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The 2024 State of Business Texting Report: What it means for your practice

March 17, 2024
Gain insights into the benefits, challenges, and opportunities associated with business texting for dentists and their practices.

The 2024 State of Business Texting Report provides comprehensive insights into the current landscape of texting for a wide range of industries, including dental practices like yours. In this report, Text Request uncovers the benefits, challenges, and opportunities associated with business texting for dentists.

So, what is business texting?

Business texting refers to professional text communication between businesses and their customers. These services make it possible to text-enable your business’s phone number, so you can send and receive messages through it. Dental practices and other health-care organizations should choose HIPAA-compliant text messaging, so that patient data remains secure and protected.

Here are several benefits to incorporating HIPAA-compliant text messaging into your practice communications.

Enhance customer service

It’s important to be readily available for patients, especially after a procedure. That’s why 75% of businesses already text for customer service,1 so they can connect with their contacts instantly.

Regularly encourage patients to reach out to you via text for all their needs and questions by displaying call-to-actions (CTAs) across your website, like “Text us with any questions!” An easy way to do this is with a live chat widget for your website. Patients use the widget to start a text conversation with you via SMS chat on your website, and they can continue the conversation on their phone.

This allows patients to instantly reach your team without having to wait on hold or navigate through an automated phone system. A text can be sent at any time so that patients can resolve their issues quickly.

Increase reviews and feedback from patients

Positive reviews are a direct reflection of your customer service and support. They boost visibility for your practice in local online searches and have the power to bring in more patients. In the report, survey participants were asked what they wished their organization was texting for, and the number one response was for online reviews and feedback (35%).

How would texting for reviews work for your practice? After a patient’s visit, text them a link to your review page, such as Facebook, Google Reviews, or wherever potential patients are most likely to see them. Having a substantial number of high-quality reviews tells people that you’re a reputable and trustworthy business. This can have a direct impact on your revenue, attracting more people to your practice.

Use texting to request feedback and reviews from patients postappointment to help you improve services and bolster your online reputation.

Provide general updates

Fifty-four percent of people say text messaging is the most effective way to reach them. Texting makes it easier for patients to stay in the loop, minus the phone tag and ignored emails.

Keeping patients updated about appointments and aftercare helps your office operate smoothly. Mass text messaging allows you to reach all your patients at once, saving you time so you can focus on other things.

Mass text messaging works similarly to BCC group messaging. You can send a message to multiple contacts, separately. Their replies become one-on-one conversations between your practice and the patient, without them seeing who else got the message. Use mass texts to announce updated office hours, new equipment/services, and plans for renovation, for example.

Streamline appointment management

You want the chairs at your dental practice to be full of healthy smiles, but high no-show rates can hurt your clinic’s productivity.

It’s common for patients to miss an appointment because they forgot they had one—which is why text reminders decrease no-show rates. Sixty-eight percent of businesses already text for appointment scheduling, and 87% of consumers want to receive SMS scheduling notifications from businesses for this reason. Patients can reschedule or cancel appointments via text, so appointments aren’t lost when things inevitably pop up.

Send and receive payments via text

The easier you make the payment process, the better your revenue flow will be. Sixty-three percent of consumers want to receive texts related to making payments, so your patients will too.

While patients are in-office for their appointment, it makes sense for them to pay on the spot before leaving. As for SMS payments, patients can pay via text without having to download an external app.

This works best when patients have an outstanding or recurring balance, especially for those who’ve opted to finance their treatments. Your practice can just text an invoice and request that they pay the bill. From there, they can open it and securely make a payment through a third-party payment processor connected to your practice’s bank account.

Top takeaways for 2024

Customer service dominance. Businesses predominantly use texting for customer service, reflecting the growing expectation of text messaging as a standard business communication channel.

More opportunities to collect on­­line reviews. While businesses understand the importance of online reviews, not enough of them are using texting for collecting reviews—presenting a significant growth opportunity.

Challenges to track and prove ROI. Despite time-saving benefits, many organizations need help to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their texting efforts, pointing to a need for clearer metrics and tracking methods, such as noting how much time is saved by texting instead of calling, or how many appointments are kept because of SMS reminders.

Predictions for dental business texting in 2024

Increased use of texting for online reviews. With the increasing demand for online reviews, dental practices will start to utilize text messaging to request and collect online feedback.

Stricter carrier regulations. Mobile carriers and governing bodies are becoming increasingly strict regarding which organizations and businesses can text, for what purposes, and whether it’s legitimate or spam. It creates a couple of extra steps, but this will result in better, trusted experiences for everyone.

So how does your dental practice comply? You must register your dental practice’s number and earn carrier approval before texting, and prove that your patients have opted in to receive text messages. The sooner you register,2 the higher advantage your dental practice will gain.

Text messaging will become the default mode of communication for many businesses. Text messaging is overtaking phone calls and emails as the quickest way to get in touch with someone. It’s not applicable for every business, but for dental practices, that means you’ll be able to reach patients instantly. Getting in touch with patients is crucial to your practice, especially when you need to get in touch about appointment scheduling, aftercare instructions, and billing and payment questions.

Businesses that rely heavily on customer communication can expect to adopt text messaging as a default mode of communication in the near future.

Why your dental practice needs to start texting now

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, text messaging will rise as the primary form of communication for many businesses, including dental practices like yours. Integrating text messaging into your everyday communications will empower your dental practice to stop repeating tasks, and your patients will never miss an update. Read the full report at 

Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 2024 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.


  1. 2024 state of business texting report. Text Request. November 1, 2023.
  2. 10DLC registrations and regulations: your complete guide. Text Request.

Jessica Ayre is a content marketing specialist at Text Request, a business texting solution. If you want to start texting with patients, Text Request can give you all the tools and resources you need to create a safe and successful text messaging strategy.

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