Appointment confirmations are extremely important. They can also be time consuming. But time put in on the front end of our schedules, will produce more solid and predictable dental office days.
Dental office telephones are busiest in the morning. The dental front office team has their “octopus” on right at the gate when they start their day. But it’s critical that the dental front office doesn’t wait until late morning or early afternoon to start the confirmation process. The earlier the better!
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More Than a Message
Confirming dental appointments well is more than leaving a message. Although, we may leave a message for a patient to call us back. That does not count as an appointment confirmation.
A returned text message or email does count as an appointment confirmation. Because we know the patient received and said “yes”. Unlike a voicemail message. Which the patient may not have listened to.
Follow-Up on Messages Left
Review unconfirmed appointments near the end of the day. Phone those that are still unconfirmed. Text and email those patients as well. And let them know it’s important that they call or text you back.
Always communicate your policy to a patient as scheduling. Inform patients kindly that they are asked to text, email or call back to confirm all dental appointments. Then there are no questions about what is expected from them.
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Confirm hygiene appointments 2 weeks out and then again 2 days out! Dental hygiene patients most often are scheduling their next hygiene appointments 3, 4 or 6 months out. A hygiene appointment might creep up on them unexpectedly.
Calling to remind patients 2 weeks out of their upcoming appointment, allows you to better care for your patients and your schedule.
Dental restorative appointments are confirmed two days out. With information pertaining to the appointment. Remind the patient what procedure they are scheduled for. And how much time they can expect to be in the office.
Also confirm the patient’s cost for their restorative appointment. A gentle reminder to help the patient be fully prepared is best.
Script Your Confirmations!
Provide your team with confirmation scripts. Prepare the team well. And your daily appointment confirmations and schedules will show this.