Mobile Sites for Dentists: Smart or Stupid?
I’ve taken the stance that mobile sites are unnecessary, and that dental marketing and website design companies push them as essential because consumers don’t know any better. In short, I think that dentists and other small business owners are being taken advantage of. After all, anyone can get a mobile version of a website for a few bucks a month! However, I asked myself, what brought me to my opinion, and how can I back it up with facts?
Just this morning, I found an article on the Mobile Marketer Daily website in which the VP at Forrester Research, Julie Ask, was interviewed on the subject of mobile websites. In short, she believes that businesses need to approach mobile marketing with a long-term, rather than short-term, plan. She says that businesses risk “fall[ing] short of consumer expectations.” The report suggests that businesses consider their customer experience strategy.
Interestingly, I’ve been reading up UX, which stands for user experience. I believe that Ms. Ask was making the point that the customer experience, or UX, is vital to mobile and web design.
What is UX?
Wikipedia says that UX is “the way a person feels about using a product, system or service.” It relates to the interaction of a human with technology. The UX for CEREC, for example, involves how a dentist feels about that system from a functional standpoint, as well as the emotional reactions of using the technology. If the dentist is frustrated by part of the experience of using CEREC, the UX is poor. If the dentist finds CEREC very user friendly, the UX was good – maybe great. UX also comes into play with websites. How do your potential patients feel about the usability of your website? Can they find what they’re looking for quickly? Are they served by the design, layout, and content, or are they left frustrated and dissatisfied?
My Beef with UX for Mobile Dental Websites
All of the mobile dental websites I’ve experienced feature a few buttons that allow me to view certain pages of the website, usually a contact page, an about page, and a service page. It’s bare bones. If I’m on my tablet, I am looking for more, and I’d rather see the full site, as long as it satisfies my questions as a consumer. If I’m on my phone, the only reason I’d look for a dentist is because of an emergency or to find contact information. I would not seriously shop for a dentist on my phone. Would you? Do you shop for your family physician on your iPhone?
I believe that people look for retailers on their mobile devices, but most people do not search for service providers. Dining requires a one-time investment, for the most part under $100. At a dentist’s office, patients spend thousands of dollars. It’s just logical that the consumer take more time and do more research if he/she is going to spend more money.
The nature of dental marketing is such that, a bare-bones version of a dentist’s website does not serve the consumer. So, what would serve the consumer? Good question!
Mobile Websites that Work for Dental Patients
At MDPM, I’m working with our development team, exploring the currently available ways to modify a dental website so that, on a tablet or phone, it renders the most important features for the end user. Big images, elements of motion, and popups that do not work well on mobile devices can be funneled out, so that the mobile version of the dentist’s website offers a great UX – user experience.
I believe that dental website companies are not taking the end user into consideration, primarily because they focus on building, rather than marketing. At MDPM, we focus on marketing – which means getting new patients into our client dentist’s offices. We focus on serving the end user, the consumer, the potential dental patient, so that he/she is pleased with the UX of our client dentists’ websites, blogs, mobile sites, and social profiles.
Get Help from Dental Marketing Consultants
If your dental practice needs guidance on marketing, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing today. We remain on the forefront of marketing tools that benefit dentists, rather than chasing shiny objects or following our competitors. We are independent thinkers who use logic and information to make wise decisions that benefit our client dentists’ marketing plans. Call 972-781-8861 or email [email protected] today for your consultation.