As you know I phone dental practices most days.

And what I find out there in my journeys, is that some dental practices get sold the most amazing things that work against the whole principle of trying to have more people book in and make appointments.

Here’s what happened today…

I phoned a dental practice, and the phone didn’t ring.

The call went straight to a message.

But it wasn’t a recorded message of a person speaking….

It was a computer generated voice message of a robot.

And so I was made to listen to this robot, until a human voice came in and interrupted the robot and told me [didn’t ask me]:

“Do you mind holding”.

And then sent me back to listening to the robot.

And I listened to the robot for a minute or more, telling me what a wonderful dental office this was, and what wonderful dentistry this office did, and how they had very helpful and friendly staff.

After ninety seconds I had to hang up…for my own sanity…


In fact, it was like listening to the robot from the TV series “Lost in Space”, except that that robot in the TV series was actually a human voice being made to sound like a robot.

Whereas at this dental practice, the robot voice was indeed a robotic computer generated voice trying not to sound like a robotic computer generated voice.

And doing a very bad job at it, by the way.

I don’t know who sold this dental practice this robot….

But I do know this:

When new patients phone a dental practice for the first time, they usually have a few questions that they would like a real person to answer for them, just so that they know that they’ve called the right dental practice, and that that practice is going to take good care of them.

I didn’t get that feeling at all when I phoned this dental practice.

In fact, nearly all existing patients of a dental practice would also prefer to speak to a real live human being when phoning their dentist.

I felt that this dental practice really didn’t give a shirt about what I might be phoning about, and what any other caller might be phoning about for that matter….

Callers to a dental practice….

People who phone a dental practice, either as existing patients, or as new patients, do so because they usually want to speak to a real person.

And the reason they want to speak to a real person is that they usually want some reassurance from the dental receptionist, that they have called the right practice, and that this dental practice is going to help the caller solve their dental issue.

And that sort of reassurance is impossible to gain from a computer generate robotic voice that spews out randomly generated messages that have very little relation to what the caller is phoning about….

And that’s because the computer is running on algorithms, and not running on requests, and answers, and emotion.

When someone phones your dental practice…

When someone phones your dental practice, all they are wanting is:

  • To talk to someone who is friendly
  • To have someone help them solve their problem
  • To be given hope that they have called the right place


And automated computer generated voice messages are a long way off the mark here, because they aren’t friendly, they don’t ask the right questions, and they don’t offer help, or hope.

The reason I know this…

The reason that I know this is because we listen to real live recordings of real live people calling real live receptionists in dental practices…. and we hear the frustrations of callers whose phone calls spend too much time in automation.

Your dental practice customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

And having a robot tell them “this practice has friendly staff”

Well there’s some real incongruity happening there…


Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business