Turn your team into scripting experts
How scripting could be just what your practice needs to bring in more patients.
Most dentists understand that growing a practice means bringing in more patients. What many of them don’t understand is that working efficiently with the patients you have is at least as important.
By forming and maintaining healthier practice-patient relationships, you can upgrade both the clinical and personal service you provide for patients while achieving greater practice success.
There are, of course, many factors that influence the quality of these relationships, but none more so than scripting. This inexpensive, easy-to-implement business tool improves performance in all areas that involve communicating with patients—which includes virtually everything. Considering the critical role scripting can play in your success, mastering it makes sense.
Scripting improves productivity and efficiency
Many of the people who work in dental offices—including some dentists—have limited verbal skills. To communicate well with patients, you need to know what to say at key points, and how to say it. By writing, learning and using scripts that cover all common interactions, you and your team build strong relationships with patients while also motivating them to comply with your wishes: agreeing to the appointment time you offer, referring a friend, sending a late payment immediately, accepting treatment, etc. The benefits, in terms of patient retention, stress reduction, production increases and job satisfaction, can be truly enormous.
The art of scripting
The doctor, office manager and other relevant team members should list common interactions and then write basic scripts for them. This includes everything: the first new patient call, checkout, reviewing payment options, asking for referrals, etc. Once each basic script has been crafted, you then think through variations in patient reactions so those situations can also be scripted. The writing process generally includes:
- Defining the objective—Decide what the script needs to accomplish. Have a specific goal in mind and write a script to reach it.
- Writing a topic sentence—Spell out how the subject is to be introduced to patients, putting them in the right frame of mind.
- Building value throughout the conversation—Use power words and benefit statements to persuade patients to agree with what team members are requesting or recommending.
- Summarizing the agreement—To ensure that patients understand the outcome of the conversation, include a concluding remark that makes it clear.
Training with role playing
One of the greatest advantages scripts offer is easy, effective and inexpensive training in the form of role-playing. After introducing and explaining new scripts to the team members who will use them, arrange role-playing sessions with coworkers standing in for patients. These simulated conversations familiarize staff with their scripts, enabling them to translate them into their own words.
Implemented properly, scripting can reduce stress and increase efficiency dramatically. The resulting improvements in your work environment—as well as on your bottom line—should be all the reasons you need for you and your team to become scripting experts.