Once you have the patient (or parent) on the phone, set an appointment.
Briefly, the sequence for recall dialogue is:
1. Get the patient or parent on the line.
2. In a cheerful, pleasant manner, identify yourself and the office: "Hello, Mr. Jones, this is _______ from Dr. Goodtooth's office!"
3. Tell them that it has been "x" months since they (or their child) were in and the doctor wanted you to call. "You were last in for a cleaning (six months) ago and Dr. Goodtooth wanted me to call you and schedule an appointment for your checkup."
4. Give them a choice of times and/or days. "Would you prefer a morning or an afternoon appointment?"
5a. If the patient tells you when they want to come in, get them scheduled, thank them, and end off.
5b. If they give you an excuse as to why they can't make an appointment right now, listen to them carefully and hear what they are saying.
5c. It is extremely important that you differentiate between an excuse the person is using to avoid going to the dentist, and a legitimate reason as to why they can't make an appointment. Legitimate reasons why they can't schedule now could be because they have had a recent illness, had a death in the family, are going out of town, etc. In the case of some personal tragedy, an appropriate acknowledgment would be: "I’m very sorry to hear that, Mr. Jones. I’ll call you in a couple of weeks to check back with you. Please accept my own and Dr. Goodtooth's sincere condolences. If there’s anything we can do, just call.