Two Changes I Made When Making Appointments

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The other day I was thinking about all the things we say and ask on the phone that stop us from making appointments for patients.

Over the years I myself have been guilty of saying some of the following things on the phone, but I soon worked out that  what I had been saying was affecting the outcome of my calls.

I was not making appointments!

For example, I can’t believe I was asking this:

“Would you like to make an appointment?” 

What was I thinking?

Then I made a change and started to ask this:

“Would you like morning or afternoon?”

It was quite obvious that the only way I could really help a caller was to make an appointment.  so I would wait until I believed the caller was ready to make an appointment and then I would make them an appointment.

Why did I need to ask if they were ready?

I knew when they were ready to make an appointment.

I found I was just holding up the process of making the appointment by asking the caller if they were ready.

Once I started changing what I asked, I started making so many more appointments.

Something else I can’t believe I said was:

“I will give you a call the day before your appointment to confirm it.” 

I soon realised that all I was doing, other than being polite and ensuring the caller wasn’t feeling locked in to the appointment, was giving the caller the time I would call so they could change or even cancel their appointment.

While I was saying these words, there was always a significant number of cancelled appointments.

I then started saying this:

“I have now confirmed your appointment for Tuesday 23rd May at 9.30am.”

Confirming the new Patient’s appointment on the phone at the time of making the appointment meant more New Patients were keeping their appointments.

Why was I scared about the New Patient feeling locked into their appointment time?

The last thing I wanted was having patients call and cancel appointments, then having to find another patient to fill that time in the day’s appointment schedule. This was also bad for patients who were now delaying important dental treatment.

I realised that it was a good thing that the patient now knew their appointment was confirmed, set and reserved for them.

The caller was now more committed to their appointment time and made sure that this appointment would not clash with anything else they had going on in their life.

It was quite amazing how much more committed the patients were to their appointments, and all I did was change a few words when I was making their appointment.

I did get people ask if I would be contacting them prior to their appointment, because people are generally trained to believe they need a confirmation call before any appointment.

The answer was always yes but there was never a mention of when or why I would be calling.

You can see how a few changes make such a big difference.

Try these few changes and let me know how it works for you.

***

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 only 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

 

 

Posted in Customer Service, Dental Consultant, Dental Front Office, Dental Management, Dental Phone Excellence, Dental Practice Management, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Easiest Way To Create The Best Impression On The Phone

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In this blog I want to get back to the basics of answering the phone.

Please check that your team have the basic skills of answering the phones in your Dental Office before they start answering your phones.

Start with the basics then add on from there.

You need to ensure your team know what you expect them to say when they pick up the phone.

The phone greeting is the very first thing that comes out of their mouth when they pick up a ringing phone.

The phone greeting is your calling card and the callers’ first impression of you and your business.

Make sure everyone is getting the phone greeting right, word for word!

What the caller hears on that first call is what they will hear consistently every time they call your Dental Office once they become your patient.

This consistent phone greeting spells professionalism and you know what you are doing!

It is such a basic and easy thing to get right but so many practices fail to do it.

Here is what I believe to be the very best Phone Greeting:

“Thank you for calling Green Dental. This is Jenny. How may I help you?”

There are three magical parts.

Part One: “Thank you for calling Green Dental.”

You have started the phone greeting by thanking the caller for calling you.

The caller has chosen to call you.

They have selected you somehow and differentiated you from other dental offices and chosen you.

This alone is worth taking the time and thanking them for.

You have also let the caller know they have called the right number.

Part Two: “This is Jenny.”

Letting the caller know who they are speaking with is simply polite and correct.

Part Three: “How may I help you?”

The last part of that very first phone greeting is often thought to be unnecessary and some say it makes the phone greeting too long.

I believe this last part is the most crucial part to the phone greeting.

When you ask the caller how can you help them, you are actually saying, “I can help you.”

Most people who call a Dental Office have a dental problem or concern that they want fixed and need help with.

Our job when we answer a phone call is to determine what that problem is and to help the caller by making them an appointment to see the Dentist.

Now go and listen to how your phones are being answered.

Set the expectation of how you want your phones answered.

Sit down with your team and analyse the phone greeting and make sure everyone is fully aware of the impact they are making as they say those first few words to the caller.

Be consistent in your phone greeting.

Thank the caller for choosing your Dental Office.

Let the caller know your name

Then tell the caller you will be helping them.

***

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 only 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

 

 

Posted in Customer Service, Dental Consultant, Dental Front Office, Dental Management, Dental Phone Excellence, Dental Practice Management, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Was So Surprised By This.

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I was watching a television show on SBS recently where a doctor does live broadcasts of consultations with patients.

I was so surprised at what they don’t do correctly.

Now I imagined that this TV show is set up and staged.

So I was expecting the absolute very best.

I was expecting a real “Red Carpet Patient Experience.”

Here’s what I saw:

The patient arrived and the front office team said, “Hello, can you please sign in then take a seat.”

Why did they not greet the patient by their name?

Surely the person on the front desk would have been expecting the patient when they looked at their appointment book.

Where was that patient’s red carpet?

I am not too sure what the sign in was all about!

Rather than saying, “take a seat”, Why not say, “Please, make yourself comfortable. I will let Dr Smith know you have arrived. Is there anything I can get you?”

When the doctor is ready to see the patient, the phone rang and one of the front office team said to the patient waiting, “please go straight through to see the doctor.”

Why did someone not take the patient through to the doctor or the doctor not come out of their office to greet the patient and take them through?

At the end of the appointment, the patient leaves the doctors office alone without the doctor. At least the doctor did stand up when the patient left the room.

Having someone with the patient is so important. It takes a short moment and allows the doctor to let the front office know what the next step is.

If privacy is an issue you simply need to set up the front desk away from waiting patients.

I am sharing this doctor-patient experience or lack of patient experience with you because I see similar things happening in Dental Offices.

I know some of what I have mentioned seems so easy to do but it is not happening in most dental and medical offices.

When a patient arrives at your Dental Office, be ready for them. Know when they are arriving and know their name.

Give your patients the very best experience as soon as they enter the door.

You are doing it on the first phone call, so continue that exceptional patient experience when the patient arrives for their appointment.

The golden rule I have mentioned previously is to be with your patient at all times and that means when they are moving from the patient lounge to the dental chair.

Because most Dental Offices are not offering their patients an exceptional patient experience, then this is more of reason for you to offer it.

Have a good look at what you do right now and make it even better.

The small things you do for your patients will make such a big difference to your patients.

Your patients will love you for it!

***

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 only 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

 

 

Posted in Customer Service, Dental Consultant, Dental Front Office, Dental Management, Dental Phone Excellence, Dental Practice Management, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Do You Leave The Exit Door Open?

Dental Phone Excellence Blog by Jayne Bandy

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Everyone who phones a Dental Office is ringing for help.

Our job when we answer the phone in a Dental Office is to help the caller.

To properly help the caller we need to ask questions that will guide the caller to the best way we can help them.

And that is to make an appointment.

The phrase “leave the door open” means to give someone the choice to do what they want.

If you ask the wrong questions when you are on the phone, you will leave the door open and the caller may not make an appointment.

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Is your Dental Office asking the correct questions so that the caller makes an appointment?

The wrong questions include:

  • Would you like to make an appointment?
  • When would you like to come in?
  • Do you need to check with your wife first?
  • Can you afford it?
  • Do you want to call…

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Are You Sick Of All The Dental Fluff Out There?

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There is so much fluff out there it is not funny.

There is so much information filling your head each day.

Let’s face it. It really is just a load of fluff!

Well it is only fluff until you use it and put it into action.

Information is there for a reason.

Information that fills your head all day is to get you thinking and to take action.

Unfortunately, there are times you just don’t even think about the information presented to you let alone put it into action.


The irony is that the information you don’t think about or action is the same information you went looking for, found and invested time, money and energy learning about.

This is crazy!

This is true fluff. What you learn about and then don’t think about and action, is fluff.

Looking at a bookshelf in your office you often see the fluff of course booklets, books, DVDs, CDs and even certificates.

It’s time to turn this fluff into thinking and action.

Look at your dental business and see what is hurting you the most. Get someone to have a look at your practice if you can’t pinpoint where you are hurting.

If you are not hurting then I know for sure you have turned fluff into thinking and action. Well done!

The best time to start thinking and taking action is yesterday but today is good as well.

Start with one or two things to action in your practice. Go and find out what is out there.

Turn all that dental fluff into thinking and action and never stop.

You will be so glad you started doing this.

***

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 only 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

 

 

Posted in Customer Service, Dental Consultant, Dental Front Office, Dental Management, Dental Phone Excellence, Dental Practice Management, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do This And Watch Your Restorative Treatment Increase

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Does your team have an effective system for patients who don’t have their next Hygiene Appointment booked?

I know I am always encouraging teams to ensure every patient has a next Hygiene Appointment but things do happen and some patients do not rebook.

Patients sometimes postpone their Hygiene care and treatment for a number of reasons but do intend to come back and complete their treatment.

There can also be things getting in their way and stopping them from going ahead with dental care and treatment.

Our job on the front desk is to ensure we have a clear next step to how we follow up these patients to book them back in.

Keep in mind that every patient that comes back for their Hygiene Appointment, also has a Dental Examination and any dental treatment needed is then booked in.

The purpose of their Hygiene Appointment is to prevent unneccessary treatment but from time to time there is treatment that is needed.

So you can see that if you are keeping on top of patients who don’t book their Hygiene Appointment, when they book back in, there will be some of these patients who will need restorative work.

I know the thought of having to call patients to book them back in is no fun and often something that is put off.

If your team, know what to say and get great results from these calls it won’t be long and they will be very comfortable making these calls.

Of course, you do want to ensure that every effort is being made to ensure patients always have a next appointment made for Hygiene, but there will always be some patients we need to follow up.

Being prepared and having a great follow up system in place is what you need and must have.

Like a lot of Dental Offices, you could have a substantial list of Hygiene patients to follow up so my advice is to make the task of calling these patients realistic and achievable. Set a number of patients to call each day and stick to it no matter what.

Always start with patients who you haven’t seen for the least amount of time as these patients are much more likely to say yes and book their appointment.

When you make the appointment ask your patient if they are concerned about anything. This is an opportunity to know before their Hygiene Appointment if they have any restorative treatment that may need to be done.

So have a good look at your patients who do need a Hygiene Appointment and don’t have one booked.

Look at the important reason in their clinical notes to see why they should make the appointment and then call them and ask them……..

“Would you prefer morning or afternoon?”

***

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 only 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

 

 

Posted in Customer Service, Dental Consultant, Dental Front Office, Dental Management, Dental Phone Excellence, Dental Practice Management, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What You Should Be Doing For Your Business To Thrive And Grow

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There are so many parts of your business that need to be working well for your business to be thriving and growing.

I was listening to Dr Chris Ramsey on a podcast recently and he said “Every piece of the pie has to be exceptional.”

This definitely applies to the business of dentistry where you help and care for your patients and ensure your business thrives so you stay around to help your patients.

Gone are the days when you could thrive in the Dental Profession being mediocre.

You have to be exceptional.

You have to be exceptional not only as a clinician but in every part of your dental business.

Out of all the parts of your business, the one that I am most passionate about and believe is the most important in your business is your team.

Take a few moments to answer the following questions:

Do you have a team with an exceptional attitude?

Do you have a fully trained team ready to care for your patients and business?

Does your team know why they do what they do every day?

Does your team get what you get?

Is your team happy to be at work each day?

If you have an exceptional team working for you then you would have answered yes to each of these questions.

The big big part of why your patients choose your Dental Office is because of your team.

Your team, represent who you are and what your business stands for.

Your team, need to be the right match. Your team, need to reflect who you are, and what you want for your patients.

Now having the right team with the right attitude is something that happens in the hiring stage but having the right team that represents you happens when you show them.

So many people I see working at the front desk of the dental office are just thrown into that position with minimal or no training.

I know you may have hired them for their years of dental office experience but how you run your dental office is unique and your team need to know how you run your business.

The front office is the most overlooked part of many Dental Practices.

So much focus is on clinical knowledge, machinery and instruments and sterilization. I know this is essential to all dental practices but it should not be at the expense of the team’s knowledge.

When your team gets what you get, it means more patients, more patient care and treatment, more patient and team retention and a growing business.

Isn’t this what we all want?

Spend time and energy on your team.

Invest in them and the future of your business.

Having the right team is what makes the difference.

“Teamwork makes the dream work.”

***

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…..

*****

My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be with Dr. David Moffet in Manchester, England on Saturday 2nd September 2017.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.

*****

At present I have availability for only 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

 

 

Posted in Customer Service, Dental Consultant, Dental Front Office, Dental Management, Dental Phone Excellence, Dental Practice Management, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment