Convert All Callers to Appointed PatientsA new year will bring new opportunities for practice growth in the form of new patients. Whether they’re following through on a resolution to take better care of their teeth, figuring out where to use their new insurance or are unhappy with their previous dentist, patients are out there looking for your practice. It’s important that you’re ready to welcome them in.

In addition to checking on your marketing, your availability & staffing coverage, it’s important to revisit your phone scripts. First impressions are incredibly important, and that first phone conversation with a new patient can be very fragile. At chrisad we’ve meticulously researched all aspects of phone conversations and know what will open the flow of the best patients and what will drive those patients away. The following topics are just a few that we monitor and optimize for our clients.


You set your hours and your staff work them, but how familiar with your hours are your patients? It’s important that patients know what your hours are when they are scheduling an appointment so they can select a time that is convenient for them–i.e., before or after work or school and especially on weekends. When their dental appointment doesn’t conflict with anything else in their lives, patients are less likely to cancel them.

According to chrisad research conducted with Northwestern University graduate interns in 2019, patients are more likely to reschedule or cancel appointments that are within business hours, with a peak rescheduling rate of 34.25% at 1pm on weekdays.


Most new patients have insurance on their mind when they first call your office–after all, they want to make sure they can use their new insurance benefits. Therefore, the topic of insurance is bound to come up. How your team handles that question can determine whether the patient will go forward or hesitate. Often, dental team members say things about insurance that might not sound inherently bad, but it plants a question in the patient’s mind that ultimately goes unanswered, leading to a bad impression and missed opportunity. For patients, insurance is a benefit that allows them to get necessary dental work done; your team’s conversations should affirm the patients’ perception.

When analyzing phone conversations about insurance, we look at how your team answers questions, whether their answer addresses more than the question asked, whether questions go unanswered, how much of the conversation is focused on money, and how positive your team members are about the insurance plans mentioned, among other things.


In the end, the overall tone of your conversations must be positive. Besides the fact that negativity on the part of your staff will drive away patients, there’s nothing better for your practice’s reputation than setting up positive experiences, and thus positive reviews/recommendations. One way to do that is to pre-sell your practice. Your team members should rave about each other and about the practice to the patients.

  • “Dr. Smith is wonderful! They always make sure patients are comfortable.”
  • “Your hygienist Judy is so gentle; she cleans my teeth and I don’t feel any discomfort.”
  • “Our hours are so great and we take all insurances; it’s so convenient!”

From the way you greet callers and talk about the office and staff to how you offer appointment times and handle insurance, it’s important to stay positive or you risk inadvertently driving away the best patients. Thankfully, we can give you the tools to excel at phone conversations and drive patients into your practice to stay. Call us today for more information!