Cool Site of the Day

March 24, 2008

Wow — busy week, as nophonetrees was chosen by Kim Komando as the cool site of the week, and were also on several local TV outlets, including South Florida’s NBC affiliate.

We’re getting a ton of great feedback from all the new (and returning) users — keep it coming, as that’s how we keep our phone trees up to date and continue to improve the site!

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More BRINGO on TV

August 20, 2007

Some more local news coverage on BRINGO. Last week NoPhoneTrees.com was featured on KCWE-TV and KMBC-TV in Kansas City/Nebraska areas, and also on WCNC TV (NBC) in the Carolinas, and WISN-TV Milwaukee (ABC).

Looks like we’ve been on TV– Here’s a video clip that was shown on NBC Action News in Kansas City. From what we can tell, we were also on in Sacramento, Seattle, Memphis, Portland, Paducah, and Fargo!  Probably a bunch we’re missing based on our traffic today, but we love the attention!  Hope you enjoy the site.

Thanks to some complementary coverage from TechCrunch and from ABC-7 news in Los Angeles, we’re getting a (more than slight) bump in traffic the past day or so on our customer service phone site: nophonetrees.com.

We’re getting some great feedback from users, both through the feedback forms on our site, the contact us, form, as well as in the comments on this blog (I think my personal favorite is the Poem someone wrote about BRINGO in the comments on Techcrunch:

Just when I’ve become
Madder than a dingo
Along comes relief
In the form of Bringo

No more hold tape
Of elevator retreads
Why wait 30 mins
Before discussing my meds

No, I do not work there
Not pimpin my VC dime
I sing the song of Bringo
Because it gives me back my time.

Thanks, DotPoet — I don’t think I could have ever hope to say it better than that.

We’re doing our best to respond to everyone and also incorporate the tons of constructive comments we’ve gotten to improve the site.

Keep it coming — we read everything you post to us, and are already working on incorporating some of the specific comments we’ve received!

Booz-Allen published a new survey this month on how consumers and health-care providers are adjusting to consumer-driven healthcare.

Still going through this in detail, but some key interesting points:

– As costs are pushed toward the consumers (through high-deductible plans and the like), consumers are increasingly shopping for value (price/quality) in choosing healthcare providers

– Consumers are not finding the information they need to effectively compare providers and make the price/quality decisions they want to make

– There is a disconnect between the information consumers are beginning to demand and what providers are able or willing to provide.

Based on the above, this fits in well with a few things we’re working on here at BRINGO. More on this later.

Dentist Website ROI

April 6, 2007

By now, most people will acknowledge that the Internet is a great way to reach potential customers — for both large and small businesses. People are going online to search for everything from sports scores to potential dating partners, and yes, for healthcare providers like dentists.

The dentists we’ve talked to have varied in their sophistication from those who have no website whatsoever, to those who have a great website, and promote it heavily through Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on the major search engines. The majority of those have some sort of web presence, but have not taken the next step of promoting their websites. And very few dentists could actually tell you what their return on their spending was on website and web promotion.

One of the main issues is that unlike an e-commerce business, where transactions take place directly on the site, most folks looking for a dentist will need to complete their transaction (i.e. setting up an appointment) offline. Thus, unless the office is very diligent about asking all new patients how they found the office, it is really hard to figure out how clicks from a PPC translate into real patients coming in the door.

Further compounding things, is that while most search engines do allow you to do a fair amount of targeting (based on searches consumers type in, time of day, or geographic location of the user doing the search, etc.), the level of targeting does not allow an office to target to the level that is really needed to guarantee that they are paying only for real potential patients. For example, a user who finds a dentist’s website from a search on dentists in the Chicago area, may actually be located 20-30 miles away from the practice, and therefore be extremely unlikely to become a patient no matter how nice the website is. Based on our experience the search traffic is incredibly fragmented by geography (as well as other factors like specialties desired, payment/insurance type, etc.), meaning that most dentists who advertise online are paying a lot of money for consumers who will never become patients.

With the early success of our “find a dentist” service, we’ve found that converting “clicks” to our website into phone calls that leverages the phone and receptionist that the dentist already has allows the offices we work with to have a pretty clear ROI on their investment with us. They know when a call comes in that is generated by BRINGO, and their success rate in converting our calls into patients has been quite good.

As we build out the site, we hope to continually offer better and better targeting options and education for the consumer to help them make informed choices, which will ultimately allow us to provide both the patient and dentist with better and better matches. Watch this space for more as the next few months will be fun.

It’s good to know we are not alone in our quest to make sense of technology for dentists….as a critical tool for improving everything in their operation (not just patient acquisition).

Today the Wall Street Journal ran a front page story about micropractices, which said “Some physicians and institutions are trying to harness technology to make family practices more manageable and profitable for doctors.” Amen to that, I say.

Well, I’ve got news for you: Dentists need to do this, too! In fact, in this competitive day and age, dentists have no choice. The bigger message dentists should take away from this article is that technology is not an add-on anymore, it’s a necessity if you want to improve your practice’s profitability, growth, and customer satisfaction.

Here’s why…tech can help you improve your patient experience from start to finish…from finding you, to the reminder platform for appointments, ongoing newsletters made easy, customized wellness mailings based on diagnosis, getting timely feedback from your patients, sharing with them positive anecdotes, creating two-way communication via ‘ask the dentist’ features on a web-site, etc…

It helps you with profitability as you can better plan your days and utilization of your time and your staff, you can process your claims faster (one of our board members Fred Horowitz has a great electronic claims management company named www.ansdirect.com – one of many players in the area but they help dentists get reimbursed much faster, lessen the hassle of dealing with the carriers, etc…), reduce appointment no-shows, and lower the costs of mailings, etc…Fred’s so passionate about it, he leads an industry association on the topic http://www.cooperativeexchange.org/

Personally, as a happy dental patient (thank you Dr. Tedford), I can tell you that I appreciate immediate access to tips from my dentist, emergency questions and answers, targeted content, etc…if you are not thinking about this, someone else will.

And it’s great to see more and more dentists—and reporters—finally coming around to this reality. Over on The Solo Practitioner blog, Dr. Vincent Pedre is spot-on in his passionate assessment of micropractices. I couldn’t agree more that modern technology makes it easier to achieve an ideal practice environment without extra staff or expenses.

Dental Practice Report had an article in the February issue by Keith Rossein that starts with….”Can a dental practice exist without a dot.com presence in 2007? Yes, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult.” Keith’s right.

Notice a trend here? We sure do and are happy to be a part of it. Just this week, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Jackson of Planet DDS( http://www.planetdds.com/ ). They have built a web-based practice management platform that is much less expensive and easier to manage than the old software platforms dentists used to have to install (it’s the ASP model for those of you who know the jargon). If you are a dentist and you haven’t seen it, you should. Because it is hosted by them (think of your e-mail, which you can access securely from any computer with an internet connection), they can constantly upgrade it and improve it without the hassle of re-installing the software.

Be sure to watch this space to hear first-hand commentary from Chicago dentists who are using these technologies and more (including BRINGOdentist.com, of course!), and will discuss the benefits, challenges, and tips to using technology in your practice. There’s lots of good stuff just becoming available. The wave is building (so are the cliche’s).

Okay, that’s all for now. It’s Chicago and the midwinter meeting. I should be shmoozing, not posting.

Yours,

Mark