Your Guide to Optimizing the New Patient Conversion Funnel

June 6, 2023
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Here Are the Orthodontic Practice Growth Tips You Need to Generate More Conversions

Today, orthodontic practice growth is challenging without a precise, analytical approach. New technologies, heightened patient expectations, and intensified competition have made it harder to attract and convert new patients. Everything in your practice—revenue, reputation, growth, survival, and patient care continuity—depends on your conversion funnel.

However, when you look at your new patient conversion rate, are you overestimating your success? Many orthodontic business owners believe their conversion rates soar high between 80 and 90%. Meanwhile, Gaidge Analytics' data reveals an average conversion rate of only 68% in 2022 for U.S.-based practices. With this in mind, achieving your growth goals may seem distant—but it's not.

It's possible with a fully transparent conversion funnel.

From a patient's very first call to their final treatment days, each step harbors opportunities for conversion, engagement, and ultimately, growth.

With Gaidge's insights, you can break away from average conversion rates and drive your practice towards the 90% mark and beyond. To get started, here's a comprehensive guide to conversion funnel optimization so you can start growing your orthodontic practice.

Centralize Your Patient Management

It can be challenging to manage patients' information and status if everything is scattered across multiple platforms. As such, your first step to converting new patients is to make sure your workflows are organized. With a streamlined approach, you can effectively handle every stage of the conversion funnel.

For better housekeeping, the Gaidge Consult Manager's Patient Queue Dashboard integrates every part of the patient journey into a single platform. This eliminates the chaos of multiple platforms and allows you to track pre- and post-appointment tasks, along with their completion status, all in one comprehensive dashboard.

With the Patient Queue Dashboard, you have an eagle-eye view of the entire conversion process:

  • Monitor patients you have verified insurance for and view who has completed their new patient paperwork.
  • Track pending patients requiring follow-up for prompt communication and fewer missed opportunities.
  • View appointment confirmations to reduce no-shows.
  • Follow patients' status and stay updated on their positions in the conversion process.

In a single dashboard, you can stay ahead of the game, promptly targeting potential starts and expediting more closures.

Be Proactive with Digital Intake

With traditional intake paperwork, converting more patients can be challenging. It's inconvenient for patients to fill out, it costs more, and it slows down your practice's workflow. It also doesn't give you enough time to prepare before appointments.

Alternatively, digital forms allow you to be more efficient while offering insight into treatment preferences, concerns, and more. And, because you'll provide more personalized care, you'll have better chances of increasing your exam close rate.

Moreover, Gaidge Forms help you implement a digital intake strategy for seamless admin operations and appointment management. As such, proactive intake is the gateway to a higher new patient conversion rate:

  • HIPAA-compliant digital forms can be filled out anywhere at patients' leisure.
  • Track completion and send reminders using built-in analytics.
  • Utilize custom-built templates, created by the Gaidge 360 Consulting team, and customize with your practice branding.

A digital intake process also improves your practice's overall environment, making it more welcoming and comfortable for patients. They spend less time waiting, receive personable care, and have an overall more positive experience.

Offer Patient-Driven Payment Decisions

How you discuss payments can greatly impact a patient's decision to pursue treatment, especially when finances can be a major hurdle to orthodontic treatment. However, by making payment details easier to navigate and more transparent, you can significantly reduce this barrier.

With the Gaidge Consult Manager, you can provide a transparent and user-friendly Payment Presentation tool that eases financial decision-making for your patients:

  • A payment presentation screen easily displays insurance information, treatment types, and total cost. This allows patients to see exactly what they're paying for, building confidence in your practice.
  • A payment slider tool lets patients adjust their down payments, monthly installed amounts, and payment plan lengths for informed financial decision-making.
  • Remote treatment acceptance enables patients to accept their treatment plan remotely via email. On their own time and from the comfort of their homes, patients can choose to take the next step.

In essence, the Payment Presentation tool allows you to simplify financial discussions and decisions for both your practice and patients—eliminating one of the largest barriers to treatment acceptance.

Never Miss a Follow-Up

In your orthodontic practice, follow-ups are the lifeblood of patient conversion. These gentle, well-timed nudges keep your practice at the forefront of prospective patients' minds, moving them from the top of the funnel to the bottom. But the process is delicate and requires you to act fast—because if you miss a follow-up, you miss an opportunity for conversion.

The Gaidge Consult Manager ensures no patient falls through the cracks. It enables timely and effective outreach with a dedicated, organized platform to efficiently manage all of your patient interactions.

Managing Pending Follow-Up

Potential patients can sometimes be left in limbo, undecided, or waiting for the right moment to commit to treatment. These are your pending patients, and managing them effectively is key to ensuring they transition into active treatment.

With the Gaidge Consult Manager, you're equipped to keep them engaged and progressing through the conversion funnel. It provides automated follow-up notifications, enabling you to stay connected with these patients and guide them through the conversion funnel. This helps you maintain a continuous conversation, providing regular reminders of your services and demonstrating your commitment to improving their smiles.

Observation Management

Like your pending patients, you can't leave your Obs patients behind. These are your future patients on the cusp of committing to treatment, so they hold considerable potential. But among the many patients you manage, the challenge lies in ensuring those under observation aren't overlooked.

Further, the Gaidge Consult Manager allows you to have a much closer connection with these potential patients. You can filter and manage them by type (Pre-Tx Obs, Between Phases Obs, and Obs Ready) and age. Then, you can easily see who is ready to move onto active treatment.

Moreover, having all observation patient statuses and tasks on one screen gives you a bird's eye view of your patient pool. This high level of organization enables you to strategically fill open appointments, ensuring that potential patients ready for conversion are always prioritized.

Transform Your Conversion Rate & Turn Potential into Profits

In the fast-paced, competitive world of orthodontics, optimizing every step of the new patient journey can transform your operations, growth, and sustainability. After all, it's your conversions that make your practice pulse. They add to your patient base, generating revenue, and shaping the reputation of your practice. How you strategize them matters.

With the Gaidge Consult Manager, you relinquish control over the entire patient journey. You can effortlessly manage patient data, streamline intake processes, simplify payment presentations, and maintain timely follow-ups. You're also better equipped to manage pending and observation patients, ensuring no opportunity for conversion is missed.

Altogether, the Gaidge Consult Manager is more than a tool for patient management; it's a catalyst for practice growth. By leveraging its power, you can be at the forefront of delivering an exceptional patient experience, driving conversions, and steering your practice towards sustained success.

Callie Norton

7 Benefits of Using Online Patient Intake Forms. (n.d.). intakeQ.

Bryson, J. (2022, December 6). How to Grow Your Practice When New Patient Calls and Starts are Down. Orthodontic Products.

Sumeet Ghonmode, Shrivastava, S., Ankush Kadaskar, & Bapat, S. (2023). Socioeconomic Burden of Orthodontic Treatment: A Systematic Review. Medical Pharmacy Reports, 96(2).

The 10 Best Growth Metrics for Orthodontic Practices. (2019, July 9). Gaidge.