Your dental practice receives dozens of calls every day. The amount of work in most dental clinics is considerable, which is why some calls may go unanswered. Think about what these unanswered calls mean for your practice. Each of them represents a lost client, income, or relationship. Although you don’t want to ignore these calls, there are more essential things you could be doing other than picking up the phone every time it rings.
Remember, the calls you miss might be the reason you fail to achieve your goals. Finding an employee with both dental and customer service knowledge, on the other hand, is not easy. You will need to outsource people to answer phone calls. It is for this reason that you need to use an answering service for your dental office.
What makes it Necessary to use a Call Answering Service for Your Dental Office?
As an oral surgeon or dentist, you play a critical role in the well-being of society. Some of the services you provide that make a difference in the community include:
- Teeth cleaning and whitening
- Dental cavities treatment
- Root canal treatment
Oral surgeons offer advanced dental treatment options like:
- Oral pathology
- Performing dental implant surgery
- Handling TMJ disorders through corrective jaw surgery
- Repairing facial injuries and trauma
Whether you are an oral surgeon or general dentist, most of your day will be spent performing treatment services. Sometimes you will be faced even with dental emergencies like a fractured tooth, which require immediate attention. With these considerable amounts of tasks to perform, it becomes difficult to spare your time to answer phone calls. It is impossible to balance between answering calls and providing dental services. It is the reason that you should use an answering service for your dental office.
Even if you are busy performing various dental procedures, you shouldn’t lose touch with your patients. You cannot afford to ignore their calls because you are held up. Your existing and prospective patients need to feel secure every time they call with an emergency, knowing someone will be available to take care of their needs. Call agents will handle all your customer care needs while focusing on what you do best, giving your patients flawless and healthy smiles.
Why you should use an Answering Service for Your Dental Practice
Multiple reasons exist why you should use a call answering service. Some of these reasons include:
1. Ensures Proper Appointment Scheduling
Imagine walking into your dental office and find more than five patients outside your door. Before you step into your office and begin seeing the patients, several of them will have left. For this reason, you need to arrange your calendar so that you keep patients satisfied and manage your time correctly.
With an answering service, patients will not come to see you at the same time. Instead, when they call to book appointments, friendly virtual receptionists will pick up the calls and schedule appointments correctly so that you don’t have several patients outside your door at the same time. The advantage of a phone answering service is that patients can book appointments at any time on your website, social media pages, or over the phone.
Whenever these appointments are booked, they are updated on your appointment calendar such that you receive live updates on your phone or computer. That way, you can plan your day better. A live operator will distribute appointments accordingly throughout the day such that you are not overwhelmed and, at the same time, ensure no billable hours go to waste. That way, you can maximize your time and keep your patients happy.
2. Access to After-Hour and Dental Emergency Care
As a dentist, you already know dental emergencies can occur at any time, and you need to be available to help the patient. However, what happens when a patient experiences a dental emergency like a fractured tooth? Will they wait for hours in the emergency room, or do they reach out to your competitor for emergency dental services? Your receptionists are only available during working hours, which means a patient who calls your office after his time might not get the help they need.
However, with an answering service providing after-hour services, you patients, even those that call in the middle of the night, will have someone to talk to. Remember, the current medical industry is flooded with dental offices. Hence patients have a pool of oral surgeons and general dentists. Virtual receptionists will ensure you don’t worry about handling patient calls after-hours.
The call agents will use a custom script to respond to callers, and if someone needs emergency care, the call will be dispatched to you or any of your dentists.
3. Call Screening for Real Dental Emergencies
What happens when an emergency call interrupts your sleep in the middle of the night only to learn later that the ‘emergency’ was not an actual emergency? You are likely to feel aggravated because of the time you have lost. However, you can’t ignore all emergency calls because some might be genuine, and failing to answer the call will be failing your patient at the hour of need.
They will field your calls with trained medical operators and screen them only to dispatch emergency calls that cannot wait until morning hours to your personal phone number. Also, you can come up with a protocol for handling emergency calls. That way, the operators will know what emergency calls to forward to you or other employees.
4. When your Dental Patients call, they will get a Prompt Response
The majority of your staff are dental technicians who assist you with in-office patients. When you are busy with a patient, these technicians will be helping with prepping patients and other tasks, you may request them to perform. If there is an incoming call from a patient when your staff is busy giving patients healthy and beautiful smiles, it is likely to go unanswered.
Every call you get from a patient is business leads. Missing calls means lost business opportunities. The phone calls you miss every day could be why you have been unable to meet your profit targets or expand the dental office. While your employees are busy helping clients with their oral needs, call agents will be handling overflow calls. No client will be sent to voicemail, which means you attract new patients and retain the existing ones.
5. Your Team of Dental Experts will Focus on the Main Objective, which is the Treatment of Oral Conditions, thus Increasing Productivity.
What is the outcome of retaining the services of a highly efficient and reputable answering service? You will witness an increase in the productivity levels of employees.
Dentists, oral surgeons, and other dentistry specialists spend many years undergoing the necessary training to acquire knowledge and skills for their specialty. If you are a surgeon running a dental office, you want to focus on performing various oral surgeries and not answering calls. The same applies to dental technicians, hygienists, and general dentists. They want to concentrate on what they do best.
You might be afraid that outsourcing virtual receptionists won’t be a great idea because they might not be familiar with dentistry. However, letting your employees with dentistry knowledge respond to the calls will limit their productivity. You didn’t hire them to pick calls.
Trusting a professional dental answering service to respond to phone calls will free up your employees to focus on what they love, giving oral problems solutions. You and your staff will pay more attention to patients and their needs because there are no phone interruptions. Happy and satisfied employees will increase productivity and customer satisfaction, which are the key elements you need to move to the next level.
6. Bilingual Call Agents will Ensure Patients who don’t Speak or Understand English Receive the Best Customer Service without a Language Barrier.
Some of the people who will call your dental office don’t speak or understand English. So, it will be crucial to have bilingual virtual receptionists. Even if the caller is a Spanish speaker, they will find a bilingual operator available to answer their calls. The operators will seamlessly link these patients to your business, and part of your patients will be the Spanish population.
Having bilingual receptionists who can speak the first language of a caller is an indication that your dental office values their health and business. They will feel more comfortable calling your office whenever they experience oral issues. They will also recommend your practice to their friends, family, co-workers, and relatives, thus growing your customer base and reputation. Use a bilingual answering service so that language doesn’t become a barrier for your dental office.
7. You Create a Good First Impression Among your New Oral Patients
Nowadays, you will find dental offices or experts everywhere. Each of them claims to be the best in the industry, making it challenging to choose the right practice. Many dental patients will judge a dental office based on the first interaction with the practice, often over the phone. If their call goes straight to voicemail or rings without any response, they will likely proceed to the next dental office on their list.
With an answering service for dental offices, you can rest assured that your callers will have a great first impression. Virtual receptionists will answer all calls professionally and politely, making the patient feel comfortable, which everyone wants when they visit a dentist.
The pain and discomfort associated with many dental procedures make people afraid or anxious about dental appointments. So, if an already nervous patient calls your office and no one picks the phone, or it’s not answered politely, your first impression will make them afraid of visiting your office. However, with a personable and professional virtual receptionist, you will create the image you need for these people to trust your business.
8. You Dental Patients Feel Safe Knowing they have Someone to Always Talk to when they have a Dental issue or Inquiry
When patients make phone calls to dental offices, they are booking appointments, making inquiries, or having emergencies. If a patient has a question or wants to schedule an appointment, the last thing they want is to be sent directly to voicemail. They want to talk to someone right away.
A patient calling to inquire about particular symptoms they are experiencing will need to speak to someone. Still, they will want to talk to someone with knowledge about various oral conditions, symptoms, and remedies. That way, at the end of the phone call, the patient will have received the kind of help they need.
An answering service will give your patients what they want because you will be working with receptionists that understand dentistry.
Luckily, live call agents will be available around the clock to answer every incoming call. Your patients will have polite receptionists to talk to, which means they will be getting what they want. When a patient is calling with an emergency, a live operator will be there to screen the call and forward it to your private number or an employee, thus responding to the dental emergency.
9. New Dental Patients that Call your Dental Office will want to Visit after the Phone Call
You cannot give a patient a perfect and healthy smile if they have not walked through your door. If patients call and are told to leave a message, you will never see them in your dental office. Utilizing an answering service will link up your dental clinic to patients with oral issues. Callers will talk to friendly and professional live operators enabling you to focus all your time and energy on providing the best oral care.
Should you use an Dental Answering Service?
Growing and directing a dental office involves so much hassle. You have to balance between in-office patients and the ever ringing phone. Failure to balance the two means you will be losing business to your competitors.
Managing the challenges that come with running a dental office and remaining competitive in the market will require an answering service. The operators will handle your customer needs allowing you and your staff to focus on providing dental solutions.