Connecting with Patients Via Technology to Ease Uncertainty
Here at Ortho Sales Engine, we’ve been looking for innovative ways your practice can continue to safely serve your patients through the uncertainty of COVID-19. Fortunately, it didn’t take a lot of searching to find Ruby, the live chat and virtual receptionist service we’ve introduced to orthodontists in the past.
Recently, we were able to chat with Ruby’s Partnership Development Manager, Steffney Loganbill, about how Ruby is adapting their service to fit the evolving needs of orthodontists and their patients.
How is Ruby related to OrthoChats?
OrthoChats began in Kansas City, MO at the start of 2016 from the annex of an orthodontic office. Over the course of three years, OrthoChats’ name became well-known in the industry as the company’s growth skyrocketed.
Ruby Receptionists began over 16 years ago in Portland, OR. Ruby also grew from a small, local startup. While Ruby had tried to create their own chat platform, it never worked out. Seeing the success of OrthoChats, Ruby reached out to discuss opportunities.
At the start of 2019, Ruby Receptionists officially acquired OrthoChats. It was the perfect fit! Two virtual services (receptionists and chat specialists) that focus on boutique scripting and the best live customer service around.
A recent rebrand was completed to merge the companies into one family: Ruby!
Why do you think using live chat rather than a bot is so important during the pandemic?
A: We’re here to make moments matter. The questions patients are now asking have changed considering current circumstances. They’re asking personal questions that require tremendous empathy and support. A bot just does not have that capability.
Folks are missing human contact and connections. They don’t get to see their friends. They don’t get to see their doctor. They don’t get to see the staff. Having a live person there to answer concerns and FAQs (even COVID FAQs) is key. And providing them with as many platforms as possible makes it easier for them.
The time that patients and parents spend on their phones is increasing. They can chat on your site if they prefer to text a question or give your office a call. Ruby is there to support your patients 24/7/365. The Ruby Tone and responsiveness could be the change in a patient’s stressful day-to-day. They have peace of mind knowing there is always someone there, even when you’re closed!
Doors may have to be closed, but you can still give personal, quality care by communicating with patients! We will get through this, and patients will be loyal and so grateful to practices that stayed in touch and gave patients every opportunity to reach out with questions/concerns.
What changes has Ruby made to ensure the safety of your employees while still providing top-notch service to your clients?
A: The top priority since planning began for how to react to COVID-19 has been staff safety and jobs. At the start of March, Ruby began the company-wide work-from-home initiative. Within a week, Ruby employees were prepared to move their work days to their safe spaces.
Ruby continues to ensure the quality of service that clients were used to in past years, even as Rubies shelter in place.
A lot of orthodontists are now offering virtual consultations since their offices are closed. Do virtual consultations take the place of chat?
A: An apple is not an orange, and chat is not a virtual consultation. The purpose of a chat is to capture site visitors that are not ready to commit to a consultation. Chat is effectively an online treatment coordinator, whereas virtual consultation software is an online orthodontist.
Chat is needed to generate the leads needed for a virtual consultation. Ruby even customizes chat to include FAQs about how to use the virtual consultation.
Virtual consultations are a great way to bridge the gap for patients when traveling to the practice is not an option. There are many software options available, be sure to select one that makes the most sense for your practice.
How do you feel the COVID-19 outbreak will change the way orthodontists do business going forward?
A: Patients are getting more and more comfortable communicating via technology. Most only have the option to call the practice. Practices will need to make sure they are providing patients with communication panels that suit their preferences.
A great first and lasting impression is customer service and variety. First impressions build lasting loyalty, and that builds successful businesses.