Custom Teeth Guards Propel Online Dental Lab

Folks who grind their enamel whereas sleeping depend on custom-fitted guards for prevention. For sellers of these guards, the complication is the custom-fitting. It requires an actual enamel impression, which presumably requires an in-person go to.
But not if the vendor is Pro Teeth Guard, a San Diego, California-based on-line dental lab that sells made-to-order enamel guards through ecommerce. Its impressions-by-mail course of facilitates {custom} manufacturing — and happy clients.
I just lately spoke with JP Ji, Pro Teeth Guard’s president, on manufacturing challenges, customer support methods, advertising and marketing, and extra.
Our complete audio interview is embedded beneath. The transcript is edited and condensed.

Eric Bandholz: Tell us about Pro Teeth Guard.
JP Ji: We promote custom-fitted mouth guards for individuals who grind their enamel once they sleep. We ship a package to clients. They take an impression of their enamel and return it again to us. We then {custom} manufacture the mouth guard and ship the finished product to the client. We provide changes, a one-year guarantee, and a 60-day money-back assure.
We launched the enterprise in 2012 when my mother began a lab serving native dentists. We now have 9 staff and simply over $1 million in annual income. During Covid, a number of dentists shut down. At that point, on-line gross sales had grow to be a minor a part of the enterprise, most likely 5% of the general income. So we mentioned, “Let’s give attention to our ecommerce website.”
Currently, the dental lab solely companies the ecommerce enterprise. My mother is in command of the technical aspect of producing the product and ensuring it suits completely. I’m in command of advertising and marketing, customer support, and funds.
We use a scorecard for every function throughout the firm — impressed by the ebook “Who: The A Method for Hiring” by Geoff Smart. Every place has core outcomes. We even have what we name “stretch outcomes.” A core final result for a customer support worker is having the ability to observe processes, reply inquiries, and supply an amazing expertise. A stretch final result is recognizing alternatives to enhance, akin to higher effectivity.
I ask the staff, “What have you ever steered this yr or this quarter for enhancements?” They gained’t be negatively impacted or disciplined in the event that they don’t accomplish a stretch aim, nevertheless it is part of the function. We seek advice from customer support as “buyer happiness.” Everyone in our firm is a buyer happiness supervisor.
Bandholz: You have 24/7 help. How does it work?
Ji: We use a third-party live-chat service known as HelpFlow. It makes use of our inner listing of incessantly requested questions. We collect all of the questions obtained by way of electronic mail and telephone calls, construct the listing, and ship it to them. Over time HelpFlow’s workers improves by updating the interior FAQs. We’ve used the service for seven years. Eighty p.c of customer support questions they will now reply primarily based on earlier help tickets.
Most of the chat brokers are abroad. The brokers are assigned to a number of purchasers, not simply us. They report on a metric known as “chatted income.” They would possibly doc, “This buyer chatted with us after which transformed.” Some clients might have transformed regardless, however the conversion price for individuals who engaged in chats is round 10 occasions greater than those that didn’t. The service expenses a month-to-month retainer price. It scales primarily based on the quantity, which works out to a few {dollars} per chat.
Bandholz: You additionally use a conversion optimization agency.
Ji: Yes. The agency, Conversion Crimes, conducts consumer testing to find friction factors on a web site and the place individuals get confused. Conversion Crimes sends a client who matches our target market to our website — somebody needing an evening guard. The agency data the particular person navigating the location with particular steps and cues. For instance, the steps could also be, “Land on the web page. Scroll by way of. Don’t click on on something. What is that this web page about?” That assessments whether or not a web page conveys the aim of our model, web site, or product — on cellular and desktop.
We ship these recordings to of us at our user-interface company. They will take notes and handle these limitations. After we go dwell with a brand new design, we’ll repeat the method with one other take a look at.
Here’s an instance. We realized that it’s exhausting for individuals to know which of our merchandise to purchase. We have 4 {custom} evening guards, all related however with completely different thicknesses and supplies. Customers wish to know which one they want. So we’ve built-in a quiz to assist. Based on the responses, it’s going to suggest one of the best product. That quiz has a excessive degree of engagement.
Bandholz: What is your advertising and marketing technique?
Ji: We began very robust on search engine marketing in 2012. It was simpler again then. So that was our primary channel for a very long time, search engine optimization and Google Ads. We’ve had our ups and downs with the Google algorithm. We’ve had updates that halved our site visitors over time. Then we recovered. Now clients from natural search are about 15% to twenty% of whole income.
We nonetheless use Google Ads. And associates are a big channel — about 25% of income — as a result of many are masters at search engine optimization. If you seek for one of the best mouth guard, evening guard, or greatest guard for enamel grinding, our associates are sometimes the highest one, two, or three outcomes.
The relaxation is electronic mail advertising and marketing. We by no means cracked Facebook Ads. For some time, we had been working retargeting advertisements on Facebook. That was okay. But even then, after the iOS 14.5 updates, retargeting was unprofitable for us. We most likely spent the equal of a Honda Civic on Facebook Ads and by no means actually obtained a return.
We’ve nailed our content material advertising and marketing course of fairly effectively. So far, it’s virtually completely for search engine optimization. But of us don’t at all times search on Google for questions on mouthguards and enamel grinding. So we’re wanting into investing in movies, akin to on YouTube and TikTok.
A competitor began a TikTok channel. One of their movies about enamel grinding on TikTok obtained over 1 million views. We’re seeking to leverage TikTok and the creator market to attempt related issues.
Bandholz: Where can individuals be taught extra about you?
Ji: Our web site is I’m on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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