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

Tips and Ideas to Grow Your Pediatric Dental Office

Tips and Ideas to Grow Your Pediatric Dental Office

Hello Friends,

Are you looking to improve and grow your pediatric dental office? If yes, then I am sure you will appreciate the dental marketing and practice management tips and ideas that I am sharing with you today.

Certainly, this year has brought about many changes to our world; forcing us to also make changes and edits to our daily systems and protocols within our dental practices and how we engage with potential patients in our communities

Even with these changes there are still wonderful opportunities to enjoy the privilege of helping the children in your respective communities to smile happier and healthier. Resulting in happier, more productive, and less-stressed teams.

Gather your team and discuss your goals and vision for the new year. Plan now to make 2021 a great year.

Please, keep in mind that the way to mom and dads’ heart is to treat their children well. The way to keep mom and dad loyal to your office is to treat their children exceptionally well. Why? Happy Kids = Happy Parents.  As a mother of two children, I know this to be true.

Here are some Pediatric Dental Marketing and Practice Management Tips and Ideas.

Practice Management

Please note:With the COVID safety guidelines and current restrictions some of these tips may not be possible for all offices at this time but you can hold on to them for future use. It’s important to take care to remember that even with our office safety guidelines and precautions we want to ensure that we don’t compromise the need to still deliver warm, friendly, and memorable dental visit experiences for our patients and their families.

Reception Room 

  • CLEAN/Well-maintained
  • Up-To-Date Décor
  • Video Games – Stationary or handheld devices
  • Books – Lending library bookshelf.
  • TV (children’s movies and short dental education videos)
  • Pictures – Wall of fame, digital photo frame or photo album filled with pictures of your patients.
  • Photo “booth” area with backdrop and photo props.
  • Tablet/Cell Phone charging station for parents.
  • Bottled water (beverage & snack station for parents.)

 New Patient Experience –

  • INTRODUCE yourselves (Front office team, doctor/hygienist, and assistants.)  to the parent(s) and the child.
  • Give a tour of the office. Point out where the restroom is located.
  • Explain what they can expect during their visit
  • Free stuff – children love to pick out a prize after their visit.
  • Sign them up for your kids’ club/team.
  • Send them a welcome card after their first visit. Kids love to get mail!

Okay, time for a personal experience… I took my children to a new dentist. The hygienists’ took my children back for their cleaning appointments without introducing themselves to me or the kids first. Also, I was never invited back to meet the doctor before, during, or after his examination. Yes, I could have insisted on an introduction but seriously? common courtesy here, how difficult is a simple introduction? This was a turn off for me. I can’t be alone here – I suspect most parents and children for that matter would appreciate a greeting and introduction.

Kids Club/Team – I’m not a fan of “no cavity” clubs because I like to see all children have the opportunity to be part of the office kids club/team and sometimes, a child’s unfortunate cavity is the fault of the parent. Have a club/team that is just for fun and that rewards healthy habits, report cards, community involvement, etc. Take a picture of each child to hang on your wall of fame or in a digital photo frame or picture album, as well as for your website, newsletter and/or social media sites. Present the child with a certificate/wristband/t-shirt when they sign up for your kids’ club. Have monthly contests/drawings that the children can enter to win prizes.

Give-Aways – Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Floss/floss threaders, Toys, Puzzles, Kites, Books, Gift Cards, Bubbles, Stickers, Balloons, Kites, Small Stuffed Animals, Glow items, etc.  Children love to leave the office with a small treasure.

Reviews/Recommendations – Ask for reviews and recommendations on Google and Facebook. Parents appreciate hearing from other parents about their experiences with your office. Most often, it is as simple as asking mom or dad if they would please take a minute to leave a review/recommendation.

Referrals – Acknowledge all referrals with a thank you card/letter signed by the dental team. Consider offering thank you gifts/raffle items. Prize ideas: Gift Cards, Family get-away, Gift Baskets, Etc. See Gift Ideas – Pinterest Board

Answer Your Phone – 

Sure, you know that the office phone should be answered within the first couple of rings by an unhurried, friendly scheduling coordinator whose goal is to schedule an appointment and wow the caller with excellent customer service but if you want to see greater results from your marketing efforts, then you must be certain that your office phone is answered during times when patients are calling. Invest in your entire team by providing training on how to effectively answer the phone.

Missed and poorly handled calls are missed opportunities and those missed opportunities mean missed dollars…big dollars!

For more telephone success tips, take a minute to read this helpful article: How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Distractions/Safety – TV’s in the treatment rooms, Ceiling Tile Scenery, Sunglasses, Weighted Blanket, Etc. Make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for every child.

Post-Op Calls – Each evening place a “just wanted to see how well you’re doing call” to any patient that had an extraction or maybe was nervous or had a rough time during their visit.

Treatment Recommendations/Acceptance – Make it easy for mom or dad to say yes to your treatment recommendations. Have effective financial options in place. For convenience, offer more same-day treatment. For example, if you’re recommending sealants at the hygiene visit, if possible, do them at that time. This is coming from a busy mom, convenience matters!

Hygiene Continuing Care – Schedule their next hygiene appt. while they’re in the office. Be certain that your hygiene continuing care reports are being monitored and calls are going out to schedule appts.

Do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? 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. Or just shoot me a message at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and let me know you would like a complimentary snapshot.

Are you enjoying these tips and ideas so far?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.

Here are a few Marketing Tips & Ideas

Website – Have an attractive, informative, and up-to-date Website.

Social Media – Utilize social media platforms to keep your current patients up to date with all your office happenings, to build relationships with local businesses, and to connect with potential patients. Be sure to connect with community mom groups and all kid-related businesses on your social media platforms. (See this Pinterest Board for a plethora of posting images/ideas.)

Facebook/Instagram Videos – Share (live) videos about brushing & flossing techniques, what to do in a dental emergency, why baby teeth are important, what age should a child first visit the dentist, how much sugar is in your favorite drink/cereal/snack, healthy snack ideas and so on.

Online Presence (Website & Social Media) – Become the dental expert in your community. Post articles, videos, and pictures on your website, Google My Business, and social media platforms about different dental treatments/products, tongue-ties, sports safety, nutrition tips, what to do in a dental emergency, etc.

Patient Gifts/Give-Aways’ – Here are a few additional gift ideas for your patients and potential patients. Of course, you’ll want to personalize these gifts with your office name and information.

  • Chromebook Covers
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Masks

Fun Dress Up/Theme Days –

What: Decorate the office, team dresses up, small prize giveaways, and snacks.

Theme Ideas: Luau, Superhero, Disney, Western, Carnival, Sports teams, Pajama Day, Silly hats/hair/socks, Etc. (visit party & dollar stores or orientaltrading.com for a ton of theme ideas)

Be sure to take lots of photos/video that can be shared to your social media platforms.

Children’s Dental Health Month –

In-Office –

  • Education – During the month of February (and all the other months too) share dental health tips with your patients when they come in for their appt, in reactivation/reappointment campaigns, and via your social media platforms.
  • Charity – Host a Give Kids A Smile Event (See Children’s Dental Health Month and GKAS Day Ideas )

Outside the office –( If appropriate in your community during the COVID pandemic safety restrictions…)

  • What: On-site Short Dental Education Presentations/Demonstrations and Toothbrush gift bags for the kids and teachers/parents.
  • Where: Schools, Daycares, Library, Mom groups, etc.

Community Engagement (Visit Local Businesses) –

  • Where: Pediatricians, Dental Offices, Children’s stores, Dance studios, Salons, Etc.
  • What: Introductions, Referral pads/business cards, Small Gifts and/or food/snacks.   TIP: When visiting general dentist and pediatrician offices, always treat their reception team wonderfully… if your goal is to meet the doctors and get patient referrals, you want/need the “gatekeepers” to like you. 😉

Consider sending a food/drink/ice cream truck to local offices/businesses.

Back-To-School Seasons/School Breaks – Set aside some back-to-school and/or breaks from school special dental days on your schedule. Special pricing or promotions on Sealants, Ortho, Fluoride, Mouthguards, etc. Consider doing a drawing for a Backpack filled with school supplies. Contest:  nominate your favorite teacher (use social media sites to promote), prize ideas for winning teacher: Breakfast/Lunch at the school, free teeth whitening, or team up with local businesses for prize donations.

Book Drive – Collect new or gently used books to donate to your local library or schools. Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards and to your current patients.

Sponsor Local Sport Teams –Free or reduced pricing on sport mouthguards for local sports teams.

Referral Tracking – keep track of your events, the businesses you visit, all fulfilled requests for donations, etc. Put specific referral source codes into your software system, this way, when you ask “How did you hear about us?” you have the correct referral code to enter in and you’ll be able to acknowledge that source with a thank you as well as know what marketing is working to bring in new patients.

Are you ready for the #1 Way to Grow your Pediatric Office? 

Consistently Exceed Parent & Patient Expectations by Consistently Being Great! Give your patients something positive to talk about to their neighbors, workmates, friends, and family members. Make it easy for them to refer patients to you.

I know this is a lot of information but if you’re serious about wanting to grow your practice, then it’s worth it to take the time to implement some or all of the ideas that I have shared with you today. Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you don’t have to do this on your own, I’m here to help.

Are you receiving my complimentary Dental Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please follow today or send me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to tell your dental friends all about this website so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too.

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

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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