I am always looking for and finding opportunities that are being missed in Dental Offices.
I was recently looking at a fabulous Call Tracker System that helps support Dentists by tracking the unconverted calls and unanswered calls coming in to their Office.
I did believe that Dental Offices would usually have a very high unconverted call rate but I have been totally shocked by how high the number of unanswered calls actually is.
Just in case you thought you read this incorrectly, “unanswered calls” means no one picked up the phone and spoke to the caller.
Yes, a voice message service will answer the phone for you then you can play back the message and call the caller back. What if the caller did not want to leave a message and hangs up straight away and then calls another Dental Practice that is answering their phone? You can call them back if your phone system allows you to identify their number but it might be too late.
Most unanswered calls seem to be just before the Practice opens, at lunchtime and after the practice closes in the evening.
Most working people can only call a Dentist before or after work and during their lunch break, yet this is a time for a lot of Dental Offices where they have no one answering the phone.
What if the phone at you Dental Office was answered 24/7 or close to that?
What if answering all the calls that go unanswered in your Dental Office lead to more appointments being answered?
There is no “What if?” Answering all calls before and after hours and during lunch WILL make more appointments for you.
The question now is how do you ensure all calls are answered at lunchtime and before and after work hours?
There are a number of solutions.
There is always outsourcing and using a company who specializes in taking calls for Dental Offices and making their appointments.
There is also the following option which I know works very well. I have personally been involved in using this option.
The team can share taking a mobile phone home to answer calls and make appointments. To make this work well you need the full cooperation and enthusiasm of your team.
Hang on….. who really wants to take a mobile phone home to answer calls after you have finished work?
A fabulous and worthwhile incentive system needs to be in place. You can pay a bonus to the team member who schedules each appointment made by answering the phone after hours. The more calls answered that are converted to appointments means the team will be paid more.
Every team member I have mentioned this to has quickly said, “Yes that’s a great idea and please let my boss know about it”. If you have resistance from some of the team then there will be others who will be happy to do it more often.
The difference when the calls were answered outside of business hours meant we were able to book in more patients, especially when we had available appointments the following day.
The caller was also very grateful and usually surprised that a real person was able to take their call after or before hours and help them. There were times when the patient calling before or after hours was already an existing patient and needed help. It was such excellent customer service and much appreciated by our patients.
It is a great point of difference on your website letting people know you are available on the phone before and after work hours.
The lunchtime solution is quite simple. There must always be someone to answer the phone at lunch. If you are a small Dental Practice and only have one person answering the phone in the office then you can stagger lunch with the Dental Assistants. If you are concerned how team members, who don’t usually answer the phone, will go, then get them to take a message. It is still a whole lot better than a recorded answering message.
So have a think about the calls coming into your Dental Office. Look at using a Call Tracker to track the number of unanswered calls then do something about it.
Unanswered Calls are such a big missed opportunity and loss to your business!
If you’d like to know which call tracking I recommend, email me privately jayne@theDPE.com
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