In an Industry wide comprehensive recent survey of British Dentists – 34% of inbound calls were not answered! This is a truly stunning number.
………Actually the numbers get worse, 67% of dental practices close for an hour at lunchtime, relying on their patients, new and existing, to leave a voicemail message, but sadly, 80% of callers do not leave voice mails and to make matters worse, 64% of patients call during peak times; that is lunchtime and start/end of the day.
Of the callers that do leave a voicemail, 3 out of 5 get the ring back from the practice in business hours, resulting in the patient having to make yet another call, imagine if the patient is in pain!
The research is even more compelling when the patient is a new patient to the practice, only 5% will leave a voice mail, that means that 95% don’t!
20% of new patients will not call back if the line is busy and 85% won’t call back if the call is not answered – is it any wonder that new patient generation in private practices is so challenging for some?
It is hard to imagine any other retail business in the UK surviving this kind of service level. How would you feel about a hotel that could not take room bookings between 1 and 2pm, let alone closed its reception at 5pm??
What an opportunity? IF your practice is patient focused and your reception team responds positively and promptly [within 3 rings] to all inbound calls with a live human voice, then you will be enjoying more than your fair share of your competitors new patients. IF NOT, then maybe you need to evaluate your current response levels by putting yourself in your patients shoes.
Try this basic test:
- Start by thinking like one of your patients – you have a demanding life and you need to change your check up appointment
- Understand what the % is of your patients that fail to return for a check up
- Understand your inbound call volumes and more particularly the pinch points [ where the volumes are]
- Mystery shop your practice at peak volume times
- Ask yourself – would you be happy with that service level?
- Set some clear objectives to improve your returning patient performance
If you need any help on this or help setting up the Mystery Shop please contact me directly.
0845 299 7209