Are You An Average Dental Office Or Way Better Than That?

My blog post last week recounting the careless way that a Dental Specialist’s Office answered its phone drew a large number of comments and replies.

In that article, I explained how poorly the Specialist’s phone was answered in this instance, and I added my comments and thoughts about the best way to answer the dental phone, regardless.

And here’s what you should do:

Regardless of whether you are busy on another call, busy with a patient sitting or standing in front of you, or busy doing administrative duties, you need to answer that phone in such a way that the caller feels that you have been waiting on their call all day, and that you are so pleased that they have rung and that you are now going to be able to help them and solve their problems.

Remember, that you only have one chance to make a great first impression, so why not lead from the front foot and answer your Dental Office Phone with the best that you have?

Rather than average?

Or second best?

The words that I used in the article last week were the words that we used at my Dental Practice from 1999 to 2014 when I left.

During those years, we grew the collections nine fold [yes, nine times!!] in a twelve year period.

And certainly a big part of that growth was due to the first impression created upon that first phone call.

It’s interesting, because one of the comments that I received to the article suggested that the verbiage we used took way too long to say.

This writer suggested replacing:

“Thank you for calling Dr Smith’s Dental Office. This is Jayne. How may I help you?”


“Dr Smith’s Dental Surgery, this is Jayne”

The writer suggested that there was no need to say “thank you for calling” or words of welcome, because the welcome is in the upbeat welcoming tone of the receptionist’s voice.

The writer also suggested that there was no need for redundant verbiage such as “how may I help you” or “how may I direct your call”.

I think that these comments from the writer showed that they are working in the business business, and not the people business.

The writer added that:

“This method is very welcoming, professional, & saves a lot of time.”

I say, that when a business is in the people business, the business of making money flows automatically.

It is the theory of abundance.

When a business is only in the business business, they look more towards efficiencies to save time and cut costs, without looking at the efficacies of spending time as an investment.

When we consider TIME as an investment, then we can consider R.O.I. on our invested time.

And a lot of business owners forget this.

I measured the time it took to speak out his phone greeting compared to mine.

The difference?

A whole 2:01 seconds. [4:76 seconds v 2:75 seconds]


Based on a call in factor of say fifty new calls per day, the shorter greeting would earn the business a whole extra one minute and 41 seconds each and every day.

It’s really not that big an imposition then to use the extra phrase is it?

The writer then went on to finish with this statement:

“The single most important word that the caller hears last is the receptionist’s first name … that encourages the caller to offer their first name.”

Well I beg to differ.

I’m sure that the average caller will pick up the receptionist’s name, even if the receptionist follows the saying of her name with the words:

“How may I help you?”

As I have written previously and I repeat myself BECAUSE this is so important:

This phrase is the most important part of the three-part greeting.

This is because it is telling the caller that we are ready for them to let us know what is wrong with them and to let us know about their situation.

By saying these words we are giving the caller immediate permission to start letting us know why they have called.

Remember that whoever is asking the questions during the phone call is the person in control.

So we need to open service with a question.

The beauty of this question is that although it asks a question, what it really is saying to the caller is this:

“I’m here to help you.”

And this is the phrase that sets your dental office apart from all others around.

The writer, who was obviously a seasoned consultant, wrote:

“Many clients over many years can attest to its effectiveness & efficiency.”

My thoughts would be that his suggestions are effective and efficient, but significant improvement in results was only a few extra words away.

Measuring results gives us trackable data.

The beauty of this story is the untold story.

And that is that prior to 1999 at my office we used to use a shorter greeting.

As I have written, our measured improvement in results was palpable….

Worth a go? Worth changing?

You be the judge.
Remember, this is cold hard concrete proof from a long established dental office in working class western Sydney.

And it worked gangbusters for me.


My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Melbourne Australia on Saturday 1 April 2017 with Jayne Bandy and Wolfgang Hofbauer.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.


Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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