There are many phone questions that a patient will ask when they call a dental office.  Typically, untrained phone staff will immediately answer the patient’s questions.  But, once the patient gets their answer they tend to say thanks and hang up.  Unfortunately, this type of call is a dead end. Most dental staff will never get a chance to ask these very important rapport building questions of patients:

1. May I ask who I am speaking with?  This is the #1 phone skill mistake in a new patient call.  Asking the potential patient’s name is a great way to begin building rapport as people love being called by their name.  Asking for the caller’s name is also a great way to gently take control of the conversation and allows you to flow into asking more open-ended questions.

2. Can I get a phone number in case we get disconnected?  This is a fantastic follow-up question to getting their name.  The caller’s name and phone number are two pieces of critical info that are the core of what you need to follow-up with the caller at a later date.  Take it one step further and get an email address so you can communicate with them in this way later.

3. When would you like to schedule your appointment?  I often hear calls where the person asks many questions and the patient coordinator answers them all diligently.  Then, there is a silence on the phone and the person calling says, “Ok, thank you,” and hangs up.  The second most important part of the new patient call is asking for the appointment.  Most people are indecisive and they want you to be the one to ask them if they would like an appointment.  By not asking, you are losing out on money and new patients.

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Get more details on how All-Star Dental Academy’s Dental Phone Skills training program can supercharge your patient experience by visiting our Services page. Alternatively, you can learn about how front office performance on the phones can lead to success: register for our free educational webinar Dental Practice Excellence: 3 Steps to an All-Star Practice. Finally, you can call our office at (844) 631.7575 to speak with an All-Star representative about our Training Program.

Heather Nottingham

Heather Nottingham

Heather is a former retail sales specialist and department trainer for Bloomingdale’s, where she had a million dollar clientele. She also took that luxury retail mentality and brought it into the dental world, where she leveraged her training and was able to make an extra million dollars for her dental office in less than 18 months. With over 16 years of retail sales & management experience, 7+ years as a phone skills coach & trainer, and thousands of hours in perfecting the art of rapport with dental patients, Heather helps improve dental practices’ profitability through phone skills success, promoting patient experience, and implementation of systems.

Heather is also an accomplished writer in the world of dentistry, having her articles, press releases, and blogs featured in various publications including Dental Practice Management, Dentistry Today, The Progressive Dentist Magazine, Dentistry IQ, and more.
Heather Nottingham

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