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Jul 26

Could someone please answer the phone?

If you’re the parent of a teen or tween you find yourself saying constantly “Could someone please answer the phone!?” It’s a pretty normal occurrence in our homes, but it should never, ever happen in our offices. Lately we’ve been noticing that way too many staff members seem to think ignoring the phones is just fine if the office is busy. After all, that’s what the call answering feature on the phone system is for….Right? My answer to that is a loud, resounding WRONG! Every time the phone rings during business hours, it should be answered by a real, live person. We’ve heard all the reasons why it just can’t be done, so allow us to share some of our responses:

1) First and foremost, we could be losing a new patient as that phone goes to voicemail. People frequently choose a new dentist when they move into an area by checking their insurance website.  If you don’t answer, they will call the next name on the list rather than leave a voice mail. This is an opportunity lost that can’t be regained.

2) As a patient, if I hear the phone ringing and see you ignoring it, my assumption is that’s exactly what will happen the next time I’m trying to reach you. Even when you’re dealing with a patient right in front of you, you can excuse yourself for a second, take the call and ask if you might call back in a few minutes…….and always ASK…….”please hold” is never a way to answer the phone. The same scenario works if you’re on another line. And yes, we know how difficult it is to reach technical support and insurance companies……but your patients are more important.

3) If a call is obviously going to be lengthy and you absolutely must deal with something else, ask for a good call back number and explain you’ll get back to them before end of the day.

Patients calling and phones ringing are what keep offices open and payroll flowing……you have nothing more important to do than answer them.



As dental practice management consultants, Mosaic Management Professionals, Inc. teachs you what the numbers mean for your success; shows you the opportunities that exist in your practice and helps you become someone who can attain the dream of personal and professional satisfaction. Let us help you handle the day to day and month to month details of your practice while we provide the training and support that will put all the pieces together into a beautifully aligned “Mosaic” that depicts your practice. Our initial consultation is always complementary and we maintain flexible hours to suit the needs of our clients.

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