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    Dental office dynamics: Four elements of a great phone call

    Here are simple elements that can help you capitalize on this huge lost opportunity and get more new patients in the door.

    When a new patient calls your office, do your staff members give them a great phone experience? 

    Do they even answer the telephone call? The telephone is often your first point of contact with new patients. If you make a mistake on the call, you’ll never see that patient in your office. Does your staff need more training on phone calls? Here are simple elements that can help you capitalize on this huge lost opportunity and get more new patients in the door.

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    Element 1: The call gets answered promptly

    New patients often lack patience. If the phone rings repeatedly, the patient is put on hold or if the call gets dropped during transfer, you’ve lost that patient forever. Make sure your staff knows to answer calls promptly. For rush times, have your back-office staff ready to help front-office staff meet high demand. Avoid transferring new patients or putting them on hold. Deal with them immediately so  they can see  your office runs efficiently and takes their needs seriously.

    Element 2:  Get more tasks/duties off their plate

    Many times, we find offices don't answer the telephone because the staff is tied up either verifying insurance benefits or confirming appointments for the next day. Many times they will be on hold for more than 20 minutes trying to verify those insurance benefits. Confirming appointments can take more than two hours of their time on any given day, especially if you have them confirming appointments two weeks and two days out. Why are they doing this? There are plenty of automated services out there that will send out text and email alerts to your patients and confirm them. Many of these companies will even make phone calls on your behalf if you can’t text or email your patients. There are also virtual assistants and other businesses that will do all the insurance verification for you. Why not spend a small investment here and free up this time for your team to handle your new patient phone calls? Their ability to answer will far outweigh any cost you would incur for these services. 

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