One big part of working the front desk is to fill the schedule. Let me be a little more specific.
I am always looking ahead at our schedule to get a feel for how busy it is a month out or so. The schedule changes on an hourly basis, but keeping my eye on the future is something I do every single day. There are plenty of things you can do to attract patients each quarter of the year-but all of that is for another blog.
Today I want to point out a crucial piece of information that is key to increased production. It’s a personal philosophy that I’ve imparted on those around here. It’s helped to turn us into a million dollar practice.
It’s pretty simple really. Let’s say that today is Monday. Any patients who call today should be offered a dental reservation for today-or tomorrow at the latest. In previous blogs, I’ve pointed out that dental offices are not selling dental procedures, we are selling CHAIR time. Any unused chair time in a day means money out the window for your practice. When a potential patient calls, get them in as soon as possible. The sooner you can get them in, the better. So back to my Monday example. On Monday, all I really care about is getting people in on Monday or scheduled for Tuesday. On Tuesday, all I care about is adding any additional patients in for Tuesday and filling up Wednesday’s schedule as much as possible. If everyday I focus on today and tomorrow, the schedule will always be hearty. Not only that, but you all know how obsessed I am with reducing no show appointments. The sooner you get them in, the less likely they are to no show!
How do I get patients in?
1. Answer calls-The easiest way is to offer them today or tomorrow when the phone rings.
2. Make calls-It’s JUST as important to MAKE calls out to patients. A lot of offices don’t do this part. Run a report of overdue recalls and start calling patients to let them know that you miss them and that they are overdue to come in. Run a report of incomplete treatment and let those patients know they still have treatment that needs to be completed.
I spoke to an office recently who told me that this must be a “slow time of the year” because his schedule was light. I asked him what his office was doing to fill the schedule and he didn’t have an answer for me.
If you want your schedule to be full, YOU MUST WORK AT FILLING IT!
What does your front desk do to fill your schedule?