How long has it been since you considered the holistic approach that takes a new patient on a journey from the very first phone call to case acceptance? You must connect the emotional dots that build relationships as the patient interacts with each new team member.
From New Patient Phone Call to Case Acceptance
It all starts with your business associate or whoever answers the phones/handles scheduling.
They must use their interpersonal communication skills to warm the patient up to the main point: Your dental practice is intent on caring for them.
That simple concept is difficult to drive home if the business associate is rushing, distracted, or forgets to emphasize your practice’s commitment to care.
Of course, their main priority should be scheduling the patient and getting them into the practice as soon as possible (within a week is ideal). They must create a call summary that can be given to other dental team members like the doctor and hygienists. They should also figure out what the patient’s main goal is for visiting the practice.
Continuity should be the key priority in this situation, especially as the patient’s first relationship to the practice is then handed off to others. This is where the morning huddle becomes integral. The team should discuss new patients on the schedule, specifically how they can work together to support a successful and smooth appointment.
The clinical visit or hygiene appointment will begin with the hygienist getting to know the patient. Of course, the hygienist should always keep a sense of ‘taking care’ of the patient at front of mind.
The hygienist should re-emphasize the relationship that was initially fostered with the business associate. Namely, what does the patient want to get out of the appointment and what are they most concerned about?
This info will later be handed over to the dentist, who can use it to encourage case acceptance and discuss treatment.
How does your practice handle new patient phone calls?