Make sure that the dental team are aware when new patients are due in for their first appointment and be ready to make them particularly welcome. The “morning huddle” is always a good time to discuss new patients.
Always remember that a patient’s first impression is their lasting impression and can easily be the reason they don’t return.
- Welcome the patient by name
- Thank them for choosing your practice
- Point out where the facilities are – coffee, water, toilets, magazines, notice-board, children’s area
- Provide a welcome pack containing everything the patient needs to know about your practice
- Have the dentist come out personally to welcome the patient by name and accompany to surgery
- Introduce the nurse
- Explain what will happen at the first consultation
- Encourage questions and feedback
- Get to know your patient well and build up a lasting rapport quickly
- Follow-up the next day with a call from reception to check how the first visit went
Do you know how many of your new patients from six months ago have actually committed to a second appointment and how many have cancelled or failed to attend?
This simple routine will help to track your new patients and ensure regular contact is maintained
- Run a contact list of new patients monthly from your practice software
- Check off those who have already pre-booked
- Check off those who have signed up to your dental payment plan
- Contact those who have not yet committed to either, asking for feedback and to pre-book an appointment
- Three months later, recheck the patient list and contact those who have still not committed to a second appointment for feedback and to pre-book
- Check off any patients who have decided not to return and note the reason to identify & remedy trends
- Revisit each list monthly until all new patients have been checked off