Do's and don'ts for answering patient calls: Use the phone to your advantage

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

The telephone is your practice's main connection for bringing in new patients. Your front desk coordinator must always use answering the phone as an opportunity to welcome new callers enthusiastically, build value for the practice, gather information, and schedule an appointment.


Make the first phone call count. The new patient call is an essential marketing opportunity. In fact, if the callers are checking out different practices, it may well be the only such opportunity. With excellent scripting that not only welcomes callers warmly and builds value but also gets them scheduled, this first impression will set the stage for a successful relationship.


Don't forget to answer phone calls promptly. Allowing patients to wait on the phone creates an immediate impression of the practice -- a bad one. Calls that aren't answered quickly suggest a poorly run organization and a lack of interest in serving patients. You never know when a new patient will call. Consequently, the phone must always be answered on the first or second ring. Even when practices and front desk areas are extremely busy, the new patient must be given a positive first impression.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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