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 Office Practice Management, Leadership, Marketing, and Team Building Books

Dental Office Practice Management, Leadership, Marketing, and Team Building Books

Hello Friends,

Whether you’re looking for a book(s) to improve your leadership skills, provide your dental patients with the very best experiences, or wanting to boost team morale, check out the following book recommendations.

Leadership, Management, Marketing, and Team Building Book Suggestions:

Move Your Bus – Ron Clark

FISH! – Stephen C. Lundin and Harry Paul

Fun Is Good – Mike Veeck & Pete Williams

Dental Practice Hero – Paul Etchison

E-Myth Mastery – Michael E. Gerber

The ONE Thing – Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

Atomic Habits – James Clear

Making It Easy for Patients to Say Yes: The Complete Guide to Case Acceptance – Paul Homoly

Traction –  Gino Wickman

The Practice RX– Dino Watt

1o Knows To get To Yes! – Kelly Lynch

Bring Your Whole Self to Work: How Vulnerability Unlocks Creativity, Connection, and Performance – Mike Robbins

Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team – Patrick Lencioni

The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon (Actually, ALL books by Jon Gordon!)

Our Iceberg is Melting –  John Kotter

Who Moved my Cheese? – Spencer Johnson, MD

Leadershift – John Maxwell (All Maxwell Books)

Be Amazing or Go Home – Shep Hyken   (All Shep Hyken Books)

Everything is Marketing – Fred Joyal

Beyond The Morning HUDDLE – Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca (All of her books)

If you have some favorites that you think I should add to my list, feel free to shoot me a message at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com – Thank you.

Consider purchasing team building/self-improvement books for your team. During a team meeting, discuss portions of the book. Or purchase electronic devices such as a Kindle Fire for each employee and download books that can be discussed during a “book club team meeting”.

Find Additional Team Building Activities, Ideas, and Incentives Here

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 – Thank you!!!

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 and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Dental Office Employee Team Building Activities, Ideas, and Incentives

Dental Office Employee Team Building Activities, Ideas, and Incentives

Hello Friends,

“There is no way that the quality of patient care and experiences will exceed the quality of the people who provide it.”

It’s true if you want your patients to consistently have great experiences, accept your treatment recommendations, and refer their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to you – it takes a quality, happy, and productive team. Of course, though, it starts with you!

Set the Example – Treat your employees how you would like them to treat your best patient! 

If you want to see a positive change in your practice, you must consistently lead by example… be the change. It starts at the top. You set the tone for the day, make certain that it’s a happy & productive one. This includes any employee in a management position – if you have employees complaining about your office manager, take it seriously. A toxic office manager will destroy your practice over time, at the very least, cause a staff turnover nightmare.  In fact, any employee that is toxic to your vision, to your team, and/or your patients…needs to go. It’s not easy to make the decision to terminate someone’s employment, yet absolutely necessary if you want to improve your practice.  It’s been said that “what you allow you encourage.” Once you make the decision to no longer tolerate or allow the poor behavior and attitudes in your practice, you’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief.

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.

Communication – “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”

  • Job Expectations & Job Responsibilities – What are the performance expectations for your team? Does each employee clearly understand their role in the practice?
  • Quarterly Employee Check-ins (AKA Performance Evaluations)
  • Hello, Good Morning! – Make it a point to greet your fellow team members every morning. Let people know that you see them and acknowledge them with a hello.
  • Thank you – Express your appreciation.  Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
  • Commendation – Commend your employees when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. Applaud & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of. Simply thanking your team at the end of the day goes a long way in making them feel appreciated.

Creativity – Host “Brainstorm Sessions” with prizes for creative marketing ideas, solutions to improve office efficiency, welcome more new patients, patient retention, and how to have more fun as a team.

Accountability – “Great teammates hold each other accountable to the high standards and excellence their culture expects and demands.” – Jon Gordon

Work Space / Office Appearance – Clutter in your physical surroundings will clutter your mind and spirit.”

Clutter represents indecision. Decide to get rid of the office clutter!

Staff Lounge / Lunchroom – What does your breakroom/lounge look like? Is it a space that you can relax in and enjoy? Consider cleaning it up, organizing, re-decorating, and stocking with healthy snacks and beverages for the team.

Work Hard, Have Fun, Create Beautiful Smiles.

Have FUN! – You spend far too much time together at work to not have some fun too! Create a fun and stress-free environment with Team Building Activities and Events!

Here are some ideas to get you started…

In Office Fun: Potluck lunch, Send an Ice Cream or Coffee Truck to the office, Carry out lunch (team choice), Crafts, Games, & Puzzles. Turn the music up and dance. Make little appreciation gifts that you can give out to your patients at their appointments.

Healthier Teams – How about team exercise/yoga classes? Or Monday morning breakfast smoothies? Or walks outside during breaks.

Fun with Social Media – Utilize your social media pages and your Google My Business page to show your patients and potential patients what a fun office you have.

Videos – post fun team videos on your office social media pages.

Employee Work Anniversaries – Celebrate employee work anniversaries and post pictures to your social media pages.

Pictures – take fun/silly pictures with the team and your patients to share on social media, your website, and in newsletters.

Fun Dress Up/Theme Days –

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

Theme Ideas: Luau, Decades, Superhero, Disney, Western, Carnival, Sports teams, Pajama Day, Silly hats/hair/socks, Etc.

Book Club – Purchase team building/self-improvement books for your team. During your monthly team meetings or at your daily huddle discuss portions of the book. Consider purchasing electronic devices such as a Kindle Fire for each employee and download books that can be discussed during a “book club team meeting”.

Check out Dental Office Leadership, Management, Marketing, and Team Building Book Recommendations here from Betty’s Bookshelf

If you have some favorites that you think I should add to my list, feel free to shoot me a message at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com – Thank you.

Incentives/Rewards – Sometimes unexpected rewards work better than expected monthly bonuses for reaching goals. Every office is different, so if you have something that is working well for you and your team continue doing it. However, if you would like some reward/incentive ideas for reaching daily/weekly/monthly production, collection, new patient, service/product, social media, and other goals but want to keep the rewards unexpected or more spontaneous, here you go…

In addition to simple, yet appreciated, thank you cards; Spa Gift Card, Good Ol’ Cash, Lunch/Breakfast, Purse/Tote bag, Gift Baskets, Plants/Flowers, Jewelry, Movie/Theater Gift Cards, Tickets to Sporting Event/Concert, Amusement Park tickets, Restaurant gift card, Gas cards and Car Wash Gift Cards.

If you would like even more ideas, be sure to follow this Pinterest Board: Employee Appreciation Gifts & Meeting Activities / Team Building Activities

Outside the office Fun: (depending on your location and current pandemic restrictions/cautions) Bowling, Painting Party, Shopping, Dinner, Cooking Class, Wally Ball, Sporting Event, Spa, Escape Room, Field Day (Team up with other offices), Concert, Skating, Batting Cages, Mini Golf, Pottery Class, Theater,  Pool party, Skiing, Nature hike/walk, Etc.

Continuing Education – Continuing education, not just for the providers but for the entire team is a wonderful way to ensure practice growth. Not to mention, it’s a great team-building experience, one that will give you a happier and motivated team. You can do this with in-office training, webinars, lunch and learns, and seminars/classes outside of the office.

Consider incorporating a dental continuing education class with a fun event, for example, CPR Course and Pool Party.

Regular Team Training – Don’t hold back in this area! Invest in your team. Thoroughly train any new employees on your practice goals, systems, software, telephone skills, dental procedures, protocols, etc.  However, training isn’t just for your new employees, everyone in the office needs regular training.

Is there a chance you might have some new dental equipment or training manuals just sitting on the shelf, collecting dust?  It’s most likely because your team didn’t understand or appreciate the why and the how. Knowing why and how this new idea, technique, equipment, or procedure works, benefits the patient, the team, and the office is critical to enthused implementation.

Community Involvement – Visit the local farmers market, art/street fairs, Races/Run/Walk for-a-cause, Fundraisers, Parades, Etc. Be active in your community. Pass out freebies imprinted with your office information to the people attending these community events. Be sure to take pictures of you and your team out and about in the community and share to your social media pages and website.

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” ~ Dale Carnegie

It is my wish that these ideas and tips will help you and your team experience greater happiness at work. If you have any other ideas or things that have worked well in your office, I would love to hear about them. If you have any questions or concerns about what you’ve read today, please contact me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

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 – Thank you!!!

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 and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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