By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Every practice has the potential to dramatically increase case acceptance for new patients. The problem for many dentists is that they focus only on the actual case presentation and not on the entire new patient experience, which includes ...
The new patient phone call
The new patient phone call is all about scheduling patients and getting them into the practice as quickly as possible. This means your team has to do a number of things well:
- Create confidence for patients on the phone.
- Build value for the practice.
- Transfer trust to the doctor and staff.
- Motivate patients to schedule and show up for their appointments.
The new patient orientation
Very few practices think of the first new patient visit as “orientation.” They typically either give patients a pile of forms to fill out or give them a cursory greeting and assume that value building will take place in the clinical area. This is a mistake.
To start developing a strong relationship with new patients, the new patient orientation should include:
- A welcoming greeting
- Showing interest by asking questions about the patient’s life (family, hobbies, interests, etc.)
- An overview of the office
- Value building about the practice and the team
- An overview of insurance
The new patient case presentation
In case presentation, we must understand the patients’ perspective. As the current economy shows, patients are more reluctant than ever to reach into their pockets. This requires some different approaches to case presentation, including offering phased treatment for larger cases, multiple consultations if necessary, and outside financing for every patient.
The new patient follow-up process
In reinventing case acceptance, the practice must follow up with patients who haven’t agreed to treatment. This can occur as front desk staff set up the next conversation using scripting:
When a larger case is presented, patients often need extra time before they decide to move forward with the dentist’s recommendations. Prompted by a follow-up call, many patients will agree to recommended treatment.
New patients are the key to practice growth. Improving the new patient experience will increase case acceptance in all areas, especially elective treatment and larger cases.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is chairman and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of dentists through a diverse portfolio of lifetime services and solutions. Levin Group may be reached at (888) 973-0000, or www.levingroupgp.com, where you can sign up for the Tip of the Day.