The new patient call experience in a dental office is crucial in establishing a strong relationship with potential patients. Likely patients have called other offices first and you want to ensure that this is the last call they make. A pleasant and professional interaction can set the tone for the patient’s entire experience with the office, from their first appointment to ongoing care. Therefore, it is crucial that every office has a predictable, positive and repeatable new patient experience for every call to their office.
The first step in ensuring a positive experience is to create a welcoming and friendly environment by the tone of your voice, which translates to answering the phones promptly and not putting patients on hold. The administrator should state their name clearly and ask the patient for their name. Through the call, the administrator should use the patients name to create a more personal connection. It is always a good idea to collect the patient’s information on a piece of paper and not be typing it into the software, this will allow for an easier flow of conversation as well as less “dead” airtime with nothing being said while the administrator is clicking through the patient information.
Always, ask the patient the reason they called today, if they were experiencing pain, looking for a new dentist or were they interested in a particular service. Whatever their question is, always answer that question first before you start going through a check list of all the information you want to collect.
Throughout the conversation the administrator can listen to any concerns the patient may have regarding their care while showing empathy and compassion. This will help build trust and reassure patients that they are in safe hands. The administrator should provide as much information as possible if necessary, about the practice’s services or policies.
It is important to offer scheduling flexibility that will accommodate the potential patient’s schedule. This may mean pre-blocking new patient exam spots and new patient hygiene appointments to ensure that you can see them in an appropriate time period. If they have to wait too long for an appointment, they may decide to go elsewhere. Discussing what to expect during their visit, the length of time of their visit and if necessary any discussions about your financial policies should be done at this point.
During the conversation the administrator will also want to provide any directions necessary to reach the office, any parking information and any documentation that may need to be obtained such as transferring radiographs or insurance information.
If a patient tells the administrator about any special concerns or needs during their appointment this will need to be entered into their chart as well. This will demonstrate great communication between the admin team and the clinical team when the patient has their appointment.
If there is going to be any information sent to the patient digitally, such as an appointment confirmation, medical history documentation or even a digital tour of the office, please reconfirm when this information should be expected and their email/text information.
To finish off the call, the administrator will want to thank the patient for calling the office, let them know that they have made the right decision in calling the office as well as repeating their own name again as a reference if the new patient has any questions they want to ask at a later time.
Creating a positive new patient call experience in a dental office is essential in building lasting relationships with patients. A welcoming, friendly approach, along with attentive listening, personalized service and clear communication is essential in creating a pleasant and satisfactory experience. The administrator must make potential patients feel valued, respected and well-informed which will increase the likelihood of them choosing the office’s services over those of all the competitors.