A couple of weeks ago we touched briefly upon the thought that Customer Service begins at the point that your lead generation piece comes in contact with your prospective, or existing for that matter, patient who needs to organise an appointment time with your dental office.

This is a light bulb moment your team needs to realise.

Because from this moment onwards, your customer has made a decision already to do business with you and it is now up to your office to capitalise upon that decision and confirm to that customer that they have indeed made the correct decision.

How is this so?

You see, if your lead generation piece has done its job correctly, and I’m assuming at this point that it has, then its really up to your front office person to confirm and capitalise on that patient’s correct decision that your office is the best place around for her to receive the quality dental care that she sought out, and made the decision to receive…

Your customer has a dental issue. They believe your office can help them with that issue. That is why they have contacted your office. [Light bulb moment #2]

You see, in this day and age, with websites, Google places and Google maps, all of your new patient enquiries have already made an informed decision to be your patient based upon information gleaned from the web already as to what sort of dentist you are and what sort of dental office you have.

It is therefore the role or job of your telephone answerer, be that your appointment scheduler or your front office coordinator, it is indeed their primary role in your office to confirm the new customer’s decision, and go ahead and schedule and organise that appointment.

A well-trained phone answerer will know how to solve the dental problem of the telephone caller. Remember, they are not an enquiry. They are a person with a dental issue who believes that your office is the office for them. They have made a decision to do business with your office.

This is in contrast to the good old days of one line Yellow Pages entries and small shiny brass plates, when every new enquiry call was a call for information….

There is sufficient opportunity out there for all prospective patients to have made an informed decision to be treated at your office before they pick up the phone.

The primary role of the front office person is to ensure that all customers have scheduled an appointment, be they existing patients in treatment, or new enquiries. Period. Their role is to organise and own that appointment book.

You see, it is the front office person’s only role. The role is to own and be proud of the structure and compilation of the appointment book. A well-organised and complete appointment book. A productive appointment book.

If you don’t have a well-organised appointment book, then take a look at how your phone is being answered.

If you are happy with the way it is being answered, then, and only then, look at your marketing. Great marketing will create informed and educated enquiries.

No point in throwing money at marketing if your phone is not being answered correctly.

I know from experience, that great phone answering, across the board, is quite rare in dental offices. If you don’t believe me, then secret call your own office and record it. Or get one of your buddies to do it. You’ll be surprised.

One of the best ways to improve phone call conversions is to incentivize your phone answerer on results of appointments made, and kept.

Because sometimes your staff will think, well “I get paid the same money whether I answer the phone well or not/whether they make an appointment or not”.

Remember, new patients are the lifeblood of your business. Incentivise your staff to make more enquiry conversions into confirmed appointments, and watch your dental office grow!!


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