Cancellations usually are not a problem this time of the year, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking forward to the rest of the year when we know our patients’ dedication to their oral health can begin to falter.
Overcome cancellations with these 5 tips:
1. Place a huge emphasis on the VALUE of the treatment. When our patients understand the value of the care they’re receiving, they look forward to their upcoming visit and schedule before they leave the office.
2. Use a patient reminder system. Automated systems, like RevenueWell or SolutionReach, allow your practice to communicate on your patients’ preferred platforms. Phone, message, text or e-mail are all options. Every patient has a preference of how they choose to be communicated with. Sharing reminders in advance allows the patient to alter their schedule prior to their appointment time.
3. Set the standard with the words you use! Let the patient know that the doctor has “reserved time especially for them.” In fact, let’s remove cancellation from our vocabulary. If we don’t use cancellation, our patients won’t either. Take it a step further and remove, “on the books”, “on the schedule” or “in the system.” Instead, focus on creating personal relationships to earn their trust and respect.
4. Show concern and compassion. “I know this appointment was very important to you. What can I do to assist you in making your appointment today?” Sometimes moving the appointment slightly will allow the patient to accommodate the reason they are not able to attend.
5. Frame policy as a benefit. Share with your patient that by rescheduling appointments 24 hours in advance, you are able to offer another appointment time that fits their schedule. Reinforce the policy by thanking them for allowing you to accommodate their unique scheduling needs.