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Impact Your Dental Practice Production Starting with Phone Answering

If you’re struggling to book enough patients at your dental practice, poor call answering skills could be the culprit. Even if your office staff doesn’t have poor phone skills, a lukewarm or mediocre manner just doesn’t cut it these days, where another dentist is just a click away on Google.

At CallForce, we’re uniquely sensitive to the modern-day issues that every dental practice faces regarding proper phone etiquette and call answering skills. Our professional answering service will help you ramp up production and fill those empty appointment slots, taking the pressure off your receptionists and giving you more freedom to focus on patients and managing your business.

Why Are Phone Manner and Answering Skills So Important?

Customer service is at a premium and directly affects the success of your practice. In today’s digital world, it’s easy for potential patients to learn everything about your business online. In that case, why are phone skills even necessary? The fact is, they’re more important than ever before.

Consider this: Is it enjoyable to speak with a lackluster receptionist who sounds like your call is an inconvenience to them? Of course not. Even worse is getting a robot or automated message, which almost always results in the caller hanging up, leading to lost revenue.

How Much Does a Missed Call Really Cost?

Every missed or poorly handled phone call costs your practice money. Using data from our client base, we found that every missed phone call is worth about $500 to your practice. Just one phone call from a patient who needs extensive dental work is potentially worth thousands.

Let’s say your receptionist misses 15 calls every week. In one month, you’ll have lost a minimum of $33,750. Annually, that’s a whopping $405,000! Those numbers demonstrate how critical it is for your office staff to have excellent call answering and phone skills.

How Do You Avoid Missing Calls and Improve Production?

Your ability to gain new patients will have a considerable impact on the growth and success of your practice. Every member of your team—administrative and clinical—needs to know precisely how to behave, speak, and convert phone callers into new or recurring patients.  

Below are five quick tips to help your office staff improve their phone answering skills and help your practice boost production.

1) Use an Answering Service

CallForce data has shown that patients are three times as likely to call after hours and on weekends. If you don’t have a live answering service, you’re missing the chance to land new patients and fill your appointment book.

Fortunately, we have the solution. At CallForce, we offer professional answering services for dentists. Our trained representatives answer questions, reroute wrong numbers, and are available over 100 hours during the week to help you prevent missed calls, expand your office’s reach, and increase production. We take the pressure off your office staff and eliminate the need to put multiple callers on hold.

2) Smile, smile, smile

Here’s one of the easiest ways to improve phone skills: Smile! Make sure to smile before you answer the phone and during the call. A caller can sense when the person on the other end is upset, frowning, bored, or otherwise not committed. Smiling adds a pleasant tone to your voice and always makes a potential patient feel welcome and appreciated.

3) Always Offer an Appointment

Even when “shoppers” call your practice looking to compare quotes, or you get a wrong number, offer to schedule them an appointment 100% of the time. For shoppers, avoid giving them a phone quote. Instead, offer a complimentary consultation. You’re much more likely to book an actual appointment once they’re already in the office.

4) Stagger Lunches

Callers should never receive a recorded message stating that the office is closed for lunch. Potential patients probably won’t wait an hour and call back. They’re more likely to hang up and call the next dentist on the list. To prevent this, hire an answering service or stagger the lunches of your office staff.

5) Always Answer the Same Way

Every receptionist should answer calls in the same way: “Hello, and thank you for calling the office of Dr. ABC! This is (Name); how are you doing today?” (or, you can substitute with “How may I help you today?”) A uniform phone answer shows potential patients that your office is polite, professional, and on the same page.

Bonus Tip: Never answer calls with “Please hold” and then put the caller on hold before they can respond. It’s rude, and potential patients are sure to hang up.  

Final Thoughts

Potential patients (and current patients) respond to polite, professional, and thoughtful phone etiquette. So, if you’re putting multiple callers on hold each day, it’s time to invest in an office answering service. Remember, every call you miss is worth $500 in lost revenue! Contact CallForce today at (801) 901-8852 to schedule a free demo with our sales team and learn more about our valuable services.

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