Your dental front desk team has the power to attract or repel new patient callers. What good is spending money on marketing expenses, encouraging people to get in touch with you, if your front desk team could care less about picking up the phone.
Truth is, a significant proportion of people you market to will choose to contact your dental practice over the phone. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your dental front desk team knows how to convert patients over the phone.
Last year, I wrote an article entitled, 5 Call Handling Tactics to Convert Patient Calls at Your Dental Practice.
Full of innovative suggestions, including five reputable dental call answering companies, it was an interview with Front Desk DDS Leader, Chris Carlson, about call handling tactics that are bound to change the course of dental practices for the better.
In this article, I’m going to focus on your front desk team and how they can improve patient conversion rates over the phone.
5 Proven Ways Your Front Desk Team Can Improve Conversions Over the Phone
1. Answer the phone with a can-do attitude
A smile goes a long way and research now proves it! As one of the most powerful and contagious gestures around the world, a smiling face attracts more people than a frowning face (even over the phone). When your team answers the phone with a smile and can-do attitude, patients are more inclined to consider going to your dental practice. Think about it this way, no one wants to spend money at a business where they feel unwelcomed and ignored.
2. Take detailed notes when patients have multiple requests
As part of the standard operating procedure at your practice, your dental front desk team should always take notes when attending to patients over the phone. This way, they will get the patient’s name, questions, and concerns in writing – without worrying about forgetting. Being attentive over the phone helps build trust and rapport with the caller, and enables your team to give customized responses.
3. Answer all patient questions
Your dental front desk team should focus on helping the caller. This shows callers that your team is interested in knowing more about patients in order to provide the right solution. The staff member who takes the call should ask specific questions that reveal the nature of the patient’s problem. To add to that, when answers are provided, staff should not be judgmental, rather empathetic instead.
4. Ask to schedule an appointment
The primary purpose of a phone call must be to encourage new patient callers to schedule a visit. Remember, a dental practice cannot function as a business without patients. Therefore, getting the patient to come into the office should be at the forefront of your team’s mind. Reality is, calls should not end with the usual goodbyes, but with an invitation to meet one of the dental practitioners at your practice.
5. Funnel patients to your dental website or get their email to stay in touch
There are several tactics that your dental front desk team can use to ensure new patient callers get an appointment. However, there are times when that isn’t the case. When prospective patients don’t want to schedule an appointment, your team should funnel them to your dental website (which hopefully has online scheduling capabilities), and ask for their email address to send information about new treatments and practice specials.
How To Train and Hire the Best Dental Team
Of all the strategies used to market dental practices, one of the most overlooked is the power of answering a phone call. Imagine, with just one call, a prospective patient makes the decision to book an appointment at your dental practice… or not!
It’s imperative to make sure your dental front desk team is trained to engage callers over the phone. Don’t assume that they know how to handle phone calls just because they’ve worked at a dental practice before.
To that point, you must either train them on your personal method of phone etiquette, or get them the training they need. In addition to that, you should also hire the best team from day one.
Since many practicing dentists are past “day one,” it’s crucial to periodically analyze employee performance. If your dental practice can’t ensure patient conversions over the phone, then you need to reconsider who will be in charge of the phones.
Keep in mind, underproductive and inefficient employees create more problems for businesses and impact the team’s productivity as a whole. Not only will you be losing out on revenue, you’ll be paying someone who doesn’t fulfill the role they were hired to do.
To learn more about dental front desk training courses and how to hire the right team, visit www.dentalwhale.com/education.