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

Dentist Office Marketing Tips and Ideas for March 2021

Dentist Office Marketing Tips and Ideas for March 2021

Hello Friends,

What do you have planned for March to help your patients have a great visit to your office? Are you on track to reach or exceed your first-quarter new patient and established patient reactivation goals? If not, there is still time to end this first quarter strong!

You’ll find that the Marketing Tips and Ideas that I share each month target the following 3 different areas to help you grow and improve your practice:

  • In-Office / Exceed Patients Expectations – Ideas that exceed your patients’ expectations and gets them talking about you, your office, and your team (in a good way) to their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers after their appointment.
  • Social Media – Look for and create opportunities to help your patients and potential patients to see the personality of the practice. It is a good way to simply keep your name in front of your active and inactive patients too.
  • Community – Ideas to help you build and strengthen relationships within the community.  

Marketing Tips & Ideas for March

Product/Service Feature:  Teeth Whitening

Theme: Tropical Luau (March is a great month to bring a little warmth and fun to the practice!)

Special Offer: Offer teeth whitening at a reduced price or BOGO (encourages patients to bring a friend) or donate a portion of teeth whitening collections to a local charity.

Remind your patients that gift certificates are available!

OR

Product/Service Feature: Orthodontics

Theme: March Madness (Bracket Madness)

Our Office Patients are a Slam Dunk! OR

May all your straight teeth “swishes” come true!

Patient Appreciation Gifts– little basketball kick balls (Oriental Trading) or little oranges (clementines) that you use a food-grade marker to draw basketball lines onto them.

Contest/Give-Away – Basketball Themed Gift Basket. Filled with snacks, a basketball, toothbrush, floss, mouthrinse, and whatever else you’d like to add.

External Marketing Ideas to Build Relationships Within Your Community:

Celebrate Your Name Week March 4-10 – Fun & Inexpensive give-away idea: Pick 2-4 names each day (that the office is open) to post on Facebook/Instagram, the persons with those names can come by the office on that day only to pick up a FREE toothbrush (or lip balm). An easy way to get posts shared! (Get your name out there!!)

National Nutrition Month – Deliver some healthy snacks to a few local businesses and be sure to include a special offer and/or information about your in-office savings plan. 

Educational Opportunities 

National Kidney Month – Both tooth decay and gum disease can lead to infections that can cause problems for people with kidney disease.  A study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology reported that people with kidney disease and those on dialysis are more likely to have periodontal disease and other oral health problems than the general population.

Sleep Awareness Week® 14th – 20th – It is estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages. Your goal is to help improve their overall health and well-being with better sleep.

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of March:

National Caffeine Awareness Month

National Procrastination Week: 7th–14th

American Chocolate Week: 21st – 27th

World Compliment Day 1st

Pi Day: 14th

Kick Butts Day 17th

Pecan Day 25th

What are your plans to make March a great month? Please share your plans and ideas with me!

Here are some Practice Management & Leadership Tips & Ideas for March 2021

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

Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management, Leadership, and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please start following 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 – Dental Coach

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

Dental Practice Management Tips and Ideas for February 2021

Dental Practice Management Tips and Ideas for February 2021

Hello Friends,

How is your first quarter looking so far? What are you doing to ensure this is a healthy and productive year for you, your office, and your team?

Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” – Walt Disney

Here are a few Practice Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas for February.

February is National Time Management Month: When was the last time you reviewed all your office systems and protocols to ensure that you’re using your time efficiently and effectively?

If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it is causing you to stray from the schedule.

You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” – Tony Morgan

Arrive at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expect your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time.

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have 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.

Reappointments and Reactivation – Now is a great time to reach out to your unscheduled patients both active and inactive patients.

Rather than just calling to ask if they would like to schedule an appointment, use this occasion to simply check in to see how they’re doing and let them know you’re thinking about them. This is about building and strengthening relationships. 

Take advantage of the different methods to reach them – telephone, text, email, letter/care, and your social media pages.  You’re planting little reminder seeds that you are still here for them during these crazy times.

Here is an idea: February 24th is Forget Me Not Day – This is a day to remember family, friends, loved ones, and unscheduled patients.

Remind your patients to not forget to schedule their all-important dental cleaning, examination, and oral cancer screening!

Friends, do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month?  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  – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.  I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me. 

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

Practice, Practice, Practice how to effectively handle different types of calls and questions until you feel comfortable. A few tips:

  • Answer the phone during hours/days that patients are most likely to call.
  • Avoid putting callers on hold – first, find out who it is and how you can help them.
  • Call Steps: Smile, Reassure, Get Name, Discovery, Relationship Building & Scheduling.
  • NP’s – Always get their referral source. Also, ask if they have any other family members that they would like to schedule an appointment for.

To learn more, see: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/01/30/dental-office-telephone-principles/

Insurance Claims – Send out clean claims with the correct information, provider, date of service, xrays, attachments, documentation.  Your goal is to not have any unpaid claims sitting out there past 30-60 days.  What does your insurance aging report look like? (Did you know that your collection percentage drops significantly after 90 days past due? Over 120 days past due it drops to about 30% – you lose a lot of your money the longer these claims sit out there.)

For Dental Marketing Tips and Ideas for February visit here: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2021/01/05/dental-office-marketing-tips-and-ideas-for-february-2021/

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.

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

Why Dental Marketing Matters

Why Dental Marketing Matters

Hello Friends,

What is dental marketing? Do you need to market your practice? Does dental marketing even matter?

Oftentimes, dentists will proudly tell me that they don’t do any marketing in their practice and that they don’t need to market because they’re still growing with new patients each month. Others invest quite a bit of money to attract new patients to their practice. And some, tell me they need to start marketing because their office isn’t growing as they need it to.

It’s clear to me that people define what marketing is and why they would need it or not need it in different ways – in fact, here are a few dictionary definitions of marketing that I found:

“the act or process of buying and selling in a market.”

“The strategic functions involved in identifying and appealing to particular groups of consumers, often including activities such as advertising, branding, pricing, and sales.”

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as, “the activity, set of instructions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

From these definitions, we can see that marketing your practice involves so much more than just spending money on advertising. And the offices that tell me they have never done any marketing have been marketing their practice without even realizing it was marketing that they were doing to retain their patients and attract new patients. Why do I say this?

Everything that you do, everything that the patient (and potential patient) sees, hears & feels is a form of marketing. Everything you do or don’t do, matters.

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? Marketing Seeds Include (but are not limited to):

  • Current Patients/Referrals
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Google My Business
  • Online Reviews
  • 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 / Culture
  • Community/Charity Involvement
  • Local Business Partnerships
  • You and Your Team
  • Office Appearance (Inside and Outside)
  • Office Systems and Protocols

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 & 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.

Friends, Do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month?  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  – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.  I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me. 

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? 

Again, everything matters! 

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!

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have 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.

When considering your office needs and marketing plans, 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?

Do you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

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 (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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