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SmartBox is hearing from dentists all over the country that they're slammed with patients. But that "gold rush" isn't going to last forever. At some point, dentists will find themselves without the number or quality of new patients they need.

When this “rush” comes to an end, you’ll likely want to know why. That dip in New Patient Opportunities (NPOs) or drop in your regular patient base will have nothing to do with your skills as a dentist or your exceptional chairside manner. When you hit that dip, it’s time to look at your marketing efforts and investigate your front office's phone answering and appointing rates.

Facts are facts. 

While estimates vary from one researcher to the next, it’s safe to say that between 60-90% of new patients will visit your website before deciding to call— or not call at all. We live in an information-driven age, after all, so you can bet potential patients are scoping you out while you busily attend to those who have walked in the door.

This leads us to the current state of your online presence... 

If your website is out of date, doesn’t address pain management, lacks good reviews (or has bad ones because of a negative experience with your staff), or it’s not utilizing simple automation like an appointment scheduling button, you’re setting yourself up for dwindling success. 

First impressions are just as important online as they are in person. 

Stop wasting time and get your website in shape, offer pain management solutions up front, and start building those positive reviews— incentivize your current patient base, if your state allows, with cleaning coupons if you need to. Also, make it easy to get in touch with your office. The important point we’re trying to make is that your website should be as great as you!      

While that website is getting a makeover, let’s visit that team of yours.

When was the last time your front-end team had formal training in effective phone answering and appointing? How about a refresher? If you can’t recall, then it’s time to take action. 

It’s crucial in the health-care environment to provide patients with impeccable customer service. If phones ring with no answer, that gives a bad impression. If someone does pick up but isn’t friendly, isn’t knowledgeable, lacks compassion for the patient's concerns, that gives a bad impression. Like compounded interest, these seemingly small events add up— and not in your favor.

You certainly don’t want to accuse your team of doing a bad job. Where’s the motivation in that approach? Instead, try working with them to set appointing goals for the month. Develop a reward system to inspire friendly competition. Create a phone script they can work from to instill confidence and ownership. 

There are so many ways to get your team excited to make a positive first impression.

It’s never too late to turn things around.    

We’ve talked about making changes that will knock your website out of the park and ideas to make that front-end team perform like a well-oiled machine. Are you ready to dial it up with new marketing and team improvements? Still on the fence? 

Keep in mind that while you’re providing outstanding dental care, those other parts of the practice aren’t working and are bringing you down. Don’t let a bad website or poor customer service resulting from poorly trained staff be your legacy. 


Written by Smartbox

SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.

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