The most important interaction in a patient’s entire relationship with an orthodontic practice is the first phone call. However for busy front desk team members a ringing phone is often viewed an interruption or, even worse, an annoyance. While this type of thinking is understandable in the hustle and bustle of a busy orthodontic office, every phone call must be viewed as a potential opportunity to wow a new patient. And it’s important to keep in mind that this opportunity cannot be relegated to a few quick minutes in between tasks. It must be given focus and an effective process in order to project the image of a practice that the patient wants to make their new orthodontic home.
When the phone rings…
Every time the phone rings, the front desk staff should be prepared to share how special the practice is. Explain to your staff that today’s parents and patients are no longer willing to simply come to an office, accept treatment, and pay fees. Shaped by the in-store and online retail world, they will question the value of your practice more than ever before.
Providing an extremely positive image in the first phone call is the beginning of overcoming any fear and objections, and avoiding losing a patient to a less expensive office. I typically recommend that the new patient call includes at least three branding messages in order to shape the practice image in the mind of the patient. Consider the following three scripted branding messages for your new patient calls:
Scripted Branding Message #1: “Welcome to our office.”
“Mrs Jones, we are delighted that you called our office. We love meeting new patients and will do everything possible to ensure that you and your daughter have an outstanding orthodontic experience. Mrs Jones, who may we thank for referring you? We are always appreciative when one of our patients or families refers another patient and we like to go out of our way to thank them. Let me tell you a little bit about our practice. Dr Smith has been in practice for 15 years, treating children and adults from all over the community. Although we have a very busy practice, we strive to give you convenient appointments if at all possible. We want to make orthodontic care as easy and fun as possible for you and your daughter Sally.”
Scripted Branding Message #2: “Our office is fun.”
“We want to make orthodontics easy and fun for your daughter. We have a membership program with rewards for patients who follow through with all home care instructions. We all want your daughter to have the finest result and this is how we make it fun and incentivize patients to do their part so that the end result is fantastic.”
Scripted Branding Message #3: “We provide orthodontics for adults.”
“We treat many adults in our practice. We try to provide convenient appointments so that you don’t have to miss work and we will work with you to select the best treatment option that gives you the best cosmetic result.”
Today’s patients want to be taken care of at the highest level and in the most convenient possible manner. Use these three branding messages to help shape the image of your orthodontic practice and get the practice-patient relationship off to a great start. OP
Roger P. Levin, DDS is a third-generation general dentist and the founder and CEO of Levin Group Inc, a dental management consulting firm that has worked with over 26,000 dentists. Levin, an internationally-known dental practice management speaker, has written 65 books and over 4,300 articles. He is also the executive founder of Dental Business Study Clubs – Dentistry’s only All-Business Study Clubs, the next generation of dental business education.