The New Patient Call Slip: Six Steps to Success
I work for a dental practice in a small community where we are one of six dental practices within a three-mile area, relying on word-of-mouth referrals and the location of our office to bring in new patients without outside advertising.
In order to facilitate calls from new patients, we have come up with a new patient call sheet that works for our needs.
- The first priority is to make note of the patient’s name and callback number in case we get disconnected. More importantly, it is good business to reference their name during the call, thus making it more of a conversation.
- Ask how they heard about the practice. If they mention they were referred by a current patient, we ask for that name, so we can thank them for the referral. It is important to establish a relationship with them over the phone. For instance, by letting them know that we are excited they have called our office and look forward to helping them with their dental needs.
- What type of appointment do they need?
- Are they having an emergency and need to see the dentist?
- Are they wanting to schedule a new patient cleaning appointment?
- We ask if they prefer a morning or afternoon appointment.
- Is there a certain day of the week that works best for their schedule?
- Do they have any current x-rays? When was the date of their last cleaning?
Once we get this information, then we can schedule the correct appointment.
- Get their demographics such as their address, email address, and insurance information. Do they have any concerns they would like to share with us?
- We like to explain what the appointment will entail and how long they will need to be in the office. We let them know we will send an email link to complete their paperwork before the appointment, along with an x-ray release that can be forwarded to their previous dentist.
- After we get the appointment scheduled and the needed information, we thank them for choosing us as their dental team and tell them that we look forward to meeting them. We also make sure they have our address and know how to find the office.
By having this information on a form, we get what we need from the patient and they know what to expect at their appointment.
All in all, being organized during the first phone call is the best word-of-mouth advertising. As the saying goes, “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
About the Author
Audrey Clements, MAADOM, is the Office Manager at Yulee Family Dentistry in NE Florida. She has been in the dental field for over 30 years, beginning her career as a dental assistant and gradually working her way up to the role of Office Manager.
Audrey is a lifetime member of AADOM, achieving Fellowship in 2019 and her Mastership in 2022. She is currently the Vice President of her local NE Florida AADOM Chapter.