Dental Front Office Training: Turn Phone Calls Into New Patients
ARE YOUR PHONE CALLS LEADING TO ACTUAL NEW PATIENTS?
Every aspect of your dental marketing from SEO to Facebook and Google Ads depends a lot on your dental front office training. The job of your dental marketing campaigns is to drive phone calls to your practice but unless your dental front office is highly trained to turn those calls into new appointments, you won’t feel the success of your dental marketing.
Every time a new patient calls your office, make sure your front office staff has all of the tools and dental front office training to convert those calls into actual patients.
For any dental practice, the training of your front office staff is the cornerstone of your practice’s success.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE PHONE RINGS AT YOUR FRONT OFFICE?
When you get calls from future patients to your front office, do you know how many of them convert to appointments? According to recent studies, the average dental practice can only convert 25% of new calls into appointments. If you still think it’s good to get 25 new patients from every 100 calls you need to think again. Look at it this way: Your dental marketing brought you all those 100 calls to your practice, so all the time, effort, budget, PPC ads and Facebook ads only lead to A 25% new patient conversion rate? That’s not going to help you build a thriving practice.
When your staff has the proper dental front office training, you can rest assured that your ROI will increase. When your front office is well-trained, you will know that everytime the phone rings, the chances are it will convert to an appointment without having to worry about conversions.
The good news is that you don’t have to invest your time training your staff. Instead you can hire a dental marketing company that can train your staff on how to convert patients.
DON’T SAY NO TO PATIENTS
As a busy dental practice, your staff is most likely juggling multiple tasks. It’s hard to know for sure why a patient called and why this call didn’t turn into an appointment each time. One of the most common mistakes that dental staff make is simply answering with “No” to patients’ questions on almost every call. When your dental front office staff get questions like, “What type of insurance do you accept” or “Can i book an appointment” at a certain time/date, they quickly respond with “No” and lose the appointment
Even though the answer to the questions might be “No” , there’s always a better way to address these questions and keep the patients on the phone. For example, if a patient asks if you accept their dental insurance, and your practice is not part of this network, don’t just say, “No” and hang up! Instead you can take a few minutes to discuss with the patient what sort of financing options you can offer them at your practice.
Another example is when a patient asks for an appointment on a specific date/time, and it isn’t available. Again, don’t just say, “no” and hang up. Discuss with the patient other alternative time slots that may work for them.
This best practice is all about showing empathy to the patient and making them feel heard and that you’re trying to do your best to help them.
DO EVERYTHING TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE ENDING THE CALL.
This is one of the simplest steps yet overlooked in many cases and iis extremely important to grow your practice since your staff is “selling” your practice and your value over the phone. They don’t need to sound pushy or memorize a sales pitch because that makes patients uncomfortable. Yet the right approach is to educate and explore options with the calling patients. Remember that you’re not the only dentist in that area and there are other dentists competing for the same patients so it’s your front office staff’s job to “Help” the patients with solutions to their problems and not abandon calls. They can do that with proper rapport building, kindness, and understanding, and that will surely help you win new patients and keep your schedule full. Remember that you spend a lot on your dental marketing and these incoming calls are expensive so don’t waste them.
DISCUSSING PRICING OVER THE PHONE IS NOT A GOOD IDEA
Obviously one of the downfalls of dental marketing is getting callers just looking for pricing since you can’t control who clicks on your ads and calls you. One of the main reasons to provide your staff with dental front office training is to educate them on how to avoid giving patients specific pricing over the phone for a treatment. When you get calls from patients looking for pricing they’re usually price-shoppers and will most likely not book an appointment even without knowing the value of what you offer and why it is priced that way. It is highly recommended to change the course of the call from pricing to value by explaining the value of the procedure and why it’s important to book an appointment so that the doctor can evaluate your case and offer you the best treatment plan.
One of the reasons we offer dental front office training is to avoid giving callers a specific price for a service. Those patients that call looking for a price tag are “price shoppers,” and they will decline your service before they really know what’s being offered. Free consultations are there to get around price shoppers for high-ticket treatments like dental implants, Invisalign, and more.
Below are some of the most common questions that patients ask on a call, and what your staff needs to do to answer them correctly and effectively
Frequently Asked Question #1 – “Do you accept dental insurance?”
More often than not, The patient calling your practice to find out if you accept their dental insurance is frustrated and worried about the cost of dental services, and just wants a straight answer.
The best way to help them is to make sure that they know that you’re on their side and build rapport with them.
In the case that you don’t accept their dental insurance, start driving the conversation back to the other financial options you offer such as discounted plans, 0% financing options through third party lenders, free consultations, and so on.
Dental insurance can often seem complicated to many patients. Trying to figure out what “in network” and “out of network” is confusing sometimes.
By taking a few minutes to help them understand that if you don’t take their dental insurance or are out of network, there are still great benefits to scheduling an appointment with your practice to earn their confidence.
Frequently Asked Question #2 – “Can I book an appointment on a specific date/time?”
Usually this type of callers are referred to as “schedule checkers”. These callers always start the conversation by asking what appointments are available on certain times/dates.
It is very unlikely that your practice can accommodate all these callers at all times. However, The best way to capture these patients is to actually go above and beyond to TRY to accommodate them. This means your front office staff has to be aware of what’s available in the schedule at all times. Making sure that patients feel comfortable and heard on the phone will greatly increase their trust in your practice and turn them into patients for life.
You invest a lot of time and money into trying different dental marketing strategies to see what works and what doesn’t for the sole reason of keeping the phone ringing and bring new patients to your practice. So if your dental front office training is not on point, you risk not only losing these hard-earned marketing dollars but also losing potential revenue by driving away these callers.
Take the time to train your staff and follow up on their training and phone ethics to make sure that they can work for you as “sellers” and convert your new patients calls into patients.
Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a professional dental marketing company like Zivvy with over 10 years of dental marketing experience to not only draft and implement a kick-ass dental marketing strategy that keeps your phone ringing but also helps your staff convert those calls and to maximize your marketing success and grow your practice.
Ready to take the next step to increase your incoming calls and provide proper dental front office training to your staff to convert more new patients on every phone call? Give us a call and we can help!