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 a 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

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Be sure to take a second and subscribe to receive in your email inbox each month, my FREE dental marketing and practice management tip & ideas. Or feel free to Email me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I’ll send you an invitation to follow my ideas.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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Dental Marketing Ideas for Teacher Appreciation & Nurses Week

Dental Marketing Ideas for Teacher Appreciation & Nurses Week

Hello Friends,

May 1st – 7th is Teacher Appreciation Week. (Some sources say it’s the May 5th thru 12th, however, it’s usually the first full week of May – Suggestion, check with your local school district to see which week they are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week.)

This is a great opportunity for dental offices to reach out to the teachers in their community.

How can you do that? Here are a few ideas for you:

teacher appreciation and nurses week dental marketing

First, let’s start with any of your patients that are teachers.

Pull a report with any patients that are school teachers and send “We Appreciate You” cards to them. Unexpected and very much welcomed.

Put together some little thank you gifts to give your teacher patients when they come in for their dental appointment during the month of May. See my Pinterest Board for a ton of ideas: Gift Ideas for School Teachers

Second, reach out to the teachers in the community that are not “yet” patients at your office.

Host a Favorite Teacher Contest. Invite local students to nominate their favorite teacher. Winning teacher gets FREE teeth whitening and a certificate stating they won for the favorite teacher contest. The classroom with the winning teacher gets a gift card for school supplies or pizza/ice cream lunch.

You could easily ask for donations from local businesses to add to the winning teacher’s prize or for their classroom.

National Nurses Day and Week – May 6th -12th. Instead of the teachers and schools, you’ll be reaching out to the nurses at local doctors offices, clinics, and hospitals using the ideas as listed above.

~ Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement ~ (related to Teachers & Nurses)

National Teacher Day: 2 (some sources say it’s on May 9th)

No Homework Day: 6

Nurses Day or National RN Recognition Day: 6

Student Nurse Day: 8

School Nurse Day: 10

International Nurses Day: 12

National Employee Health & Fitness Day: 17

National Wine Day: 25 😉

There are so many ways to celebrate teacher appreciation and nurses week in your dental office. If you would like some help creating a Teacher or Nurses Appreciation Marketing Campaign for your office. I have lots of ideas. Campaigns that include:  ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, office fun, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and hygiene continuing care/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Wishing you all a very happy and productive Spring!

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. This way, you won’t miss a single idea! Or, if you have a dental marketing idea that you need some help with, feel free to comment here or email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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The Benefits Of Using A Dental On-Hold​ Messaging Telephone Service

The Benefits Of Using A Dental On-Hold​ Messaging Telephone Service

Hello Friends,

Have you ever called a local business and were immediately put on hold only to hear every few seconds this crazy annoying beeping sound or there is dead silence? You can’t tell if you’ve been disconnected or are still on hold. Or what about the business that has a radio playing as their on-hold message, except it’s all static or playing some lame music?

Now, I believe the best customer service is to never put the caller on hold. However, we all know that from time to time it happens. (For how to effectively answer the dental office telephone SEE  How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone)

dental message on hold telephone service

A while back I set one of my clients up with a message on hold service, created beautiful, short custom marketing messages for them and on the first day of using it, a caller said: “Oh, I didn’t know you do teeth whitening.” See how that works?

Having a quality message on hold system set up is a good thing. Use this service as an opportunity to educate and inform your callers while they are on hold.

Every dental office has information, news, events, or dental health facts and services that should be highlighted while a caller is put on hold.

In addition to playing music, what are some things you can talk about?

  • Special Office Events
  • Dental Services & Products
  • Dental Health Tips
  • Office Hours
  • Social Media Site Information (Invite callers to “like” / “follow” the office.)
  • Financial Expectations
  • Website Address

A message on hold system allows you to advertise to your patients and keep them informed on the latest and greatest office happenings. It will also distract them from the fact that they’ve been put on hold.

Please make sure that you keep your content fresh! One of my doctors offices has had the same on hold message for years!! I think I have it memorized. Blah!

 There are many on hold messaging services out there.

My suggestions for what to look for in a message on hold service/system are: 

  • Quality Sound & Voice Talent.
  • Inexpensive – You don’t need to spend a lot of money!
  • Helpful – Exceptional Customer Service.
  • Allows you to change your message and music throughout the year.
  • Doesn’t lock you into a long contract.
  • Will help you create effective messages.
  • Makes the setup and process easy on you and your team!
  • Allows you to listen to sample messages before buying.

 And if you want my specific recommendation, it is Captive Audience. After much research, this is the company that I have found to meet my requirements and exceed my expectations. (See below for more information about Captive Audience)

Have you ever called your office and were put on hold? I know your patients and potential patients have, what are they hearing or not hearing? Make the time they’re on hold count!

Those are my thoughts on using a message on hold service.

Since we’re talking about putting callers on hold, might I add, 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 prefer not being put on hold.  If you are habitually needing to put callers on hold, you need more people answering the phones.

Are you receiving my free dental marketing and practice management ideas every month to your email? If not, PLEASE take a second and follow today or send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to share my blog with your dental friends. ~ Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

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

P.P.S. Captive Audience – Ask for Kathy at  951.784.2875  – email kathy@captive- audience.com ) tell her Betty Hayden sent you. From personal experience, I know that Kathy will take good care of you.

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Gift Ideas For Your Dental Patients

Gift Ideas For Your Dental Patients

Hello Friends,

Are you looking for a fun way to thank your patients for their referrals and encourage your patients to tell their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers about your office? A great and inexpensive way to do this is to present them with an unexpected gift at their appointment. A while back I shared many of these ideas with you but I made some revisions and added some pictures of real life examples that I thought you all would appreciate.

Here are a few ideas for you…

GIFTS in WINTER:

* Tea *

Attach your business card or a special offer to green tea packets as a special give-away for your patients. Even if they don’t drink tea they can give it to a family member, friend, co-worker or a neighbor. Easy and inexpensive way to advertise your office and exceed your patients expectations. The label/tag may say:

“Our Patients are TEA-riffic!”

* Candle *

Mini candle jars make a nice gift. Attach a tag or label with your office info and one of these sayings:

“Our Patients Are Scentsational”

“Your Referrals Warm Our Hearts”

* Lotion *

Pass out little bottles of lotion. If they are not imprinted with your office name add a tag to the bottle with your office name and website with this saying…

“Hands Down We Have The Best Patients In Town!”

* Soup *

Here is a delicious gift idea for Winter: “Warm-Up Wednesday’s” Set up a slow cooker with soup or chili every Wednesday for your patients to enjoy. (Have recipe cards ready to share) Your patients will love the free food!

or this idea…

soup gift idea for your dental patients

Dr. Bruyere and team are always coming up with thoughtful gifts for their patients!

* Apples *
This one is especially for the offices that are opposed to sharing sugary treats with their patients…

Basket of fresh Apples with a sign or stickers on the apples that say:

“Our Patients Are Awesome to The Core”

“You’re the Apple of our Eyes”

See my Apple themed Dental Marketing Ideas for more apple ideas.

* FREE Food – Gift Certificates *

When in doubt, food is a great way to your patients hearts…especially, free food. This is also an opportunity to do some cross marketing with local businesses. Ask them to donate gift cards for free food/drink. Or you can purchase gift certificates to give away to your patients on special days. Check out these ideas: 

patient referral thank you dental ideas

GIFTS for SPRING: (For awesome Spring gift ideas visit my Pinterest page HERE

* Flower/Herb/Veggie Seed Packets *

Flower Seed Packets w/a label and business card attached. Flower seed packets can be purchased at most Dollar Stores for around .20 a packet. Great deal! The labels you attach to the flower seed packets could say:

“Your referrals help grow our practice, Thank you!“

“Our Office Blooms Because of you!“

“Please enjoy these flowers growing as much as we enjoy your referrals growing our practice.”

* Honey *

Give your patients gifts of little jars of honey. Attach a tag saying:

“Thank You For BEE-ing Our Patient”

Check out what Dr. Bruyere’s office did…

thank you for being our patient

GIFTS for SUMMER:

* Mini Sunscreen *

Give away mini bottles of sunscreen. If you don’t have them imprinted with your office name, simply add a tag to the bottles.

* Free Ice Cream Cone Certificates *

Team up with local ice cream shop for donations of free ice cream cones

* Zucchini *

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night. (I’m serious, it’s a real day in August!) While you probably don’t want to visit your patient’s homes during the night you can easily have a basket of zucchini at the office for your patient’s to take. Wrap some ribbon and a business card with a zucchini recipe on it for your patients to sneak onto their neighbors porch during the night.

 

patient appreciation gift idea zucchini

Dr. Bruyere & Team celebrating “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night “

GIFTS for FALL:

* Apple Cider *

Warm or cold cider is a nice fall treat. You don’t need to give every patient their own jug of cider a small cup of cider will be well received and appreciated. Include a sign near the cider that says:

“You’re the Apple of Our Eye”

* S’mores Kit *

Pinterest has some really neat ideas for inexpensive and fun s’more kits.

“We Need S’More Patients Like You!”

we need smore patients like you

Just a few of the creative ways you can exceed your patients expectations with this sweet treat… Thank you for sharing 🙂

Anytime Gifts 🙂

* Pens *

Purchase imprinted pens and add a tag to the pens that say:

“Take Note We Think You’re Awesome”

“Our Patients are just Write”

Tip: promostuff4u.com has a wonderful selection of pens and they offer exceptional customer service.

* Cookies *

Individually wrapped purchased or homemade cookies are a sweet treat. Add this label:

Thankful for Sweet Patients Like You”

* Flowers *
Fresh single stem flowers or Small potted flowers (ex: inexpensive gift would be a marigold in a small pot, you can get mini pots from the dollar store 4/$1.00)

“Your referrals help grow our practice, Thank you!“

“Our Office Blooms Because of you!“

* Xylitol Products *

Offer Xylitol samples of Gum, Mints, and Suckers

Tip: Also have these items available for purchase

* Donuts *

Who doesn’t enjoy a yummy donut every once in a while? Display a platter of donuts at the front desk or at your patient beverage station with a sign that says:

Donut Know What We Would Do Without Wonderful Patients Like You!”

* Bath Salts/Sugar Scrubs *

Consider making bath salts or sugar scrubs as a team building activity. Give away as gifts to your patients.

Tip: Pinterest is loaded with recipes and super cute packaging ideas.

* Lip Balm *

Order imprinted lip balm and attach cute tags to the packaging with this saying…

“Our Patients are the Balm!”

Tip: www.lipbalmexpress.com is a great company to order imprinted, all natural, inexpensive lip balm. See also Pinterest for fun packaging ideas for your lip balm.

* Gift of Health Certificates *

Instead of just asking your patients to refer their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to your office, give them a gift of health certificate to share with their friends, family, neighbors & co-workers.

Here is a scripting idea:

 Gift Of Health Certificate

To: ______________________________________

From: ___________________________________

 Your oral health affects your overall health!

 This is your invitation to receive $25 toward dental treatment and a complimentary oral cancer screening from —(office name)——.

 Please RSVP at –(office phone number)—–

We’ll give you a reason to smile!

Add here: Office address & website/social media sites

Note: You can do some seasonal gift of health certificates by changing the paper and envelope according to the current season.

These are just a few patient appreciation gift ideas. I’m sure you can come up with even more fun gift ideas. I would LOVE to hear all about what you come up with! Please share your stories and pictures with me here, on my Facebook page or via email. Thank you to all of you that have sent me messages and pictures of your gift ideas!!

Plan ahead to make each month special for your patients with unexpected gifts of appreciation. Important Reminder: Whatever you decide to give away to your patients, include your office name and website on/with the gift whenever possible!!

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

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 and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog. Feel free to tell your dental friends all about us so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too. 

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

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