Benchmark for Success: New Patient Calls

Rainfall, football, presidential campaigns…there are statistics for everything and benchmarks that can be used to measure many different successes and failures.  Dentistry is no different.  Whether you are trying to grow your practice or maintain your current level of success, there are key statistics that every dentist benefits from tracking.

  • New patient phone calls.  How many calls are you getting each month?  Where are the potential new patients coming from?  Are the phone calls being converted into new patient exams?

To grow a practice (general dentistry), a good benchmark/goal would be to average 15-20 new patients per month, per doctor.   If your practice is not averaging the 15-20, you can dissect potential problems by tracking phone calls.  Do you possibly need to increase marketing efforts to get the phone to ring more in the first place?  Or are you possibly losing the patients after that initial call?  By tracking how many new patient phone calls you are getting and where they are coming from you can begin to see if you need to focus more efforts in any particular area of the practice.  Could your front staff need more training in order to “sell” the practice and get the patient scheduled?  By not tracking these statistics on the front end it can be difficult to determine where your efforts would be best spent.

Even if your goal is to simply maintain your current level of success, you will still benefit from tracking new patient calls. It takes approximately 10 new patients per month, per dentist just to maintain your current patient base.  If you are falling short of that benchmark, look closely at how you are spending your marketing dollars.  Hopefully, your new patient phone calls are coming as referrals from other “A” quality patients.  If not, and you are tracking where these calls are coming from, can we save money by cutting back spending in a particular area?

There are many other statistics that can be tracked as well, but new patient phone calls are important to maintain the health and well being of the practice.  Before you, the dentist, can do what you do best and treat the patient, you need to get them into the chair.

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