CREATING A GOOD IMPRESSION – EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT THERE!
As Aaron says, 33% of calls to dental offices are missed. We did a quick survey of our clients at random and only 26% were not answered, so our clients are doing a little better.
Since we call dental offices all the time, we’ve heard a lot of answering machine messages. We have been surprised how often we hear poor audio recordings.
Common Problems: Poor audio quality, overly long messages, cliché messages – “Your call is important to us, blah, blah, blah…” and for after hours, not repeating the Doctor’s cell phone number.
If you change your answering message when you open or close, we suggest the following two messages:
“Thank you for calling Smith Family Dental. The office is now open but we are unable to take your call. Please leave a message and we will get right back to you.”
“Thank you for calling Smith Family Dental. The office is now closed. Please leave a message after the tone. If you are having a dental emergency, you may call Dr. Smith on his cell at 222-333-3333. Again, that is 222-3333333. Thanks for calling.”
If you just have one message: “Thank you for calling Smith Family Dental. We are open Monday through Thursday from 8:00am-6:00pm and Fridays from 8:00am-12:00pm. Please leave a message and we will get right back to you. If it is after hours and you are having a dental emergency, please call
Dr. Smith on his cell at 222-333-3333. Again, that is 222-333-3333. Thanks for calling.”
It’s remarkable how often you listen to a long message and the number is only given once and then it’s not that easy to hear. That could be very frustrating to a patient.
Doctor, what is your cell phone answering message? More than 60% of
Dentists in our sample have a message that just says, “You have reached 222-333-3333.” We feel that can be unsettling to a patient (or potential new patient) because the caller cannot not be sure if they’ve reached the right number. Moreover, they don’t know if and when you’ll be checking your messages.
The message we suggest for a Doctor’s cell phone is, “You have reached
Dr. Smith’s cell phone at 222-333-3333. This is my confidential voicemail. In a dental emergency, please leave a message. I do check my phones regularly.”
If a call is missed during business hours and you have Caller ID, suggest to the staff that they call that number right back and say, “Hi, this is Dr.
Smith’s Dental Office. Did you want to schedule an appointment?”
It doesn’t cost anything to try this. Aaron’s tracking says that fewer than 10% of potential new patients will leave a message.
It’s not that much trouble and costs nothing to change your messages. It’s all part of creating a good impression – even when you’re not there!