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Lately there has been a lot of chat about what to do when multiple phone calls are coming into a dental office.

Ultimately the goal is to answer and offer solutions to all of our callers but in a busy practice this can be a challenge.

An easy and effective solution I once gave at my workshop when asked about this dilemma was:

“If you haven’t got enough people to answer the calls coming into your business then you need more people.”

I know it does seem like a sensible and straight forward solution to what is a problem for some businesses.

You do want to keep track of the number of calls coming into your office. You need to know how many calls are coming in and how effectively are they being converted to appointments.

You also need to know how the calls are being answered.

Are the calls being managed well?

Are the calls answered by the second ring?

Does the person answering the calls have enough time for each caller, or are they being rushed?

Does the person answering your calls know how to handle multiple calls?

I have noticed that the skill of handling multiple calls coming into a dental office is a challenge for many people.

Answering multiple calls is not the easiest thing to do, especially if no one has shown you how.

As soon as you have multiple lines, at some point in the day more than one or two lines will ring at the same time.

That is a good thing. You do want this to happen. It means that your dental office is in demand.

The challenge now is to ensure that you get to each caller within two to three rings.

Placing someone on hold is all about the timing.

You need to ask yourself this question:

“How long will I be on the other line?” 

You must know where you are up to on each call at all times.

If a second call comes in and you have just started speaking to the first caller then you need to ask the second caller’s name, find out briefly the reason for their call, and their contact details, and then let them know when you will call them back.

Keep in mind that there is a risk when you call a person back that they may have gone ahead and made another appointment at another dental office while they waited for you to call back, so never delay the return call.

When you pick up a second call always ask permission from the first caller if you can place them on hold for a moment.

Never pick up the second call and immediately tell the caller you are placing them on hold.

“Thank you for calling Green Dental. This is Jayne. Please hold.”

Think about those times when this has happened to you on the phone.

You feel unimportant and you have no idea how long you will be on hold.

You now run the risk that the person on hold will hang up.

Make it a rule never to do this!

Ask their name and explain you are on another call and do they mind being on hold for a moment.

The other rule is to make sure you have something for your on-hold caller to listen to while they wait for you.

Having silence is wrong. Chimes or bells is equally wrong.

I would suggest non-irritating music.

Test the music choice out on a few of the team and get their feedback on how they feel listening to the music.

A better choice than music is recorded information about your practice and how you help your patients. The message should be all about the caller and the patient experience they will expect at your practice.

A great message can even start the person on hold thinking about something they hadn’t even considered.

So have a good look at how your phones are answered and how the caller is placed on hold.

Now if multiple calls are coming into your office and you have a patient arrive for their appointment and another waiting to make their next appointment then……. that will have to be a whole new blog!!

These are the many challenges of working at the front desk of a dental practice!


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.

My FINAL live full day workshops for 2017 “How to Turn Every Dental Phone Call Into A Valued and Kept Appointment” are being held in Sydney on Friday October 6, 2017and in Brisbane on Friday November 24, 2017.

Click here on this link to register.


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 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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