Create effective scheduling policies. When patients are late, cancel at the last minute, or miss their appointments entirely, it can lead to chaotic results -- frustrated patients, lost production, and a stressed-out team. Employ pleasant scripting that motivates patients to value their appointments. Let patients know that their appointment time has been reserved especially for them and that there are fees for missed appointments and late cancellations. You may waive this fee for a first infraction but the point is still made.
Don't let patients leave without scheduling their next appointment. Before patients leave the office, the front desk team should be trained to schedule their next appointment. You can help by reminding patients that if they schedule early, they are more likely to get their preferred time. Keeping patients on the schedule is the first step to ensuring they remain active in the practice.
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 www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.
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