A lot of times, I talk to Doctors and office managers that say “We are not a very busy office” on the first sales call. My initial thought after hearing this is always, Is that by choice? I go on to ask how they market the practice, what their referral programs are like, how often is the office open, and where are calls going when the staff can’t answer? Although they answer my questions, they are not confident about their answers.
Why are these potential clients not very busy? Maybe it is a Doctor close to retiring and wants to slow down or maybe it is preferred by the doctor to be a small practice that is only open three days a week. Most of the time, however, it is because their marketing isn’t consistent or efficient or phone calls from patients are being missed. There are countless resources out there to help you with marketing your practice. You should know that if you take the step to change your marketing game, you also must make sure those calls are being answered.
We had a client that closed one Monday, a day that they are typically open on. Therefore, we took all their calls that came in that day. In a 24-hour period, we took 113 existing patient calls, 13 new patient calls and one emergency call. Let’s say that they didn’t use our services or didn’t have an answering machine, or maybe the office had an answering machine but over half the callers decided not to leave a message. An average new patient appointment is $400, give or take. Because they didn’t answer their phones that day, they are potentially missing out on $5,200! What if that one emergency call didn’t get handled? Depending on what the issue was, the office would have missed out on a potential $2,500. Keep in mind, this is just one day. Imagine the value of the patient’s potential lifetime with you.
Your marketing is out there 24/7 so when someone sees your ad and need your services, they are going to call then, whether you’re open, closed, at lunch or busy with a patient in the office. I always tell clients that the phone is the most important piece of equipment in the office. Not a fancy chair or top of the line dental tools. Although these things are great, a patient in need wants a voice on the other end that could help them in that moment. They want the comfort of being able to call their dentist and make an appointment for the toothache they’ve been experiencing for two days, no matter the time of the call. That is going to help them make their decision to spend their money with you, more than any fancy chair.
Guest Blogger: Shea Davis