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

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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