We're harking back to an old favourite of ours today - the need to handle your telephone calls properly.
Sadly, it is still not unusual to call a practice and be answered with a brief "dental surgery" by a bored-sounding receptionist.
No practice name, no name of the person who you are speaking to, no offer of help. Just the bare minimum from someone who doesn't seem in the slightest bit interested in you.
Which makes you think that the rest of the practice is going to be the same - offering the least they can get away with in terms of dental and customer care, and really not bothered if you go back to them again.
It could be that this perception of the practice is completely wrong, but nevertheless, a negative first impression has been made, and is not likely to fill you with enthusiasm to become a new patient.
Consider the alternative. You call and are greeted by a cheery "good morning/afternoon, Bognor Smile Studio, Catherine speaking, how can I help you?"
The sunny voice puts you in a positive frame of mind, and before you have even spoken a word you have an offer of help.
Have a think about the way you and your staff answer your phones - could it be improved? Is it consistent, regardless of the time of day and whether you have had any difficult patients? If you're not sure, try asking a few friends to call the practice - listen to their feedback and act on it.
Our next post will give you some simple tips on how to appear more friendly, helpful and understanding on the phone.