Tips for More Effective Dental Recalls
Reminding your patients to come in for their bi-annual check-up is a
very important task for all dental offices. Not only does it help your practice to maximize revenues, but it also helps patients to stay current on their dental care and maintain good oral health.
Having worked with hundreds of dental offices and helped them to
find effective ways of scheduling overdue hygiene patients, I have
discovered many techniques to make dental recalls more effective. Here are a few tips from my experience on how you can improve the quality of your office's dental recalls.
Create urgency - During your dental recalls you need to provide your
patients with motivation to come in for their check-ups beyond the benefits of healthy teeth. This motivation could be the fact that there are limited appointment times available or that you are providing a limited time discount on cleanings.
Another great motivating factor you might use while making your
dental recalls is if the patient has a limited amount of time to use their remaining health benefits. Whatever the reason might me,
creating urgency for your appointment times will significantly help increase the effectiveness of your recalls.
Don't leave all of the responsibility with the patient to call you backWhether or not an appointment time is made during your initial
dental recall system phone call, be sure to set a time to follow-up with your patients. For example, if the patient says they need to
check their calendar and get back to you, your response could be something like this: "OK, that sounds great. How about if I don't hear from you by Thursday I'll call you and see what dates you have found that work best."
In the case that you do schedule an appointment during your initial
phone call you could finish the call by saying "Ok, so we have you scheduled for next Friday at 2pm. Is it OK if I call you next
Thursday to remind you of your appointment?" You should adjust your dental recalls to the needs of each patient but the important point is to always maintain the responsibility to follow-up with your patient.
Call your patients when it is convenient for them- Your patients have
busy lives. Most of your patients are not going to be at home to answer your calls during the day. Finding a way to perform you dental recalls and contact them in the evening hours when they are home and
finished with their tasks for the day will help you to be able to speak directly with them rather than leaving a message.
If you don't have the ability in your office to have someone call in the
evening hours, using a third-party system like Weave Communications can be extremely beneficial. These third-party systems specialize in dental recall.
Provide them with open appointment times- During your dental recall, be sure to provide your patients with available appointment times
when you call them. A good strategy is to provide them with a few choices and ask them which one works best for them.
Simply asking them when they would like to come in is too broad and can be uncomfortable for the patients because they don't know
which spaces are open. By giving choices they can easily check their schedule and see if those times provided work, or ask for additional available times.