What does your practice need? I think every dentist will probably give a slightly different answer to that question, but I would suggest that most dental practices have a common need: new patients. I think most of you would agree with that. Usually, where most practices begin to disagree is in determining how to get new patients.
What I want to talk about today is in my opinion, perhaps one of the most important factors in getting new patients for your practice and that is scheduling. You may be wondering how scheduling impacts drawing in new patients, but let me tell you that the best marketing plan in the world won’t help your practice if you’re making this common dental scheduling mistake.
The greatest dental scheduling mistake dentists make
The greatest mistake most practices make in their efforts to bring in new patients is not having a schedule template to accommodate new patients within 3 days of their call.
Let me give you a scenario. Let’s say you have the best marketing team in the world and you’re getting great results. You’re getting multiple calls every day with patients requesting appointments. Now let me ask you: when will you be able to schedule in all those patients? For many dental practices the answer is probably not within 3 days or even within a week.
Why does it matter?
Quite simply, it matters because if you can’t schedule those patients within 3 days of their call, you are probably going to lose those patients. Usually, when a patient calls to make an appointment to see a dentist, they aren’t trying to make an appointment for 2 months from now. They want to see the dentist as soon as possible.
So if your practice can’t accommodate what they want, they will go elsewhere no matter how interested they may have been in your practice. Now the opposite is also true. If your practice is ready to schedule every new patient who calls within 3 days, you can probably rely on seeing every one of those patients.
How to do it?
Your practice should have a scheduling template that can accommodate a new patient within 3 days. How we do this at LifeSmiles is by keeping 3 appointment slots open every day for new patients. That number may be different for your practice depending on your volume of new patient calls, but you need to have set blocks in your schedule for new patients.
Wondering what you should do if those blocked appointment slots aren’t filled by new patients? Find out by listening to the full podcast episode!