Your Dental Practice (Probably) Doesn’t Answer Phones the Way You Think It Does

Converting phone calls into scheduled appointments is an essential part of dental marketing. If your practice isn’t getting that right, you’re literally throwing away money.

Which is why we’re always a little shocked at the responses we get when we ask dentists how their practices perform on the phone.

“What percentage of your phone calls go unanswered?” we’ll say. 

“Oh, maybe 5 percent?” many dentists will respond. Sometimes an especially bold practice owner will tell us that they never miss a phone call.

We hate to be a cold shower on a Monday morning. But the truth is that the average dental practice misses roughly 35 percent of all new patient phone calls. 

This isn’t because of a lack of effort. Most missed calls happen because whoever is working the front desk is already on another call, taking lunch, or in the back asking the dentist a question.

All understandable reasons! But unfortunately, those missed calls add up. 

Each time a potential new patient calls your practice after seeing your marketing campaign and no one picks up, you’re taking every dollar you’ve spent attracting that patient… and setting it on fire.

(And typically, those attraction costs come out to around $100. Ouch.)

Now, here’s the good news. Improving your answered call rate is a low-hanging fruit that is relatively easy to fix and can pay big dividends! 

Designing your website to encourage potential patients to contact you via chat, working with answering service companies like our friends at Reach, and even hiring additional call handlers yourself could make good business sense when you consider that dropping your unanswered call rate from 35 percent to zero would mean getting 35 percent more new patients out of your current marketing budget. 

Food for thought, at least.

One thing we love about dental is that it hasn’t already been optimized to death the way that some industries have been. That means for enterprising practice owners, opportunities abound.

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