Improving the Appointment Confirmation Process at Your Dental Practice
It’s not out of the ordinary for dental team members to unintentionally sabotage scheduling attempts. Most team members don’t want to seem too pushy, meaning that the last thing patients hear before they leave your office is “call us if you need to cancel or reschedule.” This immediately plants the seed of canceling or rescheduling.
Train your staff members to reaffirm your ideal outcome. As the patient leaves, make sure multiple staff members remind the patient of his or her appointment and that someone fills out a reminder card for the patient to take home. When the conversation is focused on confirmation instead of rescheduling, your patients will follow suit.
Communicate with Your Patients
Discussing follow-up appointments and scheduling with the clinical team can help make sure the patient is still focusing on the necessary clinical procedures.
Follow a Proper Timeline
Adhering to a defined timeline makes it easy for your entire staff to be on the same page. Below is an example of an appointment reminder timeline:
1 Month before appointment – Send a reminder text or email
6 Days before appointment – Send a confirmation text or email
3 Days before appointment – Call all patients who have not confirmed
2 Days before appointment – Call all patients who have not confirmed
24 Hours before appointment – Send a reminder text to patients who have confirmed – those who have not confirmed should be moved to the side
Money as a Motivator
When money is attached to something, it becomes more meaningful to most people. Attaching a late-cancellation or no-show fee can be a huge motivator for patients who may otherwise be prone to last-minute rescheduling.