If you are not doing everything possible to give the patients visiting your dental practice a positive experience, you may be affecting your practice’s ability to grow. Building strong relationships with your patients means that your dental practice has to offer superior customer service, which requires office management efficiency. Superior customer service needs to start the moment a potential patient calls your dental practice. Weave’s phone system gives you information at your fingertips that helps you make the most out of every patient’s phone call. Learn more about Weave’s phones here.
1. Don’t keep your patients on hold
According to a survey published by PRWeb, nearly 60 percent of the consumers left on hold for as little as one minute, decide to hang up; which is one of the reasons office management efficiency is vital to your dental practice.
The survey asked consumers how long they were willing to remain on hold:
- Only 4.1 percent said they would wait as long as it took.
- 32.3 percent say that they are not willing to wait at all.
- 27.6 percent said 1 minute.
- 5.8 percent say 5 to 10 minutes.
- 30.2 percent stated 1 to 5 minutes.
2. Use the Sandwich Technique
A paper written by psychologists Kate Sweeny and Angela M. Legg entitled, “Do You Want the Good News or Bad News First?,” discusses the effects of using various methods to deliver information. One of these methods is the Sandwich Technique. According to the study, sandwiching bad news between good news is beneficial when the bad news is useful to the individual. The Sandwich Technique allows you to create and then sustain relationships with your dental practice patients. To ensure office management efficiency, all of your front office employees need to know how to use the Sandwiching Technique.
Sandwiching Technique for your dental practice
1. Start the conversation with a positive statement using a serene and friendly voice.
2. During your transition to discuss the negative information, use words similar to:
3. Be specific.
4. If an apology is necessary, do not hesitate to apologize.
5. Suggest ways to resolve the matter; for example, if the patient has an outstanding balance, set up a payment plan.
6. Close with an encouraging statement that helps renew the relationship between the dental practice and the patient.
7. If necessary, follow up with your patient a few days later.
3. The importance of putting a ‘smile’ in your voice
Although callers cannot visibly see you while you talk on the phone, they can visualize your attitude. When you talk with a patient at your dental practice face-to-face, your voice only accounts for 33 percent of your effectiveness; whereas, when you speak on the phone, your voice accounts for nearly 85 percent.
A smile is visible in your voice when you are on the phone because the soft palate at the back of our mouth lifts when we smile. This lifting increases the fluidity of the sound waves, which is why smiling while speaking helps us sound warm, friendly and receptive.
For years, call centers have been using computer-telephony integration (CTI), auto-dialers and voice over internet protocol (VoIP). As a dental professional, you can increase your office management efficiency by taking advantage of the latest communication technologies available for your dental practice through Weave.