NEVER Answer The Dental Office Phone This Way…

Last week I had cause and reason to phone a specialist dentist’s office. You would not believe how badly the phone was answered.

I can only think that their office is so busy that the best way for them to filter patients is to answer the phone without the receptionist engaging their brain firstly.

Here’s how the call went:


“Dr Smith’s Office. Hold the line.”


And I’m on hold….

Listening to I don’t know what…

Some form of music meant to appease me and placate me.


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

No matter how busy you are and no matter how many people are in front of you in the office and no matter how many other phone lines you have going at that moment, the person calling in to your dental office, WHO YOU DON’T KNOW WHO THEY ARE NOR DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO GET DONE, that person must be made to feel as if they are the only person that you are speaking with and they must also be made to feel as if you have been waiting all day just for them to call you.



And you only have one chance at making a good first impression.

So you sure as heck have to make sure that you take that chance whenever you can.

And seeing that the ringing phone is the beginning of a new conversation with either an existing patient or with someone enquiring about becoming a patient, then it makes no sense at all to even consider answering the phone with:

“Dr Smith’s Office. Hold the line.”

And offending the caller with your brevity and your haste in terminating that caller and sending them to the holding pen until you are so graciously ready to take the call.

After all, how dare they interrupt you by ringing in when you are busy?

So what do you do next if you really are busy when the phone rings?

Here’s the clincher.

Answer the call with a smile on your face and with the greeting we mentioned above.

Take the ten to thirty seconds to listen to the caller and what they ask you.

Sometimes the call can be concluded there and then.

And other times you might need to do this:

“Mrs. Jones, I’m just with a patient at the moment. Would you mind if I called you back in 15 minutes time so that I can answer your questions/help you with your appointments/ etc.….”

What do you think Mrs. Jones is going to say?

She’s going to say, “Of course, that’s OK.”  in most instances.

Mrs. Jones is so glad that she’s been greeted by a pleasant voice and she has not had to speak to a machine.

Mrs. Jones also knows exactly when you will be calling her back, and she can go and do something during that short time, like make a cup of tea, or write an email…

[Remember, however long we say that we are going to take to return the call we must always be on time or slightly ahead of time in doing that. We must respect the caller’s time.

And we must under-promise and over-deliver with our punctuality.]

The other thing we could say is this:

“Mrs. Jones, I’m just finishing up with a patient at the moment. I should only be a few minutes, would you like to hold the line or would you like me to call you back in 10 minutes time?”

In this case, it gives us the opportunity to start finalizing the conversation with the patient in front of us, if we so desire.

Again, remember that the telephone is your friend.

It is providing you with the opportunity of helping someone in need, and solving their problem.

It is the opportunity for you to make someone’s day.

And isn’t that a WIN-WIN situation?


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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