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

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

Dental Office Marketing Tips and Ideas for February 2021

Dental Office Marketing Tips and Ideas for February 2021

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your team are off to a happy and healthy start to 2021!

What are your plans to exceed your established patients’ expectations, welcome more new patients, and strengthen your relationship with local businesses within the community?

With the goal of helping you have an amazing first quarter, I’m sharing some Marketing Tips & Ideas that you can use during the month of February.

Note: If you’re looking for ideas to promote February’s Children’s Dental Health Month and Give Kids A Smile Day please look to this post: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2019/01/28/dental-practice-tips-and-ideas-for-childrens-dental-health-month/

National Snack Food Month – All month long share posts and/or videos with smile healthy snack food ideas on your social media pages. Since we know that food is the way to the hearts of many, why not give away healthy snacks to your patients when they come in for their appointment? Or deliver healthy snacks to local businesses along with office imprinted toothbrushes.

Pet Dental Health Month – Share pet dental health tips on your social media sites, ask people to share pictures of their pets on social media, hand out dog treats packaged with your office information. Even if the patient doesn’t have a dog surely they know someone who does…great way to get your office name out there!

February is American Heart Month so Our focus this month is Heart Health. I am sharing this idea again this year because it is always well-received by the patients and community.

Heart Health Talking Points:
Dental Health and Heart Disease Are Related -Dental health and heart disease are intricately linked and the cost for avoiding advanced periodontal disease or even something as mild as gingivitis may very well prove to be the cause of serious medical problems in the future.
Be good to your heart beginning with good oral health.

Special Days:
Women’s Heart Week: 1-7 – Focus this week on Women’s Heart Health. Have a special gift for your female patients. Hand out heart-healthy tips for your patients to share w/their friends and family.

Wear Red Day: 5th – Have the team wear red today and share pictures to Google My Business, FB & IG

Tip: If you’re not currently taking your patients’ blood pressure at their appointments… make it a goal to start during the month of February.
Many people see their dentist more regularly than a physician and could get an early warning about high blood pressure when getting their teeth cleaned or having other dental treatment done.

dental office blood pressure betty hayden consulting

Have fun with this heart theme!

Educational Opportunity –

Toothache Day: 9th – Share on your social media pages why ignoring a toothache is a bad idea.

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

  • Groundhog Day: 2nd
  • Bubble Gum Day: 5th
  • Super Bowl: 7th
  • National Pizza Day: 9th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day: 17th
  • National Tooth Fairy Day: 28th

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. 

What is on your marketing calendar for February? Message me please to tell me what you have planned to make the month special for your patients and the community.

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

If you would like some practice management and leadership tips and ideas for February please visit here: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2021/01/11/dental-practice-management-tips-and-ideas-for-february-2021/

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 (AKA Dental Coach)

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

Dental Practice Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas for January 2021

Dental Practice Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas for January 2021

Hello Friends,

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’.”    ~ Alfred Tennyson (happier & healthier!)

December is a great time to find and create opportunities for growth in the New Year. Make your action plan for any wanted and needed improvements to your office including setting your production, collection, treatment, continuing education, and new patient goals for the new year.

While you’re at it – think seriously about any troubles, concerns and problems that occurred during the year that you do not want to repeat in the new year. What problems would you like to see solved? Take steps to make any needed changes or improvements.

“I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.” –  Alfred Tennyson

Be sure to consider and reflect upon all the things that went well too. Celebrate your successes and wins!

Note: For Dental Marketing Tips and Ideas for January 2021 Visit HERE

Practice Management Tips and Ideas

Insurance Renewals – Many of your patients’ dental insurance maximums renew on January 1st. Reach out to your patients with a friendly reminder of their renewed benefits and to schedule them to come in for their hygiene visit or unscheduled treatment with the doctor. Share insurance renewal reminders on your social media pages, too.

Unscheduled Patients – It doesn’t do any good to have active patients if they’re not scheduled for a future appointment. Make plans to reach out to all your unscheduled patients and invite them to schedule an appointment for their hygiene visit or if they have unscheduled treatment plans.

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. 

Leadership Tips & Ideas

National Clean Off Your Desk Day: 11th – Clutter represents indecision. Decide to get rid of the clutter! That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitors, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs and fast-food drink containers sitting out on the counters.

National Bagel Day: 15th – Surprise your team and bring in bagels for breakfast 😊

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.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy start to 2021!

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