Tips for Phone Communication and Scheduling in a Dental Office Call Center

Tips for Phone Communication and Scheduling in a Dental Office call Center

If your dental office has a centralized call center to handle calls for your doctors at multiple locations, there are a few key areas that really need to be defined to train and prepare the staff to help the patients.

It’s going to be important to figure out the best way to handle that phone call. And the best way to do this is to develop some training in certain areas for the staff to offer the best patient experience.

Phone communication: 4 types of questions you need to be able to answer efficiently

One important area is to identify the type of call and be sure the staff knows how to handle it.

There are several different scenarios and reasons that patients may call. They might be:

  • a new patient.
  • a patient trying to schedule an appointment.
  • a patient trying to pay a bill.
  • a patient asking an insurance question.
  • a patient who has a dental emergency.

So it’s going to be important to identify what type of call it is and make sure you have the best person to answer those questions for the patient. Here are the four main types of questions a dentist call center will receive.

1. Answering insurance questions

Questions about insurance, and which insurers your dental practice accepts are going to be some of the most common. Which is why you should always have these answers ready.

Patients will ask, do you take my insurance? So being familiar with which insurance networks your doctors are participating with is necessary for good customer service.

As is being able to communicate how you can help patients who may have an insurance policy out of network. Because you may be able to help file for that patient to receive benefits.

One way to help achieve this is with an easily accessible infographic for checking insurance information. Having this on hand will help those answering calls provide more accurate information efficiently. And this can make all the difference between a happy or frustrated patient.

2. Questions about payments

Another type of call may just be patients who are trying to pay a bill or have a question about a bill.

Having good guidelines for being able to get those answers for the patient and knowing who’s going to best provide those answers is important.

3. Scheduling questions

There may be patients who call as a new patient. Your phone operator needs to identify the new patient, and make sure you are getting the information you need for a new patient.

This includes:

  • any insurance information,
  • phone number
  • physical address,
  • email information

This is also a good opportunity to take a moment to tell the patient a little bit about the practice and build that connection with them.

That initial phone call is one of the most important calls. This is a patient who doesn’t have a lot of experience with the practice, so communicating the highlights of the practice and building rapport with the patient is vital.

Lastly you should make sure you can help get that patient that appointment they’re looking for: whether it’s an appointment with the hygienist or the doctor.

The importance of knowing what treatments and services your practice offers

Another useful tool to have is: being familiar with the types of procedures your doctors do and the length of time these doctors need for appointments.

Having this knowledge when you’re scheduling certain procedures like root canals, crowns, extractions, and fillings, means you can schedule appointments appropriately according to how the doctor likes to schedule.

Of course, making sure the patient has the right amount of time and making sure it’s the right procedure for the doctor.

4. Questions about emergency appointments

It can be a perfect option for patients who had a recent implant rather than a flipper, which is like a one tooth partial denture that has the acrylic and a tooth on there.

The flipper is going to put pressure on that implant while it’s healing and maybe pressure on the gums, but an Essix clear tray will be tooth supported.

The pressure will be going on the adjacent teeth, and there could be a replacement tooth made out of composite or a denture tooth that’s in the clear tray, and so that there’s no pressure on the implant itself. All the biting pressure is supported by the rest of the teeth that hold the tray.

If you’re making the replacement tooth, you could just take a little composite and make a tooth and put it on the model and then make the tray over top of it.

Or if you had a denture tooth, you could attach it there and then make the tray on the model with the tooth in place so that the tray fits around the tooth that’s on the model.

Structuring your schedule

And then finally, do you want to have any pre blocked schedules, whether it’s on your hygiene schedule or your doctor’s schedule?

Do you want to save time for any types of procedures, whether it’s a new patient, or periodontal therapy?

Is it anything that you want to save for any type of consults or types of procedures, emergency visits, anything like that, that it may make sense to have some appointment times  saved so that you’re able to accommodate those patients in needs?

Phone Communication and Scheduling in a Dental Office call Center

The above questions are just some of the types of calls that you may see.

Having strategies for your staff answering the phone, as well as the best ways to help patients, can create a better patient experience.

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