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It’s not what you say it’s how you say it.

I say change that to……

It is what you say and how you say it!

Our Front Office Team communicates every day with our patients on the phone and in the office. If your team knows what to say and how to say it, your practice will hum!

Knowing, knowing, knowing!

Practice, practice, practice!

Confidence, confidence, confidence!

Results, results, results!

This will now be the new mantra for Dental Phone Excellence.

Using knowledge and practice you develop confidence and get results!

Last week I explained the benefits of having an efficient and well-planned Appointment Schedule and knowing what to say and how to say it when making appointments is the next step in making everything work.

It is very easy to get caught up with the politeness of our job on the front desk, trying to help our patients, but we must also ensure that the Appointment Book is functioning at its best.

It is always important to be polite but to also be decisive and direct patients to an appointment that is a win-win for the patient and also for your appointment book.


Here are some examples of poor language used when making appointments:

  • “Would you like to make an appointment?”
  • “When would you like to come in for your appointment?”
  • “Is 8:00am too early?”
  • “I have 8:00am, 8:30am, 10:00am or 11:30am?”
  • “When is a good time for you?”
  • “Do you want to think about it and let me know?”

These questions are friendly and polite but the result of them is that the patient ends up in total control causing your appointment scheduling to be all over the place or worse still, an appointment is not even made.

You need to use precise and direct language that enables you to keep control of when appointments are made:

  • “Would you prefer morning or afternoon for your appointment?”
  • “I have an appointment for you on……. at ……”
  • “I can schedule that time for you.”
  • “Let’s get you started. I have an appointment on ….. at …..”

Scheduling appointments and still keeping control of your Appointment Book can be tricky at times. The patient really wants a time that is available but not suitable to your Appointment Book. It is always best in this situation to place patients on a priority standby. The patient knows you will try your best to make the time they want but they also have another appointment time made.

I have had patients who are very clear that they prefer, for example, a morning appointment after 800am but before 11:00am. When this happens we make a note and the patient then becomes locked in to this time limit. Be careful as this limitation the patient has given you two years ago may not be the case now. I believe it is always worth mentioning an appointment time to the patient outside of their specified time as I have had patients say yes they can come in at that time. Always mention the time that suits your appointment book because the worst thing that the patient will say is “No I can’t come in at that time”.

Using language that helps you keep control of your appointment book means the appointment book will run efficiently, patients will still be able to make choices with their appointment times and the practice production will be reached and exceeded each day.

And that’s what’s best.


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.

At present I have availability for one new private client. 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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