Cancel the Cancellations: Part 2

Motivational Moments with Eric Vickery: Reduce cancellations by teaching patients how to treat us & learn the ‘first aid’ protocol when the cancellation call comes in.

Resources:

About Eric Vickery

Eric holds a degree in business administration and brings a strong business and systems approach to his consulting. His initiation into the field of dentistry was in the area of office management. He managed dental practices for over ten years and has been consulting over 250 offices nationwide since 2001.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.

00:02

This is Dental All-Stars, where we bring you the best in dentistry on marketing, management, and training. Hello friends, welcome to your weekly Motivational Moments with Eric Vickery, president of coaching at All-Star Dental Academy. This week, I wanna talk to you about cancellations part two. This is about playing defense. So we’ve done all the things that we’ve been trying to do over all the training we’ve had, and it still ends up that we get a cancellation.

 

00:31

still end up with a cancellation office. Patient calls up and says, you know, they need a cancel appointment, or typically what happens, we’re calling out, they haven’t confirmed their appointment via text, so we reach out and they say something like, oh, I’m so glad you called me. I was just getting ready to call you. You know what? That tooth, it’s not even bothering me, so I’m gonna go ahead and wait. Some of you have heard that before. So that is a lack of urgency, right? That is an objection you could have prevented.

 

01:00

with the 95-5 rule, with getting true buy-in to it. But let’s say all that happens, how do we handle this? Well, the one thing we know when we do interviewing, we have our all-star recruiting side of this. When you need to hire someone, we have a whole division dedicated to helping you do this. And when the interviews happen, Robin and her team go through all this. The number one response we get to a certain question, we say, how would you handle?

 

01:26

a cancellation call. The number one response is, oh, I always make sure they reschedule their appointment. And what’s the answer we’re looking for? Now all of us sitting here would know, well, the answer we’re looking for is to prevent the objection. We get that. But it’s just an example to understand how the human brain works. The number one word used when a cancellation is phrased from the patient to the dental team member is the word okay. So someone says, yeah, I need to move that appointment. I need to cancel that appointment. Okay. It’s just like this gut reaction to it.

 

01:56

So our verbiage is, oh, not okay. So when someone is canceling their appointment with you, you have to deal with it like someone’s breaking up with you. Someone says, yeah, I can’t make that appointment, I’m so glad you called and need to move that, or it’s not bothering me, I’m gonna cancel it. We say, oh. We don’t say okay. And we have a tone of voice like, someone is breaking up with us. So you would say, oh, well, is everything all right? Yeah, it’s just not bothering me. I think I’m gonna wait.

 

02:25

Hold on one second while I pull up your record. Again, you’re teaching people how to treat you. You’re not gonna make it easy. You’re making sure that they’re sweating it out. Why? So that they never do this again. We never wanna have this happen again. So you say, oh, hold on one second while I pull up your record. What are you looking for? You’re looking for two things. You’re looking for, have they done this to you before? Repeat offender, and what is the condition from the 95.5? What’s the condition to help solve this?

 

02:54

Try to save the cancellation. So you get back on the phone, you can say, Ricky Bobby, I can see here that Dr. Smith noted he was really concerned about this tooth in the upper right because it has a large fracture in it. I understand it’s not bothering you yet. Has anyone explained to you what will happen once it does hurt? No. When it does hurt, is that when you’re wanting to get the necessary treatment done that we’ve recommended? Yes, I’ll do the crown once it bothers me. Ah, I understand.

 

03:24

Let me explain what’s gonna happen. You can play it forward like we talked about with objections, we mentioned that. But let’s say you can’t solve it. Let’s say it’s a cleaning appointment, whatever it is, something like that. Say, oh, I can see here, you know, Virginia recommended that we see every six months. You know, she’s concerned about the inflammation on the upper right side, that’s why she recommended that interval. Her next available appointment isn’t for another three months. We said that back when we scheduled, right? We did massage therapists at the chiropractor.

 

03:53

Her next available appointment isn’t for three months. Are you sure there’s any way you can keep this appointment today? That’s the key phrase we’re looking to get to. And I say, no, there’s no way I’ll get fired or whatever. We’re putting them out three months. Now I know we have an opening tomorrow in the schedule. We’re skipping over that. You have to teach them how to treat you and if you don’t put them out, you will never get them back in. You make it easy to reschedule, they’re constantly going to be rescheduling. And what I mean by you’re not gonna get them back in, they’re gonna keep rescheduling. It’s so easy to reschedule.

 

04:23

keep doing this, it’s perpetual, it’s this hamster wheel. So to stop the hamster wheel, you have to talk about how hard it is to get in for an appointment. You have to create urgency and value. You have to create urgency with it. So I know she’s concerned about this, her next available appointment isn’t for four months, are you sure there’s any way you can keep this appointment today? No, I will get fired. Let’s go out and find an appointment time that you know will work for you. Then you’re arguing for that appointment, okay? Now, this is important, oh not okay.

 

04:52

You can do this with text message by the way as well. So you could say, you know, they cancel by text. Oh, is everything okay? Yeah, something’s come up. Hold on one second, I’m gonna pull up your record. Wait a minute, text them back. I see Virginia’s concerned about the health of your gums. That’s why she recommended six months. I bring that up because her available spot isn’t, next available spot isn’t for another three months. Are you sure there’s any way you can keep this appointment today? You can follow that verbiage and try to.

 

05:20

You play defense, you’re trying to stop this and you’re teaching people how to treat you. All right, give this a shot, give us feedback. Go ahead and go follow us on all our social media pages, whether it’s Facebook or Instagram. And when you see posts like this, when you see this come up, give us some feedback. Let us know how it’s working. Just look for Dental All-Stars, I’m sorry, All-Star Dental Academy, Dental All-Stars the podcast. You can go follow that as well. All right guys, have a great week.

 

05:47

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Dental All-Stars. Visit us online at allstardentalacademy.

 

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