Dos and don'ts for the front desk: Shift to cellphone communication

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Most dental practices rely heavily on their landline telephone systems. Consumers, on the other hand, are cutting that cord in their personal lives. Considering how important it is for practices to be able to communicate in a timely way with their patients, responding effectively to this change is imperative.


Make it a priority to get cellphone numbers for all patients. From the very first opportunity -- usually the initial call to the practice from prospective new patients -- and every one thereafter, request patients' cellphone numbers. Explain how important it is that you be able to reach them at certain times, wherever they may be. Point out that you will only call that number when absolutely necessary -- and never share it with anyone else.


Don't forget to confirm the number during every appointment. People change their cellphone numbers from time to time, just as with landline numbers, so script the front desk coordinator to confirm that the practice has the correct number, either at the beginning or end of the visit.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at

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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