Use scripting to encourage patients to take open appointments. For example, suppose you have time open at 3 p.m. today and you receive a call from a patient who wants to make an appointment. Try this script: "Mrs. Smith, I'm delighted you called. I think I have a very convenient option for you today. We just had a change of schedule, and I can fit you in at 3 o'clock. Will that work for you?" Of course, this doesn't work every time, but you will be surprised and delighted by how often it does work.
Don't forget to make patients feel like they are part of the "practice family." To make patients feel more welcome and comfortable at your office, substitute the word "we" for "I" in conversations with them. Also, give patients your full attention whenever you speak with them. These scripting techniques help create highly satisfied patients -- who will be more likely to keep their appointments, accept recommended treatment, and praise your practice to others.
Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit LevinGroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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