Ascent Dental Group is based in the Midlands, with 36 reception and patient-care staff plus 35 dentists across four practice locations. They wanted to implement automations to increase productivity, reduce manual administrative tasks and improve communication with patients.
The processes below were initially trialled in one practice and were then rolled out to the others. It was vital that the personal touch given by the reception staff was maintained, alongside a significant increase in productivity. This allowed the staff to focus on what mattered most – customer service and patient care.
Ascent Dental Group background
Ascent Dental Group used Pipedrive CRM to manage appointment bookings and post-treatment stages for each dentist. New leads were added manually to a Google Sheet which was then used for reporting, and added to Pipedrive when the lead was converted into a booked appointment. They were using Gravity Forms on their website for collecting web enquiries, Mailchimp for email notifications, and Gmail for practice emails.
Many of the business processes were being performed manually, for example adding new leads and contacts to Pipedrive, sending patient reminders and new patient onboarding.
Group Operations Manager Louise Hatton wanted to implement Zapier to automate their dental practice workflows, so she contacted Solvaa to tap into their expert knowledge of Pipedrive and Zapier and use them effectively to streamline their processes and connect their business applications.
Solvaa analysed all aspects of the business and worked with Louise to improve the different business processes described below.
Pipedrive improvements for lead collection
We consolidated and moved the entire lead management process into Pipedrive by creating a new Leads pipeline which deals were added to automatically. We implemented the “Gravity Forms – Pipedrive” integration to automate the creation of contacts and deals within Pipedrive when webforms were submitted. We also created new Pipedrive Forms to consolidate and standardise the lead collection process for lead enquiries coming from all other lead sources (email, social media, phone, SMS) and automate the creation of contacts and deals within Pipedrive.
Pipedrive CRM is now used for tracking leads through a step-by-step process for lead follow-ups and nurturing. As deals move through the different stages, a sequence of cadence activities is automatically created for personal phone calls to be made by the staff, while automated messages are also sent by email or SMS.
Pipedrive’s Activity module is used for personal touch cadence activities such as phone calls, and all other activities were automated where possible using Zapier. Voodoo SMS was implemented for sending automated SMS messages and Gmail is used for sending automated emails in the lead follow-up and nurturing process, with Zapier as the connector.
New patient appointment reminders and onboarding
To replace the manual onboarding of new patients, deals are now automatically moved to the appropriate dentist’s pipeline from the Leads pipeline when the appointment is booked.
Deals for booked patient appointments then move through a step-by-step process from booking the appointment to post-treatment follow-up, via one-off campaigns and automations in Mailchimp.
Mailchimp is also used for sending branded email sequences for patient appointment reminders and onboarding via a series of introductory emails about the practice. All the processes were previously 100% manual, requiring daily intervention by one member of staff to copy and paste information into single campaign emails. We significantly improved the process by using Zapier to add or update contacts automatically in Mailchimp when a deal hit a certain stage in Pipedrive (when the appointment was booked) and then add the contact to automation sequences in Mailchimp.
“Meeting Kelly has simply been life-changing for our business and our teams.”
Reporting and other improvements
Google Sheets was previously used for managing lead information and reporting on conversions. Once we moved the lead management process to Pipedrive, Google Sheets was purely used for advanced reporting on lead-to-patient conversions. We used Zapier to update the Google Sheet with critical reporting information from each step of the process in Pipedrive, so that the data was always visible to senior management.
If appointments are rearranged, reception staff use custom-implemented Pipedrive activities to automatically kick-off a Mailchimp branded email with the new appointment time.
If one-off SMS messages need to be sent, reception staff use custom-implemented Pipedrive activities to automatically send a one-off SMS to a contact without leaving Pipedrive, and without the need for logging into multiple platforms.
Ascent Dental Group now have an average of 24,000 Zapier tasks running every month. They were delighted with the project and were happy to report significant benefits:
- It is much simpler to keep track.
- It is much quicker to be able to respond to things and perform the follow-ups when needed. We no longer need to rely on a spreadsheet and human memory for this.
- We no longer need to send emails and SMS messages manually, and these used to take between 30 seconds and 1 minute every single time!
- Enquiries have increased, probably because they are being tracked more consistently, on average by 50 per site per month, although some of this could be due to marketing changes. The assurance that the web enquiries are tracked is better and this is our biggest form of enquiry method.
- The fact that we have set templates so we don’t have emails manually typed and sent is a huge improvement because prior to this we had all sorts being sent which included things like spelling mistakes etc.
- Many of our follow-ups were not made consistently and it was impossible to track this effectively.
- It is much easier for us to see where we are with each enquiry whereas before we did have occasions where the same patient was being followed up by different people!
Zapier activity summary
Here is an example of the tasks which Zapier has initiated to automate their dental practice in just one week.
Using Zapier built-in apps
We implemented several complex Zapier automations to keep the data in-line between Pipedrive, Google sheets, Mailchimp, Voodoo SMS and Gmail. We also took advantage of Zapier built-in app functionality as follows:
Delay by Zapier to delay workflows to account for other automations running independently in a series of co-dependent workflows.
Filter by Zapier for basic conditional logic to ensure certain workflows ran based on specific conditions.
Formatter by Zapier to manipulate number, text, date/ time, line-item formats and look-up tables.
Paths by Zapier for more complex conditional logic to allow workflow to run specific pathways with action-based set conditions.
You can learn more about all the Zapier built-in apps by getting our cheatsheet below.
Louise was really pleased with the project and Ascent Dental Group continue to work with Solvaa to streamline more business processes. Their patient system which keeps the dental records will be automated in due course, to reduce the effort required by staff who currently enter the information manually.
Kelly is so good at what she does I literally can’t recommend her highly enough! Having embarked on the automation journey I spoke to several people and Kelly by far came across as the most genuine and authentic person. Kelly and I spoke at length about our current systems and how we wanted to improve them, she listened, asked questions and made excellent suggestions. We were excited to get things going and Kelly set our expectations well, she gave clear guidance on timelines and fees and was open and honest throughout. Once things started, we quickly realised we wanted more and how beneficial Kelly was to our business. We are still working with Kelly to keep improving things for us and we have further projects that we want her to help us with. Kelly’s skill, knowledge and service is impeccable and what she has done for us has saved hours and hours’ worth of manpower allowing our teams to focus on our patients rather than administrative tasks, it’s also allowed us to communicate in a much better way with our patients – exactly the results we were after.
Meeting Kelly has simply been life-changing for our business and our teams.”
Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.
Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors.
Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.