Do's and don'ts for improving front desk operations

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

The front desk team is responsible for many of the practice's key business systems, including scheduling, collections, the new-patient experience, and customer service. Having updated, high-performance systems in place -- and training the front desk team on all those systems -- ensures a smoothly running practice.


Treat the phone as a lifeline. To make a good first impression, the front desk team should always answer the phone in three rings or less. That can be hard to do at times, due to the busyness of the office, but that should be the goal. If prospects call and the phone rings more than three times, there's a good chance they will hang up. Hopefully, they will call back, but they might not. Don't give them a second chance to have second thoughts about your practice.


Don't forget to devote time each week to contact inactive patients. Patients who miss just one appointment can easily become inactive. The scheduling coordinator, or another front desk team member, should review patient charts to see who is overdue for hygiene care. Patients who haven't been seen in more than six months should be contacted, preferably by text or email, to be rescheduled. Set aside time every week to review patient records for inactivity and then reach out to reschedule them. Otherwise, you risk losing patients.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm, and one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry. Dr. Levin has authored 65 books and more than 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. You can sign up for the Levin Group Tip of the Day.

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.

Page 1 of 515
Next Page