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How To Improve Customer Service Over the Phone in 3 Easy Steps

by | Dec 13, 2017 | Dental Practice Management, Patient Experience

Delivering an exceptional patient experience over the phone is a huge practice builder and can make all the difference in winning a patient for life, yet it can be challenging. If you work at the front office, you probably frequently find yourself juggling calls and attending to multiple patients at once. You want to give prompt attention to every caller, minimize hold times, and take care of every detail but it can be exhausting, especially during the peak times. There is a good possibility that you might even feel stressed by the third or the fourth call. Despite your desire to take great care of every patient, the interruptions can cause you to rush off the phone and forget to take care of something important.

So how can we balance multiple calls and patients without losing our minds? Here are three ways to do just that.

1. Know Your Patients.

There are very few things that make our patients feel valued as much as when we recognize them and address them by their names. A smart computer system connected to your phone, will let you know who is calling so that you could identify your existing patients and spare your team from awkwardly questioning: “Are you a patient here?” and “Can you spell your last name again?” Being able to identify your existing patient quickly allows you to serve your patients better and save time. More importantly, it creates a memorable experience for your patients. Afterall, who wouldn’t like to feel important?!

2. Stop Putting Patients on Hold.

Putting a patient on hold is necessary at times, but it immediately disrupts the patient experience. When you put your patients on hold, you essentially let them know that you are too busy for them. And this is never a good idea, especially if you want them to refer their friends and family to your practice.

Another thing to consider is that holds are a distraction. According to a recent study by Microsoft, people tend to lose concentration after eight seconds. Think about that next time you put a patient on hold! Not only will you lose the attention of the caller, but you will also get sidetracked yourself. With all of the responsibilities we have in the front office, it’s tough to give our undivided attention to every task. If someone walks in and you still have a patient on the line, it can be a difficult compromise to ensure that everyone receives excellent service.

3. Don’t Miss A Thing!

Time is money. In a recent article on customer service, Sandy Pardue, Senior Consultant and Lecturer at Classic Practice Resources says “Costly mistakes can happen in the first 10 seconds of a phone call to your practice.”

The quicker we catch unpaid balances and schedule upcoming prophies, the better the practice will function. There is no doubt that many of the patients who call your practice today are either due for a hygiene appointment or have a balance that needs to be collected.

If your practice is like most dental practices, your phones are ringing all day, and patients are coming in and going out. You do your best to keep up. It may be difficult to thoroughly check every caller’s record to make sure that everything has been addressed with every single caller. If only your software could remind you of everything that needs to be done, every time the phone rang!

The Good News!

If you are trying to deliver an awesome patient experience over the phone but find that you often struggle with some or all of the issues listed above, consider a new solution. We created our Phone Assistant to help you deliver the best experience to every patient. Your team members can take care of everything without missing a critical detail, provide every patient with a personalized, meaningful experience, and give your “hold” button a much-needed break!

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