An effective marketing campaign will get your phone to ring, but what if your team is consistently missing calls or worse, not calling back promptly? In an era when patience is thin and choices are abundant, you must think strategically about how to handle missed calls in your dental practice.
Even a well-trained team can miss an incoming phone call on a busy day; what matters is how it is handled. These days, many people do not leave messages when they get voicemail. If you don’t have a way to track and return missed phone calls, you could be losing major revenue. Here are three quick steps to turning missed phone calls into opportunities.
Keep Track of Your Calls
Whether you use a call-tracking service or rely on caller ID, impress on your team the need to check for missed calls and return them as promptly as possible. It creates a far better patient experience.
Developing Good Phone Etiquette
Train your team to handle conversations with compassion and confidence. Whether the call is from an existing patient or a prospective one, a timely response and a warm phone presence can make the difference between an appointment and a missed opportunity. If your front desk team could use help with phone etiquette, our dental consulting team offers expert phone training.
Check for Patterns
If you are diligent about tracking and returning missed phone calls, you will learn to see a pattern in the times calls are routinely missed. Is it lunch time or just as the office is about to close? Staggering lunch breaks and assigning phone duty at specific times can correct this problem.
Create a Plan for After-Hours Calls
If someone calls at night or on a weekend and gets no answer, they may go elsewhere. If you have the capacity to handle emergencies but lack a phone protocol, create a rotating team schedule to retrieve phone messages after-hours.
You can also create a separate phone line for last-minute appointment changes, questions, or non-life-threatening emergencies. Alternate after-hours duty among team members or consider hiring an answering service to handle off-hour phone calls.
Our dental consultant service can help you create a strategy to minimize missed phone calls and handle call-backs effectively. Contact our dental consultant, Theresa Narantic, for more information on practice management and team training.