Greenlaw Dental Practice: transformed communication unlocks growth potential
Client: Greenlaw Dental Practice
HQ: Paisley, Scotland
UK Employees: 17 medical staff, plus support staff
Silver Cloud client since: 2016
Greenlaw is a large and very busy dental practice in Paisley, with five dentists, three hygienists and nine nurses. Its patient list has around 6,500 people.
When Silver Cloud first approached the Practice Manager, Helen Hughes, she was keen to hear from us, because she knew her existing phone system simply wasn’t up to the job. She told us: “We were growing fast at the time, and going through some changes as one of our dentists had just retired and a new one come in. As now, we were very busy and received phone calls almost constantly throughout the day – and out of hours too. We only had one line, though, which often went down. And our system was out of date – it couldn’t hold people in a queue, take voicemail messages, or anything like that. We needed to catch up with our competitors.”
As always, we started by examining the organisation in detail, and developing a deep understanding of its commercial objectives and its communication needs.
The main challenge was to deal with the sheer volume of incoming calls, but there was another key factor that had to be addressed too: “We can’t be out of contact for long,” says Helen, “so we needed the new system to be up and running very quickly, with minimal downtime and disruption.”
We recommended a Samsung IP office 7030 phone system, with SIP trunks as the main telecoms lines. This would enable Greenlaw to have more than one line on their main telephone number, so they could handle more calls at one time. And when all their lines were being used, extra calls would be put in a queue. If a patient hangs up the call while in the queue, the system sends an email to someone in the practice; this states the caller’s number, so that Greenlaw can call them back.
The new system didn’t just create a better experience for patients – it opened up commercial opportunities too. For example, it allows ‘marketing on hold’. You can record a message about other services that the caller might be interested in – teeth whitening, for example – and play it to people while they’re in the queue.
Internet-based SIP trunk lines were the right choice for several reasons, not least the fact that BT will soon switch off the old ISDN and analogue network. Greenlaw had told us that disaster recovery was important, and SIP trunks are perfect for this, as calls can automatically divert to mobiles. SIP trunks also come with free calls to UK landline and UK mobiles, so the practice started saving money straight away.
In short, it’s an up-to-date and ‘future-proof’ system, which should meet Greenlaw’s needs perfectly for many years to come.
Helen adds: “The installation went very well. Silver Cloud told us what would happen in advance, and clearly explained how to use the system so that we were able to pass this on to staff. Everything went just as smoothly as we wanted it to – and needed it to.”
Helen says: “Silver Cloud designed a system that was tailor-made for us and did everything we needed it to. They explained the benefits very clearly, so we understood exactly what we were getting before we signed up. One of the most attractive aspects is that by changing our lines, Silver Cloud reduced our regular costs from day one, even though we were getting more lines and more features.”
With the new system in place, Greenlaw have seen a big difference, as Helen explains: “It works better on all levels. Before, many callers would get an engaged tone. Now, if the line is busy then the system tells them that, and gives them several options, including requesting a ringback or leaving a voicemail. When people leave voicemail, the system sends us an email, so we can easily handle these messages and respond quickly.”
There’s a real commercial benefit to this: “The new system means we’re much less likely to miss a call, which of course means that we don’t miss appointments or even make patients go elsewhere.”
The lesson is clear: better communication means better business.
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