Since you put so much effort into getting new patients to call your dental practice, it’s imperative that you convert those inquires into scheduled appointments. This is unfortunately one of the most overlooked aspects of a dental practice’s marketing efforts.
All of us know how to answer the phone, but it takes a mix of listening skills, business savvy, and genuine empathy to guide new patients beyond their initial questions and into the schedule. Since new patient calls typically start with questions about dental insurance or fees, it’s easy to fire off quick answers without considering the real reason for the call: the patient has a need.
Maybe the need is to find a dentist who is gentle. Or to get out of dental pain. Maybe the patient’s family also needs a new dentist. Maybe the patient is concerned about costs, but unbeknownst to you that person is willing to pay more for a practice that makes her feel comfortable and that has great customer service.
If you only address the initial questions about insurance or fees, you often lose the new patient because you never get to the need that triggered the call. And you never communicate to the patient why you are any different than the dental practice she is leaving or the one she will call next.
Therefore, it is very important to ask what motivated the new patient to call. Discover the expectations of the patient. Find out if that person ever had a negative dental experience. And then you can address those needs while also sharing the selling points about your practice.
Even though the phone often rings when the team is busy, you want everyone to view each call as an opportunity and not a nuisance. On the other end of the line you may have a potential new patient. Answer the phone with warmth, listen carefully, and address the patient’s needs, and you will take a big step toward adding another new patient to your practice.