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!!

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Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

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Dental Office Tips and Ideas for July 2020

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for July 2020

Happy Summer, Friends –

I wanted to share some Leadership, Practice Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas with you for the month of July to help you all have a terrific, productive, and safe month.

These next few months bring wonderful opportunities to be productive and safe while helping your patients and community smile healthier and happier.  There is much that can be done now to hopefully have a healthy and productive September and October. The slow months of March and April will have a negative impact on September and October if we don’t plan now for those months to be great.

With some planning, enthusiasm, and implementation you have the chance to really set yourselves apart from the other offices in the community, welcome more new patients, exceed your current patients’ expectations (get them talking about how awesome you are!), have less stress and more fun as a team. We all need more of that.

Dental Office Marketing, Management, and Leadership Tips & Ideas

Dental Coach Betty Hayden Summer Dental Marketing Ideas

Internal & External Marketing Tips and Ideas: 

Patient Appreciation Ideas

Theme #1:  National Grilling Month – Contest for a BBQ Grill and/or a Gift Basket filled with grilling supplies.  Base entries off of NP referrals or Reviews left on Facebook and/or Google. You could take this contest right until the end of August.

Product/Service Feature: Orthodontics for a beautiful grill!

Theme #2: Patient Appreciation Gift

Gift Idea: Firework Sparklers with a note attached that says: Thank you for making our office sparkle! We appreciate you!

Dental Patient Appreciation Gift Ideas from Betty Hayden Consulting

Product Feature: Teeth Whitening (Time to make your smile sparkle & shine!)

Practice Management Tips and Ideas:

Office Yearly Goals – I understand that many of the original goals for your year have been adjusted.  Are you happy with your Production, Collection, and New Patient Goals for 2020? Would you like to adjust your office hours?

Reactivation and Reappointment – How many of your “active” patients have their next appt scheduled and how many do not?  Let us work together to ensure none of your patients are slipping through any cracks. A solid reactivation and reappointment protocol is key to keeping healthy schedules and healthy patients.

Friends, if you do not know what your office numbers look like, please examine, record, and measure these and other important key practice indicators. You need to know where you’re at currently to know how to best care for your patients and what your potential for growth is. 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.

Family Friendly Offices – July is Get Ready for Kindergarten Month. Depending on your schedule, consider setting aside one or two days for “Get Ready for Kindergarten with Healthy Smiles” visits. Make it a fun experience for the children. Promote via your social media sites.

Leadership Tips and Ideas: 

“Stop rationing out praise as if there will be a shortage of it when you could be replicating your best people.”   — Gregg Lederman

leadership acknowledges and praises employees dental coach Betty Hayden Consulting

Leadership acknowledges and appreciates – It’s easy to recognize mistakes or when things are going wrong but be on the lookout to recognize and acknowledge what is going right. Your employees and fellow co-workers need to hear commendation and appreciation for the good things they’re doing.  Here are a few ideas for you:

  • Verbal Commendation
  • Handwritten thank you note of appreciation
  • Bring in breakfast
  • Bring in lunch
  • Extra special: Gift card, a small gift, or good ol’ cash 😉

Employee Work Anniversaries – Who has work anniversaries in July that you can celebrate?

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement:

National Body Piercing Week: 5-10

International Kissing Day or World Kiss Day: July 6th

Chocolate Day; July 7th

National Sour Candy Day: 18th

Dangers of sour candy to your teeth dental office ideas betty hayden

National Lipstick Day: 29th

Make it a great and fun month!

Do you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month?  I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave me a review/recommendation 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 each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to 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 FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest