Tips and Ideas for How to Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Tips and Ideas for How to Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Hello Friends,

The telephone is your dental office lifeline.”

Whether it is a patient or referring dentist of a new or current patient calling your office, it is essential that the conversation is cared for in a professional, friendly manner that expresses genuine concern. What kind of impression is your dental office team creating for you? Do you know how effective they are in answering the office telephone? Does it really matter? Absolutely!

All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Don’t waste your money by losing the potential patient/referring dentist or aggravating current patients due to poor telephone skills and habits. Your entire team (clinical & admin) should be trained in how to properly answer the phone and handle the call. Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity!

dental telephone scripting principles from betty hayden consulting

 

Here are 10 helpful telephone tips & ideas:

  1. 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 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 and use it often.
  8. Find out how they heard about your office (document the referral source!).
  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 I have called as a “shopper” and was never offered an appointment.

Set aside some time to meet together as a team – everyone in the office should be trained on how to not only answer the phones but they should know how to handle the calls. At the very least, professionally & courteously direct the caller to someone who can help. Role play will help all to feel more comfortable handling different types of calls.

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

Know how to respond to the following callers:

  • 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.
  • Insurance Questions – Have a great response to: “Do you take —-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

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Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

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Why Plant Dental Marketing Seeds Of Greatness?

Why Plant Dental Marketing Seeds Of Greatness?

Hello Friends,

Marketing your dental practice is like planting seeds. Some seeds sprout right away, others may take a while. You may have written some seeds off as a loss and when you least expect it, there it sprouts and produces beautiful results. And some may sprout where you don’t even remember planting.

” If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not.       Speak then to me.”~ William Shakespeare

What are your marketing seeds? Everything that you do, everything that the patient (and potential patient) sees, hears & feels. Everything Matters!

Marketing Seeds Include:

  • Current Patients/Referral Programs
  • Social Media
  • Direct Mail
  • Patient Appreciation Gifts
  • Staying in Touch with your patients
  • The Patient Experience
  • Digital Marketing (Website, SEO, Emails, Mobile Devices, Google, Etc.)
  • Your Brand
  • Community/Charity Involvement
  • Local Business Partnerships
  • You and Your Team

Take some time today and think about what you are sowing & producing.

Look at your practice through the eyes of your patients and potential patients.

Look closely at yourself, your team, the exterior, and interior of your building, all office systems, your lab, sterilization procedures, website & social media sites, marketing materials, marketing programs and the patient experience. Weeds can sneak in very easily if you don’t work to prevent them or if you ignore them when they are small.

Be wary of these two especially dangerous weeds: Poor telephone call systems and poor team member attitudes. See How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone & Tips to Improve your Dental Office Part 4 ~ Happy Team

Examine your referral sources & patient retention numbers, this will be a key indicator as to the quality & quantity of the seeds you and your team are planting. Who is referring the new patients and who isn’t? And why? Are you known as the go to dental expert in the community? If not, why?

Do you provide your patients with a consistent & quality experience over the telephone? What about during & after their visit? Are you exceeding their expectations?

Are you and your team members involved in the community? Are you tracking, acknowledging and rewarding those that refer to you? 

Helpful Articles:  Tips to Improve Your Dental Office, Part 1 ~ First ImpressionsTips to Improve Your Dental Office Part 2 – Make a Change! and Tips To Improve Your Dental Office, Part 3 ~ The Little Things Matter

Again, everything matters! 

dental marketing ideas from hayden consulting

Don’t give up and please, don’t ignore any of the areas we’ve talked about – you might not see results right away but seeds are being planted, impressions are being made. You never know where and when they will take root and bloom!

Bring in some fresh eyes if you need to, ones that will see, hear & feel what you are missing, and ones that will give you the push and help to get rid of any weeds and plant seeds of greatness daily & consistently!

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom marketing campaign that includes ideas for special offers, office fun, patient give-aways/drawings, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and hygiene continuing care/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Remember to…

  • Know Your Target Audience
  • Set Goals 
  • Create a monthly marketing calendar
  • Track all your marketing efforts. What’s working? What needs improvement? What needs to be eliminated?

Please take a moment and click the follow button to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas right to your inbox each month. Feel free to share with your friends. Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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