As much as you would like to be able to speak to each patient the moment they call, it’s not always possible, especially in a busy dental practice. All you can do is answer, acknowledge the patient, and ask them to please hold and you will be with them shortly. There is nothing worse for the patient than to be placed on hold and hear dead silence, or worse, static from a drifting radio signal.
The patient just gets more impatient by the moment and will often just hang-up and call back later. Some patients won’t even call back simply because it took a lot of courage for them to call in the first place because a visit to the dentist is the last thing they really want to schedule. Lost phone calls equal lost revenue!
However, if a patient has something to listen to, (other than boring elevator music or the radio), something to keep them entertained and informed, he/she is more likely to remain on the phone. They aren’t thinking about how long it takes your receptionist to return to the call. They actually listen to the recording. You now have your patients’ undivided attention!
This is the perfect time to tell a patient about the services you offer without the patient feeling like they are listening to a high pressured sales pitch. What the patient hears is a real human male or female voice, a professional, who is skilled in the art of keeping your patient engaged. A person talking to a person. On-hold messages can be very effective.
Use this time to tell the patient about the teeth whitening services you offer, implants, or products such as Invisalign. Announce any promotions or discounts offered on certain procedures. Remind them of the importance of routine check-ups and provide other health tips. Tell them about the staff, the doctors. Keep them listening.
Research shows that patients actually inquire about products and services they heard about while on hold. Custom on-hold messages are an important, cost-effective tool which can keep patients informed, and which will promote your practice in a creative way.