Why your dental practice needs a trained receptionist

May 20, 2019

The role of receptionist within a dental practice is often overlooked and underestimated, as many assume they just need a kind face to answer phones and welcome patients. In reality, your receptionist is one of the most critical factors contributing toward your overall profitability and practice growth. He or she is the face of your practice and the first impression for both new and returning patients. Here are the main reasons your practice needs a trained receptionist in order to maximize its success.

Reception is about more than just answering phones

The role of a receptionist involves far more than just answering phones. That’s part of it, sure, but they also need to welcome patients, manage the practice’s schedule, and more. It’s a difficult job not just anyone can perform, with many receptionists also taking on an array of administrative tasks related to accounting, human resources, and general practice management. Training someone in all these areas isn’t easy, but it has countless benefits toward your organization.

Good reception leads to growth

Because one of your receptionist’s main duties is answering the phone, they are in many cases fielding calls from new and prospective patients. They need to present a bright and welcoming image for the practice to provide a positive patient experience right from the start. The receptionist must be trained in:

  • Greeting incoming calls to present the most welcoming image possible from your practice
  • Communicating with prospective patients to make them most likely to schedule an appointment
  • Gathering both essential information and personal facts
    • Personal facts help build a strong relationship with the patient from the very first interaction
  • Determining how the patient learned about your practice
    • This helps analyze the performance of your marketing efforts to see what’s working, what isn’t, and where you should allocate more of your resources
  • Scheduling an initial appointment for a date in the near future before the effect of the first interaction begins to fade

This and more all contribute to acquisition and retention of patients and to the overall growth of your practice.

Reception equals retention

As important as the receptionist’s role is in acquiring new patients, it’s just as important in retaining existing ones. Few patients want to return to a practice where they don’t feel welcome, clearly communicated with, or well-known. These areas largely fall on the shoulders of the receptionist, as they are the main point of contact between the patient and the practice and need to provide a strong connection and experience for all patients.

The importance of training

If you’ve been having troubles in areas you feel you should be seeing success as a result of strong receptionist performance, the case is not necessarily that you have the wrong person for the job. You could have the right person who simply isn’t trained properly.

White & Associates partners with dental practices to ensure your receptionist is everything you want and need them to be and more. We’ll work closely with you to fine-tune all aspects of your front desk and to foster a lasting positive impact on your practice. Contact us today to get started.