10 Phone Tips to Never Lose Another Prospective Patient
What’s so hard about answering a telephone call, you ask? It isn’t really difficult, but your staff need to understand the importance of presenting the right image, giving and receiving the right information, and doing it with passion and enthusiasm. What you may not realize is that the way your staff uses your telephone can help you acquire new patients who might otherwise hang up and forget about you and your dental practice. You can leverage your telephone for dentistry business success.
Here are some important points to emphasize to your team members who answer your telephone:
Answer with a smile
Don’t just think about smiling. Actually lift the corners of your mouth and smile as if you were greeting a friend in person. The prospective patient will recognize the tone of voice and attitude that go along with your smile.
Give your own name and the name of the practice.
If you don’t say the name of the practice, the potential patient wonders if they have reached the right office. And, saying your own name starts the conversation out on a friendly, positive note. It helps you engage with the patient in a way that is meaningful for him or her.
Ask for their name
Ask for their name – not only for clerical reasons, but also to show interest in who they are and how you can help them.
Ask what they would like to achieve.
Your potential patient has some purpose in calling your dental office. Typically, they want to investigate the cost of a particular procedure. Instead of focusing on cost right away, turn your attention to the goals they have in mind.
Ask when they first became aware of the problem.
Engage the potential patient in a conversation about the problem, including when they first noticed the problem they want the dentist to correct.
Ask why they are concerned about it now.
Is there some special occasion or event coming up when they would like to look their best or want their teeth to function better? Knowing this can help you come up with solutions to their problem and formulate a positive response.
Consider whether the problem can be handled in the way they would like in time for their special occasion or event. If not, let them know that the dentist has many solutions to help them both in the short term and permanently.
If you simply give the total price, your potential client’s immediate response may be that they can’t afford the procedure. However, if you tell them the installment price, the dental work suddenly sounds like it is within their reach. Only after letting them know what the monthly payments are should you give the total price.
Encourage them to come in for a consultation.
Set up a consultation for the patient to see the dentist as soon as possible to make their plans to visit more concrete.
Ask how they heard about the dental practice.
The time, effort and money you poured into marketing your practice may have contributed to gaining this new patient. However, if you don’t ask them where they heard of you, you’ll never know what’s working and what marketing efforts to concentrate on in the future.
Collect their email address.
Before you conclude the call ask for their email address so you can add it to your database. This also helps the patient because you can send more information or forms for them to fill out and bring into the office on the day of their visit.
As your team members develop these telephone skills, they will become more productive and be able to bring in more patients who may only be curious at the outset. The key is to do more than answer the questions the potential client asks. The real key is to build a relationship with them that will bring them in for your dental services.