There Is A Better Way…

Last week I wrote about the use of the poorly worded and over-used phrase:

“What did you say your name was again?”

And how it’s use on a dental office phone call is totally wrong and out of place.

Finding out and remembering a caller’s name on a dental office phone call needs to be the NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.

And using that name back to the caller during the phone call is just as important.

This must be our first priority. We can’t talk to strangers.

As I said last week, I liken the answering of the dental office phone to being very similar to the meeting of a new “friend” at a barbeque, or at a cocktail party.

You want to find out a few things about the person you have just met, or been introduced to.

And you want to do this in a way that is comfortable to you, and is comfortable to the person you are speaking with.

So with the dental office phone call, one of the things we always teach is for the dental receptionist to announce their own name during the phone call greeting. By so doing it allows the receptionist to then ask the caller for their name, if the caller has not volunteered their name already. [By introducing yourself and your dental office when you answer the practice phone, you actually subliminally prompt the caller to introduce themselves back to you without having to ask them who they are.]

However, in the instance where the caller does not introduce themselves, it is very easy to find out who you are talking to by simply asking the caller:

“When was the last time you were in at our practice?”

And after they answer that question you ask:

“Do you mind if I ask your name please?”

And when they tell you their name, you reply immediately:

“Oh hi [NAME], how are you?”

And so immediately acknowledge the caller’s name, as you write the caller’s name down for your own reference.

It’s that simple

Once the caller has told you their name, you now have permission to use their name back to them in future dialogues moving forwards.

The last thing you want is to be progressing with a conversation with a caller and getting deep into a solution to their problem and having no idea at all with whom you are speaking.

I’ve heard recordings of phone calls where the receptionist has arrived at the time to schedule the appointment and they begin that process by saying:

“Last name.”

Followed by:

“First name.”

And then:

“Date of Birth.”

This is really a sub-standard response that turns a conversation into a DATA COLLECTION PROCESS.

You wouldn’t use these three questions at a barbeque or a cocktail party with somebody you’ve just met, would you?

“Last name.”

“First name.”

“Date of Birth.”

Of course you wouldn’t.

So why should that machine gun fire style of questioning now become totally acceptable, when solving a caller’s dental problem?

It isn’t acceptable.

The good news is…

The good news is that there is a better way….

And that better way can be learnt, and remembered.

And become usual, and customary….


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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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