How does your front desk sound when someone calls your dental practice? Like a computer? Like a telemarketer? Or worse yet, like a physician’s office?
Now, your office is unlikely to be that bad, but you do need to be sure to “connect” with your callers as soon as you can. And by “connect” I mean not only a real live person talks to the caller, but also speaks directly to the caller’s concerns in a language (not dental jargon) the caller understands. As today’s smartphone users are learning, dialogue is more than text and a few emoticons, and they’re increasingly turning to real conversations.
So it is with your callers. They have issues, concerns, questions, and feelings. Your front desk personnel—and I hope you have enough coverage so that another team member can pick up the phone quickly when your primary appointment coordinator is busy—need to be able to tune into each caller right away. This not only takes language skills, it takes empathy and skill to guide the conversation toward a successful outcome. It means being the front line of marketing the practice and reassuring new callers that they made the right decision calling your office.
In essence, a good phone presence means developing a relationship with the caller. Using a phone template assists your front office team members in gathering information that is then passed on to the clinical team. This means means patients don’t have to tell their story over again, thus demonstrating seamless coordination in your practice.
Your front desk must have not only enough language skills, dental skills, and financial skills to understand questions and come up with correct answers, but also the people skills to get the answers across and keep the conversation moving forward. This will ultimately result in successful conversion of inquiring callers to new patients in your practice.
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Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit prideinstitute.com, and like them on Facebook.