3 Phone Tips to Help Take Advantage of Back-to-School Season

The back-to-school commercials have begun and that means one thing — summer is almost over. Parents are scrambling this month to get to the dentist to avoid taking kids out of school and before their kids start having crazy schedules filled with sports, play dates, etc. Dental practices can take advantage of this time to not only fill their calendars now, but also increase patient bookings throughout the rest of the school year.

The phone can be a practice's top resource in boosting appointments scheduled. Here are three phone tips dental practices can use in order to increase patient bookings, enhance patient experiences, and earn more revenue:

Leverage Cancellations

Summertime inevitably leads to last-minute changes in plans, extended vacations, family events, and more. This can make it difficult for patients to show up for their appointments. As the pressure builds to get kids in before the school year starts, however, it’s important to leverage cancellation lists to rebook prior appointments. An example of this conversation could look something like, “I know you had a cleaning previously scheduled in June. Since we’ve been filling up quickly this month, I wanted to reach out to make sure we get you in. Are you available on Tuesday at 10:00am or Friday at 2:00pm this week?” These types of patients expressed a prior interest in a service at the practice and will appreciate the consideration from the follow-up call.

Add Patients to a Waitlist

With the increase in last-minute appointments before the school year begins, patient appointment requests are filling up calendars fast. This means spots are either limited or nonexistent. Rather than letting that be the end of the conversation, use a situation like this to get patients on the schedule for future months. Here’s how this could look, “Unfortunately we're all booked up for the rest of the summer with school starting up again. I do see we have openings in September on the 20th and the 22nd. Does either of those days work for you? I can also put you on our waitlist so if an opening pops up before then, I’ll be sure to give you a call!” Patients will get a sense of how busy the season is and most likely opt in to schedule that appointment. As for the practice, an appointment has been secured and patients will recognize the proactive approach. Call Box users can also leverage the Pursue Box daily to locate high-quality appointment opportunities that slipped through the cracks and make sure those patients are followed up with accordingly to add to waitlists or book more appointments.

Market Special Promotions

Standing out from the other dental practices is important during a busy season. One way to do so is by offering promotions around certain common dental procedures. Whether it’s free first-time examinations and cleanings, discounted fillings, or cost reductions for extractions, promotion specials are a great tactic to get new and existing patients in the door. The Keyword Search feature in the Search For a Call report within Call Box can find calls where previous patients referenced certain services. This can assist practices in locating patients to call and inform them about a promotion currently happening to see if those patients want to come in and take advantage of the special offer. Marketing promotions can be a big benefit for practices from a booking and revenue generation standpoint. Practices also can extend back-to-school specials beyond August and September. This might entice patients to book an appointment later in October and still get that special or discount if the calendar is already overbooked.

Back-to-school season isn’t a time to sit back and be satisfied with the high volume of inbound calls for appointment requests. Turn that growth into an opportunity now and in the months to come. By leveraging cancellations, adding patients to wait lists, and marketing special promotions, dental practices can capitalize on the busy time of year to raise scheduled appointments, improve patient experiences, and boost revenue.

Learn about how Call Box is helping top dental practices and DSOs gain visibility on every call to improve caller experience and more at www.callbox.com/dental.