As the UK’s leading dental payment plan, Denplan works with dental practices to offer their patients bespoke plans that allow them to budget for private dental care.
Whenever dentists update their fees, it is mandatory for Denplan to communicate this change to patients. A Fee Rate communication is sent to each practice’s patients, either by mail or email, in January or April (depending on when a practice’s businesses financial year ends). The purpose is to keep patients informed ahead of any changes to their direct debit. Mail is the preferred channel for nearly 80% of patients often because they prefer receiving detailed information via print, or they place higher trust in mail than email for ‘secure’ information such as policy details or they like to keep and file their plan details.
In 2021, Denplan were seeking to deliver overall cost efficiencies across the entire organisation. The call centre had been identified as a high-cost contact channel, so the goal of every communication was to reduce call centre demand, encouraging patients to ‘self-serve’ by going online and finding the answers themselves.
The challenge for the December Fee Rate mailing 2021 was two-fold:
- To create a powerful letter that clearly communicated the increase in fees
- To reduce the number of calls to the call centre generated by the policy change.
Denplan and their direct marketing partner, The Dragonfly Agency set out to make their December Fee Renewal mailing more effective and impactful, and in doing so, reduce the number of calls to the call centre.
The letter and accompanying leaflet mailed to patients was fresh and uncluttered, with a clear visual hierarchy that allowed important information to be registered and understood. Coloured headlines gave stand out to key messages and copy was kept to a minimum. A table clearly laid out the monthly price and any discounts that were applicable.
Denplan’s next challenge was to overcome patients’ reflex action of picking up the phone to the call centre every time they had a question.
A segmentation exercise had revealed that the bulk of the Denplan target audience who opted in for mail communications were ‘Give it a go Daniels’ – a group who were willing to try online but, if at any point it got a bit tricky, they would abort. So, the strategy was to make this journey as smooth as possible by including a QR Code in the mailing. Prominent on the FAQ page of the accompanying leaflet, with a clear call to action, the code helped policy holders to seamlessly navigate to their portal should they have any further questions that the mailing hadn’t answered or if they wanted to make changes to their details or marketing preferences.
Messaging in the letter also drove a digital solution by encouraging patients to contact Denplan via email or by filling in a form online; to reinforce this, the call centre telephone number was excluded from the communication.
Finally, as research showed that mail makes people feel more valued than email, Denplan took the opportunity to reinforce this by thanking patients – both from the dental practice and themselves – for their custom during what had been a challenging year.
The letter was a cost-efficient way of getting the fee-change message into all policy holder’s hands. As 99% of Customer Mail is engaged with in some way Denplan could be confident that this important mailing wasn’t missed.
The simple, clean letter with a clear digital call to action drove people to their keyboards rather than their phones meaning that the Denplan call centre enjoyed a 2% drop in call volume when benchmarked against previous campaigns, with webchat increasing by 7%. There were also 236 fewer policy cancellations when compared to the mailing the previous year.
Source: Neil Miller and Neil Moodley, Simply Health
Did you know a whopping 99% of Customer Mail is engaged with, 71% say they trust it and 43% leads to a commercial action such as going online or making a purchase? New ground-breaking research written with Accenture gives an in-depth review of CX and multi-channel communications, including Customer Mail. Download the full report here.