The Importance of Proper Phone Etiquette in the Office

Does your dental practice rely on incoming phone calls to help drive traffic and help both returning and new patients?

Many dentists utilize this traditional method alongside walk-ins or online bookings because they can still be an important aspect of running a successful practice. Unfortunately, you may not always have luck securing new patients or even booking appointments with past patients who need follow-ups or additional treatment.

This may be due to inconsistency or lack of proper training among receptionists and phone operators. In many cases, a successful phone conversation can lead to a conversion – which, for most dentists, means booking an appointment. If you’re struggling in this area, it may be worth revisiting your phone call approach among patients.

  • Are you using an automated system or real people?
  • Do all your phone operators provide the same information or use the same greeting?

These questions can help you address where you may be faltering in patient communication. We recommend putting an emphasis on phone training and etiquette among new hires in your practice to start!

Why Dental Calls Are So Important

Picture this scenario: A dentist owns a practice – new or established – that they are hoping to drive more patients to. They find themselves shoveling tons of money into a digital or print marketing campaign, but as the weeks and months pass, they see little no to improvements. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to revisit other areas of your practice to address why they may not be converting.

The goal for dental practices, according to the AADP (American Academy of Dental Practice), is for a scheduling coordinator to be aiming to convert at least 90% of all callers into patients with appointments. If you’re not reaching these numbers, you may be missing out on a huge chunk of potential revenue. This could also mean you might be losing money on your advertising campaigns, too.

Investing some time and money into implementing a call guide for your front desk staff or scheduling administrators to learn and follow can help improve this area! Training new employees to follow a consistent approach that is warm, inviting, and encouraging can help ensure that this remains a long-term staple of your facility.

Download our Free Front Desk Guide

How to Implement Dental Call Coaching For New Hires

Recognizing the areas or exact moments where your phone operators are potentially losing patients can be a great place to start. If you are using an automated system that patients use to funnel their calls to your office, for example, you might be losing connection with people at a point we call the handoff. Failed handoffs might occur when calls come in at unexpected times, or when there is a busy moment at the office. This can also occur when someone inexperienced is handling the call.

Focus on areas that might be affecting your team’s ability to do a great job every time. For example, take note if you notice there are high volume times where the front desk may be attending to both in-office patients and a ringing phone. You might benefit from assigning a specific employee to be on permanent phone duty to ensure that you don’t lose a potential appointment to voicemail.

Following a call guide, like Clicc Media’s Front Office Guide for Dentists, can give you some great tools and tips to implement in your own practice. You can include a list of suggested responses (but not a script) near the phone to help ensure all employees answering it can have the answers they need readily available. More so, however, making sure that everyone answers the phone with a smile and a positive attitude can also do wonders for encouraging the person on the other end.

Implement a Helpful Call Guide Today

Uniformity and consistency can help show your patients that your practice is reliable and will always provide patients with the answers and care that they need. Since a phone call is often the first impression some new patients get, it is important to put forth 100% every time!

Download our FREE Guide today and take advantage of 10 helpful tips that can help you improve phone skills among your patients (and yourself!). You’ll also have access to a handy call guide that will offer guidance for navigating certain questions and inquiries. We want to help you improve communication and secure more leads!

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