We live in a world of convenience. We want everything to be easy and disposable with no commitment needed.
I know this does appear a little bold of me to make such a statement, but I am seeing this more and more.
Given the option of convenience most of us will choose convenience.
Finding an easy way seems to be what people are seeking most of the time.
This convenience and easiness has become part of how we also make appointments.
Making an appointment where someone has set aside time for you is now not taken seriously by many people.
Our patients are also responding to this type of environment.
The bad news is that the environment our patients respond to is partly created by us at our dental offices.
I believe that we have a big part to play in how people do business with us.
A lot of dental practices have made it OK for patients to move and change appointments or to cancel appointments and even just not show up.
I know when you answer the phone in a dental office you can’t stand it when a patient calls to cancel their appointment.
What you may not know is that you can be partly responsible because you help your patients believe that it is OK to change or cancel their appointments.
I know some people reading this will disagree.
This is how it happens:
You believe and start to expect that patients will need to change their appointment to make way for other things happening in their lives.
A patient once said to me that they couldn’t make their appointment because they did not know what they were doing.
I looked puzzled and then replied, “but you do know what you are doing, you will be coming to your Dental Appointment.”
It was funny and so true and does make sense.
Why do we not have the confidence and the belief to make an appointment for a patient with the belief that they have confirmed the time and they are fully committed to that day and time?
Instead a little voice gets into your head and you start to believe that they will cancel their appointment, forget their appointment, not show up, or just book something else on that time and day.
I remember a time when I would look at my Appointment Book and either say to the team or myself that certain patients booked in and confirmed would not show up for their appointment or would cancel.
I know first-hand what this is like!
I also know the difference it made when I changed my mindset.
I started making appointments differently and training my patients to know and believe that their appointments were confirmed, and they were committed to attending those appointments.
OK, there were still some patients who did cancel their appointments, but the good news was that I now was not contributing to the patient’s behaviour of cancelling appointments.
Once you believe that it is not OK for your patients to cancel or move their appointments and stop accepting this behaviour from your patients as acceptable, you will start to be more aware of how you set up your patient’s appointments.
You will create a mindset for both you and your patients that their appointment is set and confirmed and you will see them at their appointment.
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.
Dental Phone Excellence is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary dental practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.
If you’d like to know more, download my sixteen page FREE special report “How I Quickly and Easily Went From 35% to 77% New Patient Telephone Conversions, and Doubled The Size of my Dental Practice Along the Way” and discover some of the many costly mistakes being made on your phone…..
At present I have availability for THREE 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