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– Where it is answered really does matter
Where do you answer the telephone in your Dental Practice?
Have you ever considered the location of where you answer the telephone to a new patient in your Dental Practice?

With each new enquiry potentially worth £3000 plus, where the phone is answered, really does matter.

Here is a short story that makes this point. Read on, because it could make the difference to whether a patient comes into your Practice, or the one down the road.

Last week, I was walking around Tesco’s getting my lunch for work. I noticed a guy pushing a trolley down one of the aisles, doing his shopping, he was also looking after his two children, who were both under the age of 6. If that was not enough, he was engrossed in a business conversation. This business call was going on for several minutes. I knew that it lasted this long, as I was following him for a short while (incredibly sad I know). The guy was discussing a car hire with a prospective client on the other end of the call. Now I did not find out the final result of that call, but what I do know is that Tesco’s was probably not the best environment to be speaking with a potential new client. There were so many distractions. Think about it, the distractions of the young children, the staff talking on the tannoy in the background, the background noise from other shoppers in the store and so on.

However, who can agree that this scenario is repeated in many dental practices by the receptionists? Answering the telephone at the desk is similar to the Tesco scenario with lots of background noise, patients standing in front waiting to be seen to, other phones ringing and so on.

We can all agree that both environments are not the best places to answer the telephone to new patient enquiries.

One of the things that I stress to clients who take part in my 1-day reception course is the importance of having a highly skilled receptionist answering the phone to a new patient away from the reception desk. There are several benefits of doing this, here are just three;

  1. You allow yourself more time to speak to the patient on the phone.
  2. There are no distractions, no background noises
  3. You will be fully invested in the patient, which will allow you to listen attentively and assist with their enquiry and build a relationship with the new patient.

With every new patient enquiry potentially worth on average £3000 to the practice, it really does make sense to answer your phones away from the desk. When my clients have undertaken this new strategy they all report back an increase in the number of new patients.

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