Three Tips to Improve Call Conversions at Your Dental PracticeSeptember 15, 2016 by AACD Executive Office
By Alex Nottingham, J.D. M.B.A
Founder and CEO of All-Star Dental Academy
Many dentists ask us for advice on a very specific issue: marketing. We all know that a certain amount of effort and resources are required to get your practice in front of potential patients. But, how much investment is appropriate? It’s an important question, but we approach the problem from another direction – what happens when your marketing really works?
A recent study found that only 35% of calls into your practice actually convert to appointments. Other research shows that it’s even worse – only 20% of calls convert. Your marketing may be getting prospective new patients to call your office, but the vast majority of those patients will end up visiting some other practice. From a marketing perspective, that’s a tragic misuse of money.
There is hope. Here are three simple things your front office staff can do during an initial new patient call to improve your call-conversion percentage.
Patients enjoy being identified as unique individuals, and the easiest way to do that is to ask someone his or her name and then use it in conversation. Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” says “Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound.” It’s quite remarkable how simple it is to begin building rapport with a caller by using their name. And yet, research reflects that only 1% of front office team members ask for a name when taking a call. What an amazingly easy thing to change.
|It is well known to marketers that if you don’t “tell” people to buy your product, they never will. And that behavior translates to the dental practice. Now, we absolutely do not advocate that you manipulate or trick a caller into making an appointment by saying things like “We’ll figure out your insurance when you get here” when you know that you don’t take insurance. BUT, after finding that your practice can meet the needs of the patient, it is very important that your team actually asks the caller to make an appointment.|
Indeed, you may find that a polite but assertive “Let’s go ahead and get you scheduled,” is extremely effective. Don’t passively assume the caller will choose to make an appointment. Gently guide them in the direction that is best for them and for your practice.
These three suggestions seem simple, but as with all things, even remembering to ask for a patient’s name and using it in conversation typically doesn’t come naturally. Your front office team must train, and train consistently, in these skills and others in order to improve your conversion rate.
If you’d like to learn more, sign up for this powerful online training event: Dental Practice Excellence – 3 Steps to an All-Star Practice. This free webinar will explore the impact of customer service training on improving phone conversion, eliminating "no-shows," and reducing staff turnover. It will also look at the external forces that are shaping the business of dentistry, and how small improvements can lead to a big impact on your bottom line.
Click here to register for a time and date that works best for you.
Show up, put what you learn into action, and reduce the impact of broken appointments on your bottom line.
"Your front office team must train, and train consistently, in these skills and others in order to improve
your conversion rate."
An AACD Accredited Member and an All-Star student has this to say about practice management training with All-Star Dental Academy:
“One of the best investments you can make in your company is to have properly trained and highly skilled staff. All-Star provides training online 24/7. My staff trains during down time and after hours to be at their best without ever having to close the office and miss out on patient care, and my new employees get immediate access to quality training. My staff and All-Star Dental Academy do an amazing job!”
Your practice will unquestionably benefit from consistent phone conversion training. Get it going in your practice as soon as possible, and get the most out of every dollars spent on getting potential new patients to pick up the phone and call.