Our good friend Fred Joyal, co-founder of 1-800-DENTIST and one of the marketing geniuses behind Patient Activator, recently told us that amazingly forty percent of telephone calls placed to dental practices during normal business hours go unanswered.
Being the skeptics that we are, we immediately got on the phone and started randomly calling practices. Well “Guess” what? He was right!
During normal business hours either no one answered or we got an answering machine. The typical messages?
“If you are hearing this message during normal hours it means that we are busy treating other patients blah, blah, blah…..”
Let’s run that one through the patient translator and see what it says. Okay – here it is:
“Gee, this practice is way too busy to see me; guess I’ll call someone else!”
Here’s another common one:
“We are currently at lunch and will return at 1:30 PM.”
Different message, same patient reaction.
How many times have we heard the old adage that our dental practice is a business? And what business would not have their phones answered during normal business hours, particularly during the lunch hour when working people have time to make personal calls? It just doesn’t make sense.
So whether it means forwarding the office line to a cell phone if everyone vacates the office during lunch, paying someone to “babysit” the office on a day that you are closed, or hiring an extra team member if you seem to constantly be short-handed, do whatever it takes to make sure the phone is answered!
This one tip should increase both your new patients numbers and your production significantly, and will be worth every penny it takes to pay for the extra team coverage times ten! Oh – that is unless whoever is answering the phone is not properly trained in how to do so. But that’s a topic for a different day!
And, since we are on this subject, we need to give you a huge apology. Even though we try extremely hard to practice what we preach, every once in a while we have a slip up at The Madow Brothers office as well – as in yesterday!
Our special pre-announcement of the brand new “Love Dentistry In A Box” caused quite a stir, and there were times during the day when people got busy signals or put on hold for longer than we ever care to do. If you were caught in that situation, you have our sincere apology.
The good news is – the announcement we put up yesterday must have been a good one, because we were seriously slammed all day! The even better news is, if you didn’t get through or maybe even missed the announcement, it’s not too late! Check it out again by clicking here.
And then give us a call at 1-888-88-MADOW. We promise to answer the phone right away today and not put you on hold!!