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When coaching front desk receptionists, we pay attention to making a great first impression to convert prospective dental patients into scheduled patients. But Patient Prism’s monitoring of over 5 million new patient calls has taught us that the LAST impression is as important as the first impression…if not more. 

A free infographic for your dental practice team to learn WOW customer service

Making a final great impression, even after a non-stellar first impression, will often win over the patient to choose your dental practice. We’ve tracked many thousands of calls where the receptionist has turned a new patient’s inquiry-level interest into an eagerness to book the appointment mid-way through the call, late in the call, or during a callback call.

The success of new dental patient conversion pivots around:

  1. The receptionist’s genuine desire to provide the best customer service.
  2. Making phone conversations a comfortable process for callers.
  3. Making personal connections that elevate the mood of the caller. 
  4. Finding solutions to meet the caller’s perceived needs.
  5. Going the extra mile to call back and reconnect with potential new patients who were hesitant to make an appointment on the first call. 

Effective call-coaching with Patient Prism. Schedule a demo ›

WOW Customer Conversion Results from Customer Obsession

Judy Kay Mausolf is a well-known author, speaker, and consultant who focuses on creating an amazing dental practice culture. Two of her strategies for delivering W.O.W. service for dental patients are to consistently provide excellent customer service and to stay patient-focused. The concept of WOW service is a mindset, a choice to be obsessed about providing the best possible experience for those you serve or would like to serve. 

In every dental office across this continent, live interaction with a potential new patient typically begins over the phone. To consistently build rapport, set the stage for trust, and book appointments that will help callers receive the oral health care they desire, we must become obsessed with providing an amazing experience – a WOW experience over the phone. 

If our intentional, internal passion is to have a positive impact on every human being who calls – to put a smile of satisfaction or joy on their face, then we’re going to succeed. We’re also going to grow in competence that continues to fuel our love for what we do. So, step #1 is to envision what it means to be customer-obsessed and to believe what you do matters not only to the dental practice but to yourself…because you are mission-critical for improving lives.


10 Tips to “Get Your Customer Obsession on”

1. Answer each call with a smile on your face and energy in your voice so the caller feels their call is welcome.


2. Use the caller’s name at least three times, so the caller feels recognized as an individual of worth.


3. Treat the caller with kindness and respect throughout the call, so the caller knows you care. Just as you would listen to a VIP, stay in the moment, listening with a focus on the other person. Giving your time and focused attention will validate the caller’s sense of her or his importance to you.


4. Use open-ended questions and listen more than you speak while you learn the caller’s needs and concerns. Respond appropriately to keep the conversation flowing comfortably until you identify how to best meet their needs. Keep in mind not everyone knows oral health care as well as you do, so be careful to not correct the words they use or overwhelm them with technical information. Keep information light unless they ask for more. 

Effective call-coaching with Patient Prism. Schedule a demo ›

5. Take every opportunity to lift a caller’s spirits. Throughout the call, you will have opportunities to make the caller smile or feel calmer and more assured they are on the right path. Even if they are just beginning their search for a high-value treatment and don’t feel ready to make an appointment, you’ve given them information and insights that will help them along. They will feel comfortable calling you again or when you make a return call.


6. Seek to create moments of connection. Psychologists tell us a positive bond occurs when two or more people, even strangers, connect over a shared positive emotion, be it mild or strong. It might be a shared laugh or your true compassion for a caller’s expressed concern. The most successful receptionists become adept at creating opportunities to make those positive, emotional connections. 


7. Intentionally set the stage for a wonderful patient experience. Be enthusiastic about your dentist and the entire dental team. Tell the caller everyone there will compassionately care for their needs and address their concerns. 


8. Under-promise and over-deliver. If you say you will do something, then you must follow through and communicate again with the caller. Continue delivering exceptional service every time you tell a caller you will:

  • Get more information and return their call,
  • Escalate a concern, 
  • Talk to the doctor about fitting in a same-day appointment, 
  • Call them when the next schedule opening occurs, or 
  • Be there to greet them personally when they arrive.


9. Facilitate keeping the line of communication open when the caller draws the conversation to a close. For example, you might say,

  • “I look forward to seeing you, and if you have any questions between now and then, please feel free to call me.”
  • “I’ve enjoyed talking with you. Please feel free to call me back, and if I think of something else that could be of help, I’ll give you a call.”


10. Remind yourself that the last impression you make is just as important – if not more important than the first impression! Like any competitive sport, you can turn things around. Because you are honestly helping the caller meet their needs, the caller and you both win. So, get out there and don’t be afraid to do callback calls that offer additional information and genuine concern for the patient. Potential patients view these as an act of kindness. Many people will book an appointment during that second call because you have made a WOW last and lasting impression.

A free guide to better phone conversations with dental patients

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