This is a topic that comes to me often and I thought I would share a few thoughts with you. Every once and a while I step back and listen to what my team members say to patients and I am amazed, here are a few of my favorites:
- Ummm our doctor doesn’t do extractions
- We are too busy to see you today
- Sure, no problem (that you can’t make it) let me rebook you tomorrow, we have 10am, does that work for you?
- I don’t know, can you hold on?
- We are not very busy today, you can come in anytime
What kind of confidence are you instilling in your practice if your team is giving information with that delivery? Often I find that team members don’t feel valued because they are “just a receptionist” or “just an assistant” but the reality is, in a dental practice, team members are the key to success. It is important to remind all team members how key and vital their role is in your practice. It’s also helpful as a team member to support your coworkers and remind them of how awesome they are! Here are some alternatives to the statements above:
- We can book you in for our doctor to do an assessment, IF you are in need of an extraction after the doctor diagnoses, we MAY need to refer you to a specialist to receive optimal care.
- We are sorry to heat that you are experiencing an emergency, is this something that can wait until tomorrow? If not, I will check with our team and see what the best time to see you today will be.
- Oh Mrs. Jones, we are sorry to hear you are caught up at work. We do have 1 hour reserved for you with Dr. Smith, she was expecting you, is there any way you can make this time? If patient says no- That’s too bad, Dr. Smith is booking 6 weeks in advance. I will get you scheduled and we can place you on a short notice list to try to get you in sooner if we have any changes in her schedule. Does this work for you?
- That’s a great question Mrs. Jones. Can you hold a moment? I am going to refer to your chart.
- We happen to have had a change in our schedule today and would be happy to see you at 4:00pm. Would that work for you?
The goal is create an environment where patients feel confidence in your team and doctor(s). If they can short notice cancel and rebook for the next day, patients will not value your services. I know we ALWAYS want to fill our schedule, however if we train our patients that they can get in whenever it is convenient they will keep repeating this behavior. Choose your words carefully and you will have amazing success.
Have an AMAZING weekend everyone,