Pssst. Here’s a secret for you: just because someone calls your practice to make an appointment doesn’t mean you’ll have a new patient when you hang up. How you handle that first phone call matters! Here are five tips to help you hit it out of the park:
- Have a phone call strategy—and people who know how to use it
Yes, you need a phone strategy. And you need people who know how to translate that strategy into effective new patient calls. Select employees who you feel will shine on the phones and then get them trained in the onboarding of new patients. After all what they’re really doing is selling your practice—and being a good salesperson takes training and practice to perfect.
- Do not disturb
As much as you can, allow those who know how to answer the phones and secure patients to only focus on their phone calls. If possible have one or two people available at all times who can step away from other tasks when the phone rings and just answer the phone—that means no juggling other front desk duties, attempting to balance books, or organizing patient files while speaking to the caller.
- Have a positive attitude
It may sound ridiculous, but smiling while on the phone can go a long way! That positivity will come through to the prospective patient and make them much more likely to choose you as their dental provider. They’ll feel comfortable, and creating a relationship with them will be much easier.
- Always ask for an appointment
Perhaps a caller is simply looking for information because they’re early in their new dentist search. Or they’re simply calling on a whim because of a practice advertisement they saw and aren’t really sure they want an appointment. Who cares? If they don’t bring up an appointment you should. That might be all the push they need to commit to one.
- Seal the deal
After a new patient has called in one of the most important things to do is let the doctor know when this new patient is coming in. This way the doctor can reach out to these new patients as a friendly pre-welcome to the office. People feel reassured when they get this call from the doctor, which will “seal the deal” so to speak and help eliminate no shows.
New patient phone calls can make or break your dental practice
3 Tactics to improve your phone skills in the dental office