The Best Dental Office Telephone Training Tip Ever
Written By: Tracy Civick
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Anyone who has held a front desk position in a dental practice understands how difficult it can be to answer the telephone. After years of trial and error, we have found the best dental office telephone training tip and are excited to share it with you. The good news is that it can be implemented immediately and is quite easy to do.
It’s happened to all of us. You have been on hold to verify a patient’s insurance for what seems like forever, the representative finally answers, and then it happens… the phone rings. Or maybe it’s the top of the hour, you have patients checking in and out and the phone rings.
Whether you are in the middle of chaos or trying to get things done, a ringing phone can cause a bit of stressful anxiety. This anxiety results in us answering in a manner that may sound rushed, or bothered. The challenge is that it sends a message to the caller that we are too busy for them or that they are bothering us. We don’t mean to give off that impression and we certainly want to help callers; it was just a bad time. Sound familiar?
Every time the telephone rings in a dental practice, it’s an opportunity to help someone. We should feel gratitude when patients call us vs. the office down the street. These calls result in production growth and allow us to bring home a paycheck. So, why don’t we value the phone ringing? The truth is that most dental front office teams don’t mind answering the phone. In fact, given the right environment, talking with patients or potential patients is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job.
Telephone Training Tip
So, how can we increase our success turning calls into dollars on the schedule? It’s simple. All we have to do is start with the first telephone training tip and change our tone of voice.
Did you know that telephone communication is 17% words and 83% tone of voice? In other words, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Say the following sentence: “Thank you for calling Sunshine Dental, how may I help you?”. Did your tone of voice reflect positively or negatively? Say it again but this time put an upward tone on the words “Dental” and “you”. Sound different? When you end phrases with an upward tone of voice, it relays an emotional message to the caller that you really want to help them.
Another tone of voice tip is to pay attention to how fast you speak on the phone. The average rate of speech is 125 words per minute. If you speak faster, the caller will feel rushed. Anything slower and the caller will feel as if you are disinterested in the conversation. Practice your pace. You’ll be surprised at your rate of speed when answering the telephone!
The last way to ensure the proper tone of voice is to actively listen. Actively listening means that when you answer the call, you eliminate any distractions. If the caller tells you something sad, react with a compassionate tone of voice. If the caller shares something personal, respond with a more quiet, respectful tone of voice. Role play this with co-workers at your next team meeting. It’s a fun exercise!
If you are in a position of answering the telephone in a dental practice, then you are the director of first impressions. Callers only have your tone of voice and helpful nature on which to base their opinion of you. Setting the stage for a successful call starts with a positive, warm, comforting tone. This puts your caller at ease and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.
To learn more about dental office telephone training tips, contact me today at FrontOfficeCoach@gmail.com or 214-755-0955. For more information about our custom training solutions, visit www.FrontOfficeCoach.com.
About the Author…
Tracy Civick is a nationally recognized speaker, coach, and author who focuses on motivating dental front office teams to grow practice revenue and get a better handle on the daily dental practice front office tasks. Her memberships include The Academy of Dental Management Consultants and AADOM, Academy of Dental Office Managers.