4 Tips to Convert Potential New Patient Calls to Appointments

4 Tips to Convert Potential New Patient Calls to Appointments

What is a conversion rate?

Conversion rate is a term that we like to use for calls converted to appointments. 

Sadly, in many dental offices, the dentist has no idea of what is going on. They think that marketing is not working. 

What the doctor often does not know is that he/she is getting plenty of calls from potential new patients, but they are not doing a proper job of converting them to new appointments, and it gives the doctor a misperception of what is going on.

Right now, less than 1% of dental appointments come through real-time online scheduling.

Some people are good at conversions, meaning for every call coming in from a potential new client, they are incredibly good at converting those into appointments, but some people miss more than half of their incoming calls from potential clients. In other words, those people book an appointment and do not show up.

How do you know if your marketing is working?

If the phone is ringing, your marketing is working. If it is not ringing, then your marketing is not working.

Unfortunately, many offices are trained in the wrong way. That is, they think that a new patient call should be 2 minutes or less and that it is all about just getting them into an appointment.

If that is what you are doing, quit doing it, because you may get the appointment but if you track what your capped appointment percentage is, you will discover that a vast majority of the appointments made with that methodology results in patients not showing up. 

Why do new patients who call not show up? 

It is because they have no connection to you, and you were not able to convince them to visit you.

Where is the first impression made?

Online. It can be on the website or a Google review.

Where is the second impression?

The phone call.

If you do not make a remarkable first impression, you are not going to get a second one.

So, the first thing you should do is take a look at your website, look at your online presence, make sure your page ranks number one on Google search results, let’s say you have all of that. But, if the second impression is not consistent with the first, you are still not going to make it.

Is this your problem too? If so, connect with Ekwa Marketing to help you create a thriving practice with an A+ conversion rate of new patient calls. 

What is the best way to train your team to answer calls?

1. Have a breakout team meeting with your business team members and you on who will answer the phone and do some role play with them.

In this meeting, you can ask your team, ‘’what do we say, if the patients ask this?’’ And rehearse with them on what to say. Practice with them till they perfect the art of answering the phone in the best way that attracts more new patient appointments. 

1. You could provide a script until they get the flow of the concept, and then make it their own. In my opinion, this is the best way to do telephone training until the team gets used to it.

2. Train your team to encourage your patients to check out the practice website to learn more about their doctor and the practice. 

Ex: Hi Susan, I am coming to the end, let me get you scheduled, and I will take care of you from there. First, you are going to love our office, and you are going to be seeing Dr. Paul, you will love Dr. Paul. I have a homework assignment for you. Before your appointment, please go to our website and visit our doctor’s page, here you will learn why you are going to appreciate seeing Dr. Paul and why you called the right office. I can’t wait to meet you face to face.


  • You might have reviews from other doctors, such as from Doctors Choice Awards, you could highlight reviews from Google as graphics or text reviews, which you can capture and add to the site.
  • You could have a picture of your doctor with his beautiful family.
  • Content should be catchy and written in such a way that anybody reading should think, oh my gosh! I can’t wait to meet him.
  • On the doctor’s page, you can have a header at the top of the page that has testimonials to scroll through.

Once they see the positive testimonials and the images of the doctor, they would be like, OMG, I am glad I called their office! 

It is called persuasion. That patient will be coming to you with a feeling of being connected.

Dr.Paul Nielson & Family – Life Smiles Dental Care

How to rate your dental practice based on new patient calls? 

One of the realities in 2020 is, people will often go to your website, just to get your phone number, and they are an existing client. So, 80% of these calls are people just connecting with you, and they are not new patients. 

But, if you reverse that, you will have 20% of these calls that are actually from potential new patients.  

Conversion percentage chart to track your rating

  • 91% or above – A+ 
  • 81%-90% – A
  • 71%-80% – B
  • 51%-70% – C
  • Below 50% – F

4-Tips to convert potential new patient calls to appointments

  1. Know your data
  2. Connect with the caller
  3. Set up a scheduling triplet where you can see them in 3 business days or less for their appointment 
  4. Convince or encourage them to check out the website

Listen to the Thriving Dentist Show podcast to learn in detail how to increase new patient calls from patients.

Connect with the marketing team I work with to improve the new patient calls for my LifeSmiles Dental practice.

You can schedule a free marketing strategy meeting with Ekwa via this link: https://bit.ly/Strategy-Meeting

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