Because of this column, I am constantly trying new things in my practice. Products and services have come and gone. My team has been along for the ride. I ask my assistant to add new things to my setup all the time. Sometimes those products stay. Sometimes they go away once the sample runs out. It’s the same for services. Generally, my front-desk team goes with the flow. They know the game—I can’t incorporate everything I try into the practice. There has been one time where my team came to tell me, “Please, do not stop using this product!” That product is Weave.
I often talk about Weave in lectures. The problem is that there are so many features that I often skip past the important base functionality, which muddies the story. Weave is, first and foremost, a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system for your office. What sets Weave apart from other VoIP providers is that it interfaces with your practice management system. What this gives you is basically a smartphone for your dental practice. You know who is calling as well as vital information about that patient before answering the phone. It is like giving your front-desk crew psychic powers.
Weave also allows you and your team to two-way text your patients from office phone numbers. Those messages are saved in the cloud so there is always a record of these conversations. Weave also records every phone call in and out of your office and you can play them back through the desktop app, just like visual voicemail on your iPhone. These are all features that my team has come to rely on and use daily.
When your practice signs up with Weave, your phone number is ported over to Weave, who takes over as your provider; no need to get a new number. That means that switching to Weave allows you to lose your current phone provider. In my case, the costs were almost identical—except that Weave provided so much more, including new phones! This part was really a no-brainer.
If Weave did just the stuff I have mentioned already, it would be a home run. We haven’t even gotten into all the other things it can do for you. You are probably paying a service right now for appointment reminders. Cancel it, because Weave does that too. You might be paying someone to autosend review requests. Cancel it, because Weave does that too. You might be paying someone to do email blasts to your patients. Cancel it, because Weave does that too! Weave also allows your team to form lists like quick call lists, VIP call lists, etc. This makes their day flow more smoothly and helps them fill the schedule!
I know this is starting to sound like an infomercial . . . “but wait, there’s more!” But there is more. Weave has a team chat feature that allows intraoffice communication. They also have a mobile app so that you can use your mobile phone as your office phone should you ever need to. Why on earth would you want to do that? How about if your internet goes down? Open the Weave app on your smartphone and you can place and receive phone calls from your office number. I often use the Weave app to check on patients after I have worked on them. That night, I open the Weave app on my phone and text everyone who got anesthetic that day to make sure they are feeling okay. If done through the Weave app, the text message comes from my office phone number, so my patients don’t see my personal cell number.
The Weave app also allows me to quickly view the schedule should I need to know what I am walking into on Monday morning. And one final feature to highlight is “text to pay.” If you have patients who want to pay their balances over the phone, you can text them a link to complete their payments, making collections much easier on everyone. Weave is a grand slam for my practice, and my team agrees!
Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, writes the Pearls for Your Practice column in Dental Economics. After graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School, Dr. Austin associated for several years. In October of 2009, he opened a solo general practice in a suburban area of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Austin is involved in all levels of organized dentistry and can be reached at [email protected].