours, friends and family, we needed a quicker way to build up the business than word-of-mouth referrals.”Dr Jennifer ChangDentist & Joint Owner - Mosman Village Dentistry
Growing kids and bookings
“When I returned to full-time practice after working one day a week for ten years, I knew I wasn’t going to get a sudden flood of new patients rushing in to see me! And while our patients are very loyal and recommend us to their neighbours, friends and family, we needed a quicker way to build up the business than word-of-mouth referrals,” says Jennifer.
The challenge they were facing was that people outside of their existing patient base didn’t know Mosman Village Dentistry, or Dr Jennifer Chang, and had no way of easily finding them. Their first-floor dental practice is not visible at street level and they had zero online presence.
However, Mosman Village Dentistry was the only practice in Mosman listed on HealthEngine at the time. In fact, it was the only practice offering online bookings. So this gave Jennifer and David an added advantage and an easy way to quickly get new patients.
“When new patients started coming into our practice through Healthengine, they’d often say, ‘Oh, I book my GP and physio through Healthengine, so I put in Dentist and you came up!’ And we’re still hearing that today from the two to three new patients we’re consistently getting every month.”
Patience pays off for online newbies
“What I really appreciated with Healthengine in those early days was how helpful their representative was,” says Jennifer.
We assigned a customer success manager to follow her progress right from the start and check in with Jennifer every month. So she got to deal with the same person each time.
“The numbers were small for the first few months, and our Healthengine customer success manager would assure me, ‘You have to be patient because your practice is brand new to online.’ She said it takes a minimum of three months, and she was right.
“Our Healthengine results were improving every month, and three years on they keep on getting better. The books for our two chairs are full right now. I’m working five days, and we’ve taken on more staff. We also have plans to recruit a hygienist for our third chair.”
They’re not the only Mosman practice on Healthengine anymore, but they have a lot of good Healthengine reviews and ratings which helps entice people to choose them.
Surprising uptake among older patients
“We were not expecting to see many of our existing patients taking up online booking on Healthengine, as many are mature age. But, to our surprise, the first few return patients who booked via Healthengine were all older patients in their 70s and 80s. We’d never have guessed, of all our patients, they would be the first to jump online!” exclaims Jennifer.
It’s further proof that everyone wants the convenience of being able to book instantly, in the moment they choose to. Even older people don’t want to have to speak to someone over the phone. And no one expects to have to wait until business hours to call and be kept on hold anymore.
“We always have staff managing the phones during business hours,” says Jennifer. “But we have an on-hold message that tells patients if our phones are busy they don’t have to wait to book an appointment, they can go online and book via Healthengine.”
Surprising how often online is the go-to
“People have busy lives, and our practice needs to be contactable through different channels, especially online. We even get mums coming into the practice with their kids and booking their appointments on their mobiles while they’re right here in the practice.
“They could just go to our reception desk and ask for an appointment, but they’d rather just do it online because they can scroll through all the available appointments and pick and choose what’s convenient. They like the freedom it offers. ”
Focus on the future and patient care
Jennifer and David still get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals, their patient retention rate is very good and they’re pleased with the uplift in their search engine rankings they get via Healthengine. They don’t need to use any other dental marketing channels and tools other than Healthengine and their website for marketing their practice and advertising dental appointments.
“We are focusing 99% of our time and effort on really looking after the patients we have in our practice now, rather than trying to get new patients. And that’s why Healthengine is good because it’s giving existing patients the convenience they want. Any new patients through HealthEngine are a bonus!”
Seamless integration with Henry Schein One
^Healthengine fully and seamlessly integrates with EXACT and OASIS practice management software workflows from our partners at Henry Schein One, making it easy for you to manage all your bookings in one place and reduce manual handling. Book a demo to find out more.
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