3 Tips to Help Dental Receptionists Schedule More Patients

By Beth Gaddis, Patient Prism

Your dental marketing is working and you can see the number of phone calls it’s driving into your dental practice.

So why is your schedule not full?

There are many reasons why potential patients take the time to call you, but may hang up without scheduling. Here are three of the most common reasons and what your team can say to convert those calls.

Build Rapport and Empathy

People choose to do business with people that they know and like. One of the easiest ways to win over a new patient caller is by creating a connection with them. Answer calls with a simple greeting such as “Thank you for calling 1-2-3 Smiles. My name is Beth. May I have your name please?” 

Then use the person’s name frequently throughout the call. “Hi Julie. How can I help you today?” 

This makes the person feel like an individual, and not just a number. 

Another tip: use reassuring language, such as, “I understand, Julie. We help a lot of patients with that same problem and I know Dr. Jones will be able to help you too.”

It helps people feel at ease, and more likely to schedule an appointment.

Overcome Concerns About Cost

Let’s face it: Price is the biggest reason why many people delay getting the dental care they need. The good news is that callers already recognize they have a need to see the dentist; that’s why they called you. 

When callers ask how much it will cost, what they really want to know is whether they will be able to afford it. Reassure them by saying, “Every person’s smile is unique so I can’t give you an exact price. But what I can tell you is that we help people like you every day get high-quality care at an affordable cost. We have a lot of ways to help you fit the dental care you called us about today into your family budget. We’d love to have you come in, meet Dr. Jones, and then we can prioritize your treatment and create a plan that will work for you. Would mornings or afternoons work better for your schedule?”

Always Give Two Choices for Appointments

When people are given a choice, they tend to choose one of the two options. The trick is to make sure that either option will work for you.

If you say, “Would you like to schedule an appointment,” the answers are yes or no. 

But if you say, “I’d love to have you come in and meet Dr. Jones. Would mornings or afternoons work better for your schedule,” then you’re giving the caller a choice that will benefit you either way.

What you say and how you say it can make a huge difference in whether callers choose to schedule with you or with a competitor. If you’re paying for marketing to bring you new patients, then you want to convert as many of those calls as possible. 

Here’s a checklist from Patient Prism that you can keep by your phones. 

This guest blog post is from Patient Prism, an award-winning call-tracking and call-coaching service designed exclusively for dental practices. It analyzes new patient phone calls, identifies the ones that didn’t end in a booked appointment, and emails an alert back to the dental practice with coaching tips on what to say to call back and win back those missed opportunities. For more information, visit www.PatientPrism.com/Overview.

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