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Have you ever called an office, asked a question and the answer is….

“I don’t know.”

When you answer the phone in any business the person on the end of the line expects you to know everything.

You might say this is a bit unrealistic, after all who knows everything?

When a person rings a Dental Office they usually have a dental problem. They could be in pain, be feeling concerned and have sense of urgency.

Any of these feelings or maybe all of them together spell disaster if the person answering their call is unable to help them because they say, “I don’t know.”


Not knowing does not mean you are unable to help them, it just means you are unable to help them alone. You always have a choice to help the caller by finding out what you yourself don’t know.

No one ever said you will ever know everything.

Not knowing means you need to find out. The person calling you wants your help, needs an appointment and will give you money in exchange. This is called the business of dentistry.

If you tell a caller you do not know then what they hear is…..

“I don’t know. I don’t care. I can’t help you.”

This is a fabulous way to end a call quickly and lose a potential patient or even an existing patient.

This one answer over the phone in a Dental Office is happening every day in some Offices.


Why not let the patient know you can find out so you can still help them.

The job of the person answering the phone is to:

  1. Answer the phone politely and intelligently
  2. Listen and ask relevant questions
  3. Be helpful or find someone who can be
  4. Provide answers and solutions
  5. Find a way to make the caller an appointment

If you stop at number three you are failing your callers/patients.

I recently experienced being told, “I don’t know.”

It really is a huge brick wall.

I actually thought I would help the person answering the call and let them know they had been very unhelpful.

Make sure the people at your Dental Office are finding ways to help your callers and patients. Make sure they are solving problems by finding solutions and working as a team.


This blog will feature 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.

At present I have availability for 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

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