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