Dental Office Phone Coverage Now
Dental office phone coverage is more important now than ever! Especially at a time when many dental practices have this all wrong! Some dental offices seem not all that concerned with their phone coverage today. And operate more on a false premise that dentistry is unimportant right now. Or maybe that their practice is slow during the pandemic. And so it is. At least for those who believe it to be true.
Their loss may be your gain! Because dental patients will reach out for someone who is listening. So, in order to listen, we’ve got to be able to jump on our phones. And to provide the dental care our patients need and deserve today. Whether we are in the office or not, we can ramp up our dental office phone coverage now! And it is well worth the investment and patient connection.
Things We Can Control
While there are some things out of our control right now, let’s focus on those things we can control. Our dental office phone coverage is one of those things. We can certainly talk with existing patients and accept new patients too! Even though our daily schedules may be a little lighter, we can still meet and greet people. Our dental office phones provide just that opportunity. And even allow for video calls if we are using an office cell phone. Let’s talk more about that in a bit!
First things first! Bring the team together for some phone training and retraining! This is even an important step for members of the team who may have been answering the office phones all along. Because we want to encourage and motivate our teams to communicate well and better care for patients by phone today. And to go above and beyond for our patients in every way!
Dental Office Phone Coverage During Office Hours
Dental office phone coverage during office hours means live coverage! Although that may seem to be a given, I am often surprised that it’s not. A dental office team member who answers the phone within 3 rings is my idea of live coverage! And although there is a little bit more to it than this, let’s start with just picking up the ringing phones.
Because if we don’t, someone else will! Are you giving away your existing patients or potential new patients? The choice is yours! And during this time of “uncertainty”, we all have choices and decisions to make. The good news! Coronavirus is not transferred from your patient to your team via the office phone. However, I must add, please don’t pass around that phone! Right?! Got it!!
Avoid Voicemail Roll Over
On a rare occasion, we may have a call roll over to the practice voicemail during business hours. But we definitely want to avoid this as a routine office practice. The voicemail features is best used as an absolute necessity during office hours. And not to be the best place for calls to route while we talk to someone else. There are better ways to manage busy phone times.
Why is it that several calls come through at the same time? Who knows! But it definitely seems to be the norm. We can have quiet phones for an hour and then 3 calls ring through within seconds of each other. And two of those callers are new patients. The third call is our patient who is on the schedule in the next hour and has a flat tire! So, we want every one of those calls answered now!
Dental Office Phone Coverage After Hours
Dental office phone coverage after hours would definitely involve voicemail! And this is my preference over an answering service, truthfully. I like that patients don’t have to guess if they are speaking with the office or an answering service. And why leave the answering service to represent your dental practice? It’s just one more person we have to trust is trained well. And will they handle a true dental emergency just the way we would want to?
Answering services also get things wrong sometimes. The attendant might write down the wrong phone number or spelling of a patient’s name. And they can even get messages confused with other offices. I’ve seen it happen. Anything is possible. So, I like to avoid adding one more thing I cannot control into the mix.
Some Additional Tools!
An office cell phone is a fabulous way for dental office team members to better work from home. You can even arrange for the office phones to roll over to the cell phone after hours if you like! I have used office cell phones to work from home to follow up on unpaid dental claims, confirm appointments, and screen emergency patients too!