Is Your Front Desk Costing You Patients? Our Tips For More Appointments (And More Profits)

June 30, 2021

Is Your Front Desk Costing You Patients? Our Tips For More Appointments (And More Profits)

Looking to grow your dental practice? Quality dentistry, reasonable prices, and other factors like insurance acceptance are all important. But so is your dental team! And without proper training, it’s entirely possible that you’re missing out on both new and repeat patients. 

So in this blog from Tooth & Coin, we’ll be taking a look at a few ways that you can make sure your front desk team is setting you up for success. Let’s get started!

1. Emphasize Proper Phone Training

First, you need to make sure your front desk team has been properly trained to use your phone system. Basic customer service training is also helpful, and ensures they strike the proper tone when speaking to new patients. Make sure your team members are always friendly, welcoming, and helpful. There are many online courses and resources you can use to help with phone training your front desk team.

2. Strategize On How To Close Appointments With Leads/Patients

There are a lot of strategies you can use to encourage patients who are on the fence to schedule an appointment. For example, discounted first-time cleanings are a common tactic. Or, your team can be trained on how to overcome common objections. 

For example, if a patient mentions their busy schedule, your front desk team can discuss after-hours and weekend appointments, if you offer them. Or, if they mention that they have kids, your team can discuss your family dentistry services, and how convenient it is to get care in one place.

3. Always Make A Good First Impression

Make sure your front desk team is polite, professional, and ready to help your customers. Their workspace should be tidy, and your waiting area and other public areas should also be clean and welcoming to patients. First impressions matter, and you only get one of them.

4. Focus On Follow-Ups After First Visits Or Regular Cleanings

Once you’ve scheduled a patient for a first-time appointment, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll come back. It’s common for patients to come to one appointment, then never come back. This happens even to long-term patients. One study found that about 10% of patients leave a dentist’s office every year due to regular attrition. 

So make sure your front desk is focused on scheduling follow-ups after both first-time visits and routine cleanings. Once a patient comes in for an appointment, they shouldn’t leave without being asked to schedule a follow-up appointment. Your team should be ready, willing, and able to schedule their next appointment right away. If you book your patient for another appointment immediately, they’ll be more likely to come back.

5. Make Sure To Send Appointment Reminders Regularly

Six months is a long time. Patients may forget about their appointments, which can result in a lost patient, or an angry patient if they’re charged a cancellation fee. So make sure you schedule appointment reminders. We recommend asking patients how they would like to be reminded about appointments. SMS, email, and phone calls are all good options. 

You should follow the “rule of 3” for appointment reminders. Send out a reminder 3 weeks before their appointment, then 3 days before their appointment. And, if you have a problem with patients frequently missing their appointments, you can also send out a reminder 3 hours before their appointment.

Follow These Tips For More New & Repeat Customers At Your Dental Practice 

We hope this blog has been helpful, and provided you with some more tips on how to grow your dental practice. Need more help? Jonathan VanHorn and the team at Tooth & Coin are here for you. If you need help with taxes, accounting, or benefits, we’re here to help. Our CPAs serve practices of every size nationwide. Schedule online or give us a call at (877) 265-2121 for a consultation today.

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