Dental laboratory websites are used for advertising, exposure, creating new relationships and supporting the relationships already made. If you search any dental laboratory website chances are you will see a digital Rx in the form of a downloadable/printable PDF or a dentist portal to schedule or pre-book a case directly into the labs scheduling software system.
The digital prescription is convenient for both parties, for the dentist it means that less time is used filling out the form to all the labs specifications and they always know where to find it. For the lab it means that prescriptions come back with the information they require to do the case - hopefully.
Digital prescriptions are an old beast that could have been involved with more effective marketing but labs perceived it as a perk for the dentist and nothing more. Let me explain:
If you have a customer that goes to the same place to buy a product (say a supermarket shelf) every time, then you capitalize on that place. The next time the customer purchases from that place they can see advertisements for similar products and specials on more products. The digital Rx should work the same but for some reason it never did. Once the lab has provided the perk of having an Rx on their website and a marketing campaign has established that dentists are using the Rx and a purchasing behavior has been established then the place where the Rx is on the site shouldn't be in the contact us section, it should have it's own page, with news and specials and alternative products. Once you have a captured audience you leverage it out to help the exposure of other products and services the lab provides.
Now the only problem with the digital Rx is that its still completed by hand and the case entry staff or technician is still at the mercy of the dentists hand writing and the possibility of receiving incomplete information.
The dental lab software's responded to this by creating the dentist portal, a page that allowed the dentist to submit or pre-book a case directly into the software system of the lab reducing the entry time, pick up time (depending on the time of submission) and more importantly allowed the dentists to print past invoices and statements without having to pick up the phone. Some portals have followed the path of the digital Rx and don't take advantage of the purchase point. There was also the challenge of enticing the dentists to get onto the system in the first place. But never the less the older portals dominated the market for a time until competitors appeared with the features that allowed laboratories to take advantage of he purchase point and some even allow the dentist to pay for their case right there and then by credit card, all synced and recorded with the receivables of the lab software.
So if you are a dental lab with a digital Rx or dentist portal then I urge you to look at cross marketing and up selling at your point of sale, if you already have dentists utilizing this perk what's the harm in educating them in your latest development/service/sale? It could be just the thing they didn't even know they were looking for ;-)
For dental labs who don't have a digital Rx or dentist portal your already a step ahead. Remember when you are implementing a perk or benefit on your website, there is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your doctors by showing them all the other fantastic things you provide!
Comments, experiences and feedback is always welcome. The purpose of these tips is to motivate and educate.