Front Desk Greeting Patients

Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: Schedule the hard-to-fill appointments first

March 25, 2014
By filling the hard appointment times first, you're free to on great dentistry instead of filling slots

By Ross Vera, Pride Institute Consultant

I want to share a hygiene scheduling tip today, but I’ll offer some background first. When you hire a front desk team member, you are usually attracted to the person’s combination of people skills and attention to detail. It is often common in people that as their people skills go up, their attention to detail goes down, or as their attention to detail goes up, their people skills go down. A perfect blend is rare in a person.

This is an important thing to keep in mind when you choose whom to hire. If you have an employee who excels in attention to detail, you want to help that person remain as stress-free as they can in times of chaos. If you have an employee strong in people skills, you may want to keep that person focused on the purpose of their work.

From a scheduling standpoint, it is completely natural for a people pleaser assigned to the front desk to be thrilled to provide patients with a highly preferred appointment time simply because it’s available. The consequence is that once 75% of the schedule is filled, the easy slots to fill are gone and the office is left with the slots very few people want. This leads to frustration, and yes, a less-than-full schedule.

So here is my tip — Encourage all of your scheduling personnel, and your socially skilled folks in particular, to strive to fill the most challenging times in the schedule first. That way, when you reach 75% filled, the slots are easy to fill, leaving your team unencumbered by a looming opening, and leaving you able to produce at your optimal efficiency.

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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, and like them on Facebook.