Top Ten Tips for How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Top Ten Tips for How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Hello Friends,

The phone is ringing, the calls are coming in, but appointments aren’t being made. In fact, it is quite possible potential new patients are unintentionally being turned away.

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”

What kind of impression is your dental office team creating for you? Do you really know how effective they are in answering the office telephone? Are you tracking how many calls come in and how many of those callers schedule an appointment? Does it really matter? Absolutely!

All your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Don’t waste your money by losing the potential patient or aggravating current patients due to poor telephone skills and habits. Your entire team (clinical & admin) should be trained on how to properly answer the phone and effectively care for the caller.  

Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity!

Here are 10 helpful telephone tips & ideas:

  1. Always Smile before you pick up the phone.
  2. Answer the phone within the first couple of rings.
  3. Answer the phone with a thank you for calling, identify the office and give your name. (ex: Thank you for calling Dr. Smiles, this is Betty. I can help you.)
  4. Do NOT let the caller go to voice mail (or a busy signal!) during business hours (including and especially lunch hours). People hate leaving messages. Oftentimes, they’ll hang up and call the next office on their list.
  5. Never, ever answer the phone with “hold please” or “can you hold?”! Take a quick second, find out who they are and what they need. People hate to be put on hold. If you are habitually needing to put callers on hold, you need more people answering the phones.
  6. For the few times when you do need to put a caller on hold – please, consider having a great message on hold service. Here’s why: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service?
  7. Get the caller’s name early on and use it often. BEFORE you answer their initial question, you should know who you are talking with. (ie: “Great question, I can help you that. Again, my name is Betty may I ask your name?”)
  8. Find out how they heard about your office (document the referral source in the software!).
  9. “What type of insurance do you have?” shouldn’t be the first thing you ask. In fact, let the caller bring that part up. Your goal is to build a relationship with the caller, to get to know them and their expectations.
  10. Offer an appointment. Sounds obvious right? You might be surprised to know how many offices miss this important step. Seriously, this one is so simple and yet it is shocking how many offices totally miss this opportunity. Remember, the goal should be to end the call with an appointment scheduled.

Set aside some time to meet as a team – everyone in the office should be trained on how to not only answer the phones but should know how to effectively handle the calls. At the very least, professionally & courteously direct the caller to someone who can help.

Practice, Practice, Practice how to effectively handle different types of calls and questions until you feel comfortable. (Yes, I am talking about role-play – I know we hate role-play  it’s uncomfortable (and embarrassing) to do but it’s necessary to be truly successful. Work through the discomfort. It’s worth it!)

As a team, create your Telephone Principles (scripting guidelines)which are your goals & expectations for each call.

Know how to respond to the following callers (not just answer their question but with the goal of welcoming them into the practice by scheduling a new patient appointment):

  • Shopper Callers – Great opportunity! Typically, the shopper caller has a need and is ready to “buy”, that’s why they are “shopping”.  Don’t blow it by refusing to quote fees over the phone or by failing to invite them to come in for a complimentary consultation.
  • Insurance Questions – Have a great response for: “Do you take XYZ ins?
  • Wrong Numbers – offer an appointment anyway.
  • Sales Calls – Be kind, they’re just doing their job. Maybe they need an appointment. Plus, you don’t know who they know. It’s simple – always be kind.
  • Organizations or local businesses requesting donations – Empower your team to fulfill their request. At the very least, offer them an appointment.

The telephone ringing should never be viewed as an interruption to your already too busy day. Certainly, handling the phones is a big responsibility but it’s an even bigger privilege. Don’t miss out on any opportunities to set your office apart from the others by always exceeding the caller’s expectations.

If you have questions about how to successfully handle telephone calls or need help training your team, don’t wait, ask for help. I’m ready to help you. Email:bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

If you find the complimentary ideas that I share each month to be helpful for your practice, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOKThank you!!

Be sure to take a second and subscribe to receive in your email inbox each month, my FREE (no spam ever!) dental marketing, leadership, and practice management tips & ideas. Or if you prefer to email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest

I Can’t Do It!

I Can’t Do It!

Hello Friends,

Do you ever feel like you just “can’t” do it? Perhaps there are times when you feel like my daughter, Savannah did here in this video while trying to learn to hula hoop (while wearing high heels)…

Savannah in her frustration said “I can’t do it” – We all have at one time felt this way or maybe we’re feeling that way now.

But, was that really true, was she doomed to never master the hula hoop? Not at all, she just couldn’t hula hoop “yet”.

Yet is an optimistic word that means “in the future”, for example, the best is yet to come. 

dental marketing ideas hayden consulting

Approach each day in your practice with the growth mindset that, the best is yet to come. So maybe your patient feels like they can’t accept your treatment plan yet, or you’re struggling with reaching your production, collection, and scheduling goals, or like many offices right now you’re struggling to find and retain employees, this doesn’t mean that you will never reach your goals or your patient will never accept the treatment, or that you’ll never find excellent employees, it just means, more time and or effort are required.

This was true for Savannah – She can hula hoop!

Your patient hasn’t said yes, yet. You haven’t reached your goals, yet. You don’t have your dream team, yet. However, the best is yet to come.

Add yet to your mindset and your challenges become an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. Remember, with dedication and hard work, success follows. You CAN Do It!

Do you know what else will help you learn, grow and improve? My complimentary monthly dental coaching, practice management, and marketing ideas. Take a second and sign up today. If you prefer, send me (bhaydensulting@gmail.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to subscribe. This way, you won’t miss a single idea! 

Doctors, I may not be the best person to teach you how to hula hoop but I do know how to successfully help dental teams work together to create and implement wonderful systems to grow and improve their dental practice – if you’ve wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

If you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month – I would love and truly appreciate it (seriously, it would make my day!) for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Dental Office Management Tips and Ideas for March 2021

Dental Office Management Tips and Ideas for March 2021

Hello Friends,

I am happy to be sharing some dental practice management tips and ideas with you to be implemented during the month of March. All designed to help you end your first quarter strong!!

Be sure to spend some time reviewing your YTD numbers with your goals for the year. Are you satisfied with how your numbers are trending? If not, now is the perfect time to make some adjustments.

If you’re looking for marketing tips and ideas for March 2021 – visit here.

Here are your leadership and management tips and ideas for March 2021…

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” – John Buchan

Employee Spirit Month – If you want to increase employee trust, creativity, teamwork, engagement, and productivity, then it’s time to have some fun, commend more, improve communication and huddle up! See more team building tips and ideas HERE

I love that quote so much! #beautiful #truth

“There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment.”- Orison Swett Marden

Add the following days to your office calendar

Employee Appreciation Day 5th – Take some time today to show your appreciation for your hard-working employees. Take a few team photos to share on your social media pages and Google My Business listing. People respond very well to seeing employees appreciated and everyone having fun together.

National Dentists Day: March 6th   – Spend today celebrating the awesome dentists’ in your life! Be sure to take a picture(s) of your dentist(s) to post on your social media pages and Google My Business listing with a message of appreciation.

National Dental Assistants Recognition Week: 7th – 13th– This is the week to celebrate your hard-working assistants! Be sure to take a picture(s) of your assistants to post on your social media pages and Google My Business listing with a message of appreciation.

Doctors’ if you would like to learn how coaching can help you better lead your team, creating greatness based on high-performance expectations and principles. Produce more, Collect more, Stress-less, and have more Fun – Schedule your complimentary no-obligation 30-minute coaching consultation today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Hygiene Continuing Care/Recare Opportunity – March 28th – April 3 is National Cleaning Week: Take advantage of the theme for this week by sharing hygiene continuing care email & text reminders with your patients that are due for their “cleaning” appointments. Be sure to include posts on your social media pages too.

Remember that March is an especially important month for any of you that typically struggle with a slow September. Make sure that all of your patients leave with next hygiene appointment scheduled. Do you know what your pre-appointment and re-appointment percentage is for your practice? If not, that is a smart number to track. To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence .  Keeping your pre and re-appointment percentages high means less time, energy, and money spent trying to get the appointments later.

Same-Day Schedule Changes – Holes in the schedule are not OK. Encourage your patients to keep their reservations and for the ones that absolutely must break their appt… unless they are a habitual offender PLEASE reschedule them while you have them on the phone. Refrain from asking – do you want to reschedule? Would you like to schedule? Do you want to call back to reschedule? ETC. Assume that they want to and say: “I know this appointment is important to you so while I have you on the phone let’s go ahead and reserve a more convenient time. I have ___ or ___ which works better for you?”

If they refuse to schedule, then let them know that if you don’t hear from them by (choose date) you will give them a call. Be sure to follow up on that promise.

As always, wishing you the very best!!

I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK. Thank you!

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

Dental Office Practice Management, Leadership, Marketing, and Team Building Books

Dental Office Practice Management, Leadership, Marketing, and Team Building Books

Hello Friends,

Whether you’re looking for a book(s) to improve your leadership skills, provide your dental patients with the very best experiences, or wanting to boost team morale, check out the following book recommendations.

Leadership, Management, Marketing, and Team Building Book Suggestions:

Move Your Bus – Ron Clark

FISH! – Stephen C. Lundin and Harry Paul

Fun Is Good – Mike Veeck & Pete Williams

Dental Practice Hero – Paul Etchison

E-Myth Mastery – Michael E. Gerber

The ONE Thing – Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

Atomic Habits – James Clear

Making It Easy for Patients to Say Yes: The Complete Guide to Case Acceptance – Paul Homoly

Traction –  Gino Wickman

The Practice RX– Dino Watt

1o Knows To get To Yes! – Kelly Lynch

Bring Your Whole Self to Work: How Vulnerability Unlocks Creativity, Connection, and Performance – Mike Robbins

Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team – Patrick Lencioni

The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon (Actually, ALL books by Jon Gordon!)

Our Iceberg is Melting –  John Kotter

Who Moved my Cheese? – Spencer Johnson, MD

Leadershift – John Maxwell (All Maxwell Books)

Be Amazing or Go Home – Shep Hyken   (All Shep Hyken Books)

Everything is Marketing – Fred Joyal

Beyond The Morning HUDDLE – Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca (All of her books)

If you have some favorites that you think I should add to my list, feel free to shoot me a message at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com – Thank you.

Consider purchasing team building/self-improvement books for your team. During a team meeting, discuss portions of the book. Or purchase electronic devices such as a Kindle Fire for each employee and download books that can be discussed during a “book club team meeting”.

Find Additional Team Building Activities, Ideas, and Incentives Here

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas? I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK – Thank you!!!

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. Or send me your email address and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest