Have you welcomed many new clients lately?
You’ve got a talented team, but you need patients to fill their chairs in order to keep the practice growing! The second you get complacent is when you fall into a rut.
While not every incoming phone inquiry leads to new patients, fine-tuning that aspect of your practice management will do wonders for your patient acquisition. The following tips will help you turn more phone prospects in patients at your dental practice.
1. Don’t Hold Out on Insurance Details
Put yourself in your potential patients’ shoes. Of course, many of them are nervous about their appointment – but on top of that, they’re worried about finances and insurance.
People tend to avoid treatment when they’re worried about their insurance coverage. So, be sure that you make clear what is available on any given patient’s specific policy.
Delve into as much detail as possible over the phone so there’s no room for confusion. It’s integral to let prospective patients know that your practice has a relationship with most providers.
2. Stay Alert in Case of Urgent Appointments
You could miss out on a lot of potential business if you close the door on last-minute bookings. Flexible appointment options are a major draw to patients who don’t already have a regular dentist.
Consider leaving enough time open in your schedule for patients who need to see you immediately. If someone just cracked a tooth and can’t find an appointment, they’ll be eternally grateful if your dentistry was the one that saved the day. And voila! You now have a patient for life.
3. Provide Two Distinct Appointment Options
Your schedule comes first, of course, but you want to do your best to work with your patients’ schedules as well. One simple way to do this is to offer two potential appointment times over the phone.
First, ask the prospective patient whether they would prefer an earlier or later timeslot. From there, offer two potential time slots in that period (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening). The prospect feels less pressured to settle for an inconvenient time and empowered by the freedom to choose a time that works for them.
The quicker you can sort out a time, the less the patient can hum and haw over their personal schedule!
4. Be Transparent
Treat every phone call with care. In fact, treat each phone call with the same attention to detail you apply to cleanings and fillings!
When your patients ask how long the appointment will take, it’s not necessarily about the seconds on the clock. Really, they’re trying to gauge the seriousness and intensiveness of the work being done.
Give your potential patients a reason to trust you by walking them through their treatment during the initial call. Giving them a step-by-step breakdown of everything from the initial check-in process to the X-rays, cleaning, and billing will go a long way.
Remember to ask for a cellphone number so you can text the patient to send them a reminder for their upcoming visit!
5. Be Upfront About Pricing
We get it – money is always a touchy subject in this profession. That’s exactly why it’s important to get ahead of the subject and speak confidently and transparently about your payment options.
Start at the low-end of the price range where appropriate and emphasize that the needs of each patient will vary. It’s fair to state that while every crown starts at a certain cost, you’d need to see the patient’s teeth first to provide a more accurate price assessment.
Some patients will always be difficult to satisfy, but it still pays to be transparent in this regard. Better to lose an impossible prospect over the phone than to argue with one in the dentist’s chair!