Does your dental practice sometimes have people phone hoping to come in using an “Offer” that may have expired?

An “old” offer that your practice had out there in the marketplace as an enticement for new patients to come and see your dentist and become patients of your practice?

Has that ever happened?

Have you received a new patient enquiry where the caller wants to redeem an offer that has since passed, or expired?

It may be an offer that the caller saw, but has failed to take action on before the “end date”?

Or it may actually be an offer that has expired that for some reason or other is still running “live” on social media channels, because someone hasn’t realised that the advert needed to be taken down.

What does your office do in this situation?

It is awkward….

It’s like a “Did someone say KFC?” type of moment.

I’ve seen some interesting responses in this type of situation.

Some of those responses are really quite illogical.

  1. That offer is no longer valid!

This first response from your office is more like a “How dare you ask!” sort of retort… kind of like “You know that this has expired. You should have come in earlier!”

This sort of response belittles a new patient calling before they have even met the dentist and is a behaviour that has no logical explanation, except that the person uttering these words could be some frustrated teachers college dropout who likes to boss people around.

There’s a fair chance that a caller hearing this response won’t turn up for any appointment they might make, and there’s also a good chance they will be so upset at how they were spoken to that they won’t even bother to phone and cancel…

And there’s a good chance they’ll tell a few friends about what was said to them…

And you could hardly blame them.

2- “I’ll just have to check whether we will still honour that offer…. You are aware that it has expired

This line is a very close second to the first line [used above] when we look at them side by side on the insult-ranking scale.

Again, the use of this line and it’s tone, reeks of unjustified arrogance.

“How dare you even ask?”

The use of the words “still honour”  imply that the offer is a PRIVILEGE and that the caller needs to beg for the offer in the way that the accused at the colosseum used to beg for forgiveness from the Roman Emperor.

3- “That offer has expired…. But I’ll let you use it this one time.

Again, how privileged is the caller meant to feel about being allowed this one act of grace?

When should the caller bend down and kiss the receptionist’s foot?

It really is another unnecessary powerplay that should never be uttered.

4- “That will be fine. I’m glad you’ve called us, and that you have this offer…

This should be the first and only response each and every time that a caller asks for an expired “New Patient Offer”.

After all, what is the New Patient Offer all about?

Why has our practice advertised a New Patient Offer in the first place?

Why has our practice advertised a New Patient Offer in the first place?

Question: Why has our practice advertised a New Patient Offer?

Answer:  Because our practice wants more new patients.

Question: How many new patients does our practice want?

Answer:  [Probably] As many as they can get.

Every dentist worth his salt will know the Average New Patient Dollar Value in their practice.

And every dentist worth his salt will also know the cost of acquisition of a New Patient depending on which marketing medium has been used.

And so when we know that the New Patient acquired is worth considerably more than the cost of acquiring that new patient, then it makes sense that continuing the acquisition processes that are working is indeed a very logical thing to do.

Scolding a caller, or speaking to a caller with a “higher than thou” attitude is just so, so wrong.

And that’s why you need to have your phone calls recorded.

This sort of thing goes on all the time and goes on undetected most of the time, because dentists don’t believe that it would ever happen on their phones…

Well guess what?

No matter how well you think your phones are being answered, or how poorly you think your phones are being answered….

It’s always worse.


The aim of every incoming phone call:

The aim of every incoming phone call is to solve the caller’s problem, and to have that caller hang up feeling so happy that they have called our office, feeling so pleased they have spoken to our wonderfully helpful receptionist, and that they are so looking forward to their appointment.

So much so, that they hope our receptionist will phone them and bring their appointment forwards if the opportunity arises.

This should be the goal of every new patient enquiry phone call.

Nothing less should be acceptable.


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