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Bringing optimisation and automation to dental practices

When we first met Ascent Dental Group, productivity, continuity and maintaining high-quality customer service were their priorities. The dental company was a growing SME that needed purposeful business processes, including productivity and lead management optimisation and automations, to reflect its expanding business. They therefore wanted to utilise best practices for lead management and nurturing in the sales process.

While the growing dental business had access to business optimisation software it was still mainly using manual processes. Understandably, without tailored support and implementation, why and how optimisation and automation could transform Ascent Dental’s business was an unknown. However, manual processes meant leads were slipping through the cracks, the team was bogged down with admin, and insufficient reporting prevented senior management from getting a clear picture of the business’s health.

Yet, in just a few short months, Ascent Dental increased staff productivity, reduced manual admin tasks, improved practice-to-patient communication, and had access to better reporting—all through optimising and automating their business processes powered by trusted and relevant workflow tools.

Only this time, with our tailored approach, the dental group had the strategy, solutions, and support to confidently use tools to optimise and subsequently automate its business processes. And in doing so, they achieved their goals of retaining their personal touch while significantly increasing productivity and saving countless hours on unnecessary manual tasks.

Solvaa optimised Ascent Dental’s existing software Pipedrive, a sales, customer relationship management (CRM) and pipeline software tool. By optimising its use, Ascent Dental were able to manage and nurture their lead process better. We also implemented the industry-leading no-code automation tool Zapier. Now, with Solvaa by its side, optimisation and automation are mainstays of Ascent Dental’s day-to-day operations, and they’ve not looked back since.

“Kelly’s skill, knowledge, and service are impeccable, and what she has done for us has literally saved us hours and hours’ worth of manpower. It allows our teams to focus on our patients rather than administrative tasks, and it’s also allowed us to communicate in a much better way with our patients—exactly the results we were after,” Louise shared.

 

Increasing productivity without losing the personal touch

Based in the Midlands, UK, Ascent Dental had successfully scaled its business to 36 reception and patient-care staff and 35 dentists across four practice locations. However, their existing business processes were not meeting their needs and so nearly all their processes remained manual.

Ascent Dental had met its business goals, but now the worry was ensuring it had purpose-driven, reliable and robust digital infrastructure to maintain and support future success. With multiple practices, the dental group required connected workflow automations, providing customers with continuity and consistent, high-quality patient care.

Working with Solvaa, Ascent Dental began to re-explore how it could optimise their business processes, but this time with an expert, guided and tailored approach. “Kelly is so good at what she does that 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,” said Louise.

Productivity loss from poor lead management tools and manual tasks was a big concern. Therefore, Ascent Dental’s primary goals were to significantly increase productivity through optimising business processes, have a clear understanding of the business’s key performance indicators (KPIs) for reporting and utilise effective automation.

Removing redundant tasks and avoidable stresses, and empowering their teams to focus on what makes Ascent Dental what they are—a successful business providing a friendly and professional service—was crucial. And in doing so, allowing their reception teams to focus on what mattered most—customer service and patient care. People and productivity are at the heart of any successful business, after all, and our approach needed to reflect that.

“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,” Louise said.

For many businesses, using technology, specifically workflow optimisation and automations,to achieve business goals can be a daunting prospect. We understand that, which is why we engage in robust and comprehensive review and planning phases before any implementation occurs.

In addition to these cornerstones of our consulting approach, we suggested Ascent Dental first trial our tailored Pipedrive and Zapier automation solutions in one of their practice locations. It was essential that our recommended approach and business processes met the dental practice business’s objectives and needs, resulting in continuity and optimisation rather than complexities and problems.

The implementation was a success, and together, we rolled out our tailored approach and recommended Pipedrive and Zapier solutions to all of Ascent Dental’s practices.

 

No more lost leads

Due to dental practices’ busy and patient-focused nature, managing leads can be a considerable challenge. Drawing on its expertise working with dental practices, Solvaa have seen first-hand how they often get lots of leads but struggle to manage them.

Without business process automation, this requires already-busy team members to manually document leads and flit between various disparate systems with multiple logins—all while providing a personal and professional service that puts their patients at ease.

Solvaa analysed all aspects of the business and worked with Louise to improve the company’s various processes, including lead collection, nurturing, new patient appointment reminders, onboarding and reporting.

Recommending Pipedrive to manage Ascent Dental’s leads, Solvaa advised the dental practice that creating an operations pipeline in Pipedrive was crucial to resolving its difficulties with manual processes across its four practice locations.

Ascent Dental was familiar with Pipedrive, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. It already used the tool to manage each dentist’s appointment bookings and post-treatment stages throughout its practices. Most of its business processes remained, however, manual, including adding new leads and contacts to Pipedrive, sending patient reminders and onboarding new patients.

Before meeting Kelly and implementing their optimisation and automation approach, the company manually added new leads to a Google Sheet. The teams used this information for reporting and added it to Pipedrive when the lead became a booked appointment. Ascent Dental also used Gravity Forms on their website to collect web enquiries, Mailchimp to send email notifications and Gmail for emails.

Aware of Zapier’s automation capabilities, Louise wanted to implement the solution to automate Ascent Dental’s practice workflows. Integrating Pipedrive with Zapier to automate data transfer between different tools provided  all-round optimisation and workflow automations. The additional beauty of Zapier is that it unlocks productivity by bringing in various valuable resources to boost business processes and further support automation.

With our extensive knowledge of Pipedrive and Zapier, we were on-hand throughout the project to answer any questions, manage the implementation and ensure the solutions worked effectively together. Tapping into these insights, Ascent Dental were assured that the workflow optimisation and automations would successfully streamline their processes and connect their business applications.

Today, Ascent Dental automates their lead capture and nurturing activities with automated SMS, emails, and call reminders, as well as appointment reminders, onboarding, missed appointment reminders, and reporting processes. Its leads no longer fall through the cracks.

 

Watch this video interview with Louise Hatton from Ascent Dental, where she discusses the impact of Solvaa’s work on their business processes: 

 

Saving hours and hours, improving communication and increasing enquiries

Ascent Dental were delighted with the project and our partnership, reporting significant benefits. The time savings alone have transformed day-to-day operations. Their teams, spread over four practice locations, no longer have to manage onerous and unnecessary admin tasks, leaving them to focus on providing the personal touch and exemplary service their customers know and expect.

Solvaa’s recommended workflow optimisations and automations have made it much quicker for Ascent Dental’s teams to keep track of and respond to enquiries. With business process automation, they no longer need a spreadsheet and human memory to manage leads. They no longer need to manually send emails and SMS messages either, which previously took between 30 seconds and 1 minute every single time!

Enquiries have increased, on average, by 50 per site per month. The dental practice receives most of their enquiries via their website, so the assurance that they are now tracked is invaluable. Tracking is a far superior way of managing and nurturing leads, which was previously virtually impossible. Instances where different people followed up on the same patient weren’t unheard of.

Now, Ascent Dental has set templates so their teams do not have to manually type out emails. The practices have found this a huge improvement because, pre-Solvaa, emails with errors such as spelling mistakes were a pitfall of manual processes.

 

Optimising and automating Ascent Dental’s practices was a game changer

Lead nurturing, management and patient onboarding automation were at the forefront of taking Ascent Dental’s processes from manual to automated, and making them a success.

With Solvaa’s strategy and support, the dental company now has two cutting-edge, connected business process workflow optimisation and automations: Pipedrive and Zapier.

Here we look at the specific actions we recommended and implemented for Ascent Dental.

1. Pipedrive improvements for lead collection

Led by Kelly, Solvaa consolidated and moved Ascent Dental’s entire lead management process into Pipedrive by creating a new leads pipeline.

We implemented the “Gravity Forms—Pipedrive” integration into Ascent Dental’s business operation to automate the creation of contacts and deals within Pipedrive when a website user submits an enquiry form.

We also created new Pipedrive Forms to consolidate and standardise the lead collection process for enquiries from all other lead sources, such as email, social media, phone and SMS, before automating the creation of contacts and deals within Pipedrive.

Note: It’s important to note that since we undertook this part of the project with Ascent Dental, Pipedrive has made a lot of changes. As a result, for many businesses, there are now better ways to optimise processes, like, for instance, using a lead inbox rather than creating deals in a pipeline. However, the lead inbox functionality was not available when we optimised Ascent Dental’s processes. Equally, as their needs centre on building transparency, the leads inbox tool is not deemed suitable for the business.

2. Lead nurturing

Ascent Dental now uses Pipedrive to track leads through a step-by-step process. The tool manages and nurtures leads, saving team members countless hours and helping increase conversion rates.

As deals move through the different lead management stages, the tool automatically creates a sequence of cadence activities. Team members are then notified when they need to make a phone call to follow up or provide specific patient care.

Automated messages are also sent by email or SMS, allowing the team to dedicate time and energy to patient calls. Solvaa implemented Pipedrive’s Activity module, which is used for personal touch cadence activities such as phone calls, for this reason, ensuring the highest quality customer service.

Solvaa ensured all other activities were automated where possible using Zapier. Voodoo SMS was implemented to send automated SMS messages. Gmail is used to send automated emails in the lead follow-up and nurturing process, with Zapier as the connector between the two tools.

3. New patient appointment reminders and onboarding

Solvaa’s review, recommendations and subsequent implementation re-envisioned the use of Pipedrive to meet Ascent Dental’s specific needs—no more manual onboarding of new patients.

When booking an appointment, deals are now automatically moved to the appropriate dentist’s pipeline from the Leads pipeline—a far cry from its previous manual process. From booking the appointment to post-treatment follow-up, booked patient appointments move through a step-by-step process via one-off campaigns and automation in Mailchimp. Solvaa also set up Mailchimp to send branded email sequences for patient appointment reminders and onboarding via a series of introductory emails about the practice.

Before working with Solvaa, all of these processes were 100% manual, requiring daily intervention by one staff member to copy and paste information into single campaign emails.

Further, we significantly improved the process by adding Zapier to automatically add or update contacts in Mailchimp once the appointment is booked and a specific process step in Pipedrive is reached. Then, we add the contact to automation sequences in Mailchimp.

4. Reporting and other improvements

Previously, Ascent Dental used Google Sheets to manage lead information and report on conversions. Once we moved the lead management process to Pipedrive, the company only needed Google Sheets 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 Pipedrive process for complete data visibility.

If appointments are rearranged, reception staff use custom-implemented Pipedrive activities to automatically prompt a Mailchimp-branded email with the patient’s new appointment time.

If one-off SMS messages need to be sent, reception staff use custom-implemented Pipedrive activities to send one to a contact automatically. They can send this without leaving Pipedrive or logging into multiple platforms—simple, succinct and stress-free.

With Pipedrive and Zapier, Ascent Dental now have access to more reporting information. Transparency is present, giving Ascent Dental visibility to data across all its functions. Whether top-level data or an in-depth dive, senior managers can now remain informed in a simple, clear and intuitive way.

Solvaa has since provided customised implementation so that Ascent Dental’s teams can enjoy the benefits of automation with manual override abilities if needed. 

Life-changing!

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 man power 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.

Louise Hatton

Group Operations Manager, Ascent Dental Group – Midlands, England

 

Making the most out of automation

The whole team was really pleased with the project. “Once things started, we quickly realised we wanted more and how beneficial Kelly was to our business,” Louise shared.

After reviewing and planning the best business processes for Ascent Dental, Solvaa implemented several complex Zapier automations to align data between Pipedrive, Google Sheets, Mailchimp, Voodoo SMS and Gmail. We also utilised several of Zapier’s built-in apps to maximise functionality for dental practices, providing the practices with even more time savings and productivity gains.

We chose Delay by Zapier to delay workflows to account for other automation running independently in a series of co-dependent workflows. Implementing Formatter by Zapier enabled the dental practice to alter numbers, text, date/ time, line-item formats and look-up tables.

Filter by Zapier was highly relevant for Ascent Dental, giving them basic conditional logic to ensure certain workflows ran based on specific conditions. Paths by Zapier allowed for more complex conditional logic to allow the workflow to run specific pathways with action-based set conditions.

Ascent Dental can now focus on growth rather than having mundane, repetitive tasks weighing them down. They now have more productive staff who can spend more time on patient care rather than admin.

We continue to partner with Ascent Dental to improve their operations and streamline more business processes, where effective. “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,” Louise added.

Our next project with Ascent Dental is to automate their patient system, which currently manages its patients’ dental records. Doing so will save even more hours, boost productivity and ensure their teams can focus even more on what their customers admire them for: their personal touch and exemplary service.

 

Free resources to help save you save time, reduce costs and stay agile with automation

We also have plenty of free resources:

 

Level up your process improvement and Zap building with Kelly’s book

Our founder, Chief Problem Solver and Chief Automator Kelly Goss’ books Automate It with Zapier (first edition) and Automate It with Zapier and Generative AI (second edition), are available on Amazon, and are the most comprehensive Zapier guides on the market. They will get you up and running to the stage where you can build and debug advanced automations.

 

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking through the link.

 

Solvaa: Strategy, Solutions, Support

UK-based Solvaa® is a systems, process and automation consultancy specialising in improving business workflows. Solvaa® works with SMEs worldwide to implement digital tools, better processes, use business process automation and generative AI to boost productivity, enhance lead management, and remove unnecessary time, costs and hassles from stretched business owners’ days.

We help you simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient, and automate manual tasks. Our business process automation specialists have extensive experience using multiple cloud-based business tools, including Zapier, Pipedrive CRM, SmartSuite, Xero, Google Suite, ClickUp, Asana, Airtable, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Quickbooks and many more. We are Zapier Certified Experts, SmartSuite Certified Partners, Pipedrive Certified Partners and Xero Certified Advisors.

Solvaa® was founded in 2016 by Kelly Goss, a no-code solutions architect, business process automation specialist and author of Automate It with Zapier (first edition) and Automate It with Zapier and Generative AI (second edition).

A thought leader on business process automation and digital adoption, Kelly recently attended an invite-only Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the UK government at No.10 Downing Street, providing insights and recommendations on how SMEs can benefit from productivity gains by using digital technologies, automation and AI.

Contact us today to find out how Solvaa can help your business make big savings on operational costs and time, and significantly increase productivity

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