5 Phone Tips to Nourish Client Relationships
The average dental office fields about 75 calls a day, half of which are incoming. Of those incoming calls, about 10 go to voicemail, and only 7 actually leave a message. This means that unless those other callers decide to call back another time, your practice likely lost a would-be patient to the next dentist on the list, or you’ve unintentionally deferred a reschedule or missed a cancellation: all three scenarios ending with an empty chair that could have been filled.
These are real numbers, pulled at an average from the offices of Weave customers. The entire communication system surrounding your office involves a phone and, look, we know it’s not easy. Missing a call doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the phone. Missing a call probably means you’re busy with a patient standing right in front of you, requiring your time and attention.
Your Phone is the Life Blood of Your Practice
If you aren’t familiar with the term “lifeblood”, you can find the definition here. In essence, it means something that lends vitality to something else. In terms of what keeps your dental practice going, your phones are the lifeblood of your practice. If you decided not to answer the phones, you would miss out on new patient calls, existing patients who need to schedule and patients who need to reschedule their appointment. This would translate into more empty chairs. This is probably not a surprise to you, but maybe the statistics above do. So if you are missing several inbound calls per day, what can be done to remedy the situation?
Introducing the Weave Customer Communication Software
Here are three phone tips that may help you hit the reset on the customer service front and save what could have been lost with those missed calls. These are all possible through Weave’s phone system for small businesses.
1. Set up missed call texts
Missed call texts let the patient know that you’re aware of the missed connection and that you intend to follow up.
2. Call your patients by name
A famous quote by Dale Carnegie says, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language”. Calling your patients by name is going to nurture the relationship that you have with that person.
Weave’s system makes this simple for the person answering the phone. Weave’s phone system ties into your practice management software and pops up a screen with pertinent information about that patient. This allows the person answering the phone to immediately call the person by name, and even gives them some other topics to address in the conversation. This is HUGE for relationship building.
3. Time your contact attempts
It’s usually best to call patients around lunch (12-1pm) or during their commute (5-6:30 pm) to be sensitive to their personal and family time.
Reminder Texts Can Build Client Relationships
Relationship building needs to resonate through every communication that comes from your practice. This includes the text messages that you are sending out about patient reminders. This is an area where a lot of practices are lacking because most reminder systems are not robust enough to allow this communication to be relationship building. This is not the case with Weave’s reminder system.
4. Utilize texts for before and after appointments
Send a text from the provider before and after an appointment, and try to personalize the message. Look into the patient’s notes before reaching out to identify specifics that would be helpful to know. The more interest you show in the patient, the more valued they’ll feel and, in turn, the more they’ll value your practice.
5. Personalize reminder texts
Reminder texts often scream automation and lack of personalization. While they are definitely helpful, they typically lack the relationship building that you want to communicate with patients. This is not the case with Weave. While most reminders and confirmation texts end with “respond C to confirm”, Weave has built-in smart texting capabilities that allow our system to recognize affirmative responses. This means that you can send out a reminder text that looks like this: “Hi Janessa, this is Jason from Canyon Crest Dental. I noticed that you have an appointment coming up on February 10 at 8 AM. Does that appointment still work for you?”. Weave’s system is smart enough to recognize affirmative responses, and with two-way texting, someone can easily respond, “Great! We are looking forward to seeing you!.
We are well aware that we did not touch on everything that can be done in-office to build client relationships. However, the things mentioned in this article are things that can be easily implemented with Weave’s customer communication software, and they will make a major difference in your practice! When a practice pays attention to the details, the love comes through and translates as value to your patients. This value is the catalyst in nourishing patient relationships, and soon those missed calls will be a breeze to navigate, and your chairs will be filled.