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Dental Office Receptionist Scripts: Best Practices To Help Your Staff Engage Patients

When talking to a patient on the phone, they're forming an impression of your office. You will want to be warm and genuine yet professional tone. Here are some tips and scripts to take your phone calls to the next level.

Dental Intelligence

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January 13, 2023

When a patient calls your dental practice, they’re getting a critical first impression of your office and how it runs, which will determine whether they make an appointment or call another dentist. Therefore, implementing a set of standard dental office receptionist scripts is essential.

In this post, learn best practices for dental office receptionist scripts that will help your team engage patients and prevent any lost conversions.

Simple, Polite, and Professional Dental Practice Call Scripts for Receptionists

Here are some script examples, based on the most common patient phone calls and questions that dental offices receive:

1. Confirm an Appointment Time

Many dental offices call patients to remind them of a future appointment or dental treatment. It’s best to call patients a few days ahead to remind them, which gives you extra time to fill the appointment slot should they cancel. Here’s a general script to follow:

“Hi, (patient name). This is (caller) at (practice name). I’m calling to confirm your upcoming appointment with us on (date) at (time). Does that still work for your schedule?”

Should the patient say no, ask if they would like to reschedule. If not, prompt them to call back when they are ready to book a new appointment, and wish them well.

“Okay, would you like to reschedule that appointment? We have a few openings on (dates and times). Okay, perfect. We look forward to seeing you then. Have a wonderful day!”

Alternatively, you can use automated reminders to help patients remember when their appointment is. For example, upgrading to dental appointment reminder software from Dental Intelligence is an excellent way to remind patients of their future visits, reduce the time your staff has to spend on the phone, and makes confirmations faster and more convenient for patients.

2. Possible Future Patients

New or potential patients can be challenging. It’s much harder to acquire new business than it is to retain loyal patients, as it takes time to establish trust. Here’s a script for following up with potential patients:

“Hello, (patient name). This is (caller) from (practice). We noticed you had recently called to inquire about (treatment, price, etc.). Is this a good time for you to talk?

No:

“Okay, when would be a good time for us to call you back?”

Yes:

“Would you like more information about (specific question/service) or to book an appointment? We have openings on (dates and times). Can we schedule you for one of those times?

3. Rescheduling Missed Appointments

Many patients miss appointments—it’s a fact of life for healthcare and dental professionals. However, you should ideally call them back within a day or two of missing an appointment.

“Hi, (patient name). This is (caller) from (practice). Since you missed your appointment on (date and time), can we reschedule you for another time? We have openings on (dates and times).

4. Scheduling Return Visits

It’s also essential to call patients who may not have had time to schedule a new appointment after their last time in the office.

“Hello, (patient name). This is (caller) from (practice). We’re calling to schedule your next (service, treatment, cleaning). Can we set a date now for your next appointment? We have openings on (dates and times).

Important Tips To Remember When Following Office Call Scripts

Here are a few tips for dental office staff to remember when they’re engaging with patients over the phone:

Be Brief: Nobody has time for long phone calls during the day, particularly if they’re at work. Stick to the call objective and keep it brief.

Be Genuine: When speaking with patients, keep a warm and genuine yet professional tone. Personalize the conversation without straying too much from the call’s purpose.

Be Thorough: Before you finish the call, give a quick recap for the patient and explain what (if anything) you expect of them. For example, tell them again the date and time of their appointment, whether they need to fill out paperwork on the website, to call back at a particular time, bring their retainer, and so forth.

Best Practices for Dental Office Receptionist Scripts

Do you want to learn more powerful and simple ways to schedule patients and help your business grow and thrive? We’ve got everything you need here at Dental Intelligence, including advanced software solutions and cutting-edge tools to streamline your practice. Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule a demo.

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