A brick wall is a barrier. It is hard to get over, you can fall off when you nearly get to the top and you often can’t hear or see the person on the other side.
We build brick walls in our Dental Offices and cause a barrier between us and our patients.
The first place the brick wall is built is on the phone. When a person calls your office they are looking for answers to their questions, someone to listen to them, information, empathy and a solution to their Dental Problem or needs. If we don’t answer their questions the first brick is laid, then if we don’t listen another brick is laid, if we don’t give accurate information then another brick and if we seem like we don’t care then a few more bricks until finally if we have no solution to the caller’s problem, the brick wall is complete.
The caller on the phone can tell there is a big brick wall in front of their face and that is usually when the call ends.
No solution and definitely no appointment.
The sad part is that most of the time the person taking the call has no idea they have built a wall and they continue answering more calls, building more walls and blowing more potential patients away.
Our mission when we answer the phone is to not to build walls. Rather we should offer help.
I hope you don’t mind the wall metaphor but it is so powerful.
How many calls have we answered where you actually start scratching your head wondering how you can help the patient find a solution? Usually asking key questions can help you get closer to a solution.
I once had a Front Office Person say to me that her job was not to find solutions for the patient; that was the job of the dentist. I tried to carefully close my mouth!
We once thought the person answering our phones, answered the phone and made appointments but the process after the phone is picked up is more involved if it is done properly.
I hear Dental Offices saying the following to patients:
“I haven’t got a clue.”
“I have no idea.”
“I don’t know.”
“We don’t have that appointment time.”
“We don’t do that treatment here.”
All of these phrases are brick walls!
Finding solutions and not building walls for patients, means looking for alternative ways to help patients. Even if you cannot help the patient exactly how they have asked, you do have the opportunity to help them in a different way.
This blog features simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Dental Office, impacting immediately on your Patients’ Dental Phone Experiences, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.
At present I have availability for two new private clients. For more information on how I can improve your Dental Office’s Phone Numbers contact me, Jayne Bandy at jayne@theDPE.com