Great dental office scripts can accomplish great things!
Have you overheard someone on your team using words or explanations that don’t reflect the communication style you prefer? Worse, have you heard a team member explain something incorrectly to a patient? All dentists cringe when they know a patient–or potential patient–isn’t hearing the right information, presented in the right way.
Dentists want their team to always sound authentic, compassionate, professional, and informed. Dental office scripts may at first seem counter intuitive to authenticity and building personal relationships. However, scripting helps everyone, patients, staff members, and practice owners. Scripts provide guaranteed continuity in messaging.
When is scripting a good practice?
Dental office scripts aren’t all about communication. A well-crafted script will achieve specific goals, like educating a patient on what to expect at a procedure or explaining financing options.
Every word in a script is important and should focus on benefiting the patient.
A dental office script for the following events will improve communication and ensure that important points aren’t missed, while making your team member feel accomplished, knowing the conversation went according to plan. The patient will also feel well-informed, which could prompt the response you want, whether it’s scheduling an appointment or paying an overdue balance.
Scripts can be used for:
- Answering the Phone
- Scheduling New Patients
- Rescheduling Patients
- Scheduling Existing Patients
- Recall Appointment Calls
- Answering Specific Questions
- Case Presentation
- Patient Education
- Explaining Financing Options
- Billing and Collections Calls
Benefits of Dental Office Scripts
Building patient relationships should begin with a solid foundation of sharing facts and information.
In addition to directing conversations and achieving excellent communication, scripting will provide a consistent brand and voice for your office. A script should include the words, ideas, and communication style that YOU prefer. Scripts are tools in your marketing arsenal.
Scripts also aid in training new staff members, and they empower existing staff members, so you can enjoy peace of mind that the conversations they engage in will not appear disjointed or unfulfilling to the patient. Employees properly trained to use scripts in specific situations allow you the freedom to delegate phone calls without worry or hesitation. The team should simply follow the scripts.
Once an employee runs through a script, a conversation between that staff member and patient (or potential patient) can naturally evolve into the warm and compassionate, personalized communication that makes your office unique.
Creating Your Dental Office Scripts
Keep scripts simple and to the point. They don’t need to be long and should absolutely provide clear, concise communication.
First, prioritize which scripts should be introduced first. Answering the phone is a great place to begin.
Next, simply write down how you would start the conversation with your patient. Jot down the essential points that the call should cover, as well as expected outcomes. Then compose a conversation that touches on all of the important points, and directs patients to the action you want him or her to perform: schedule an appointment, pay an overdue balance, accept a treatment plan, etc.
Don’t neglect to edit and revise your scripts. Cut all words that achieve nothing. Insert words and phrases that reflect your practice philosophy for patient communication and care. Remember, every word counts. Keep the script brief, easy to follow, and informative. Take time to polish it and ask your consultant and/or office manager for feedback.
If you so choose, create a yes/no flowchart with staff answers to various patient responses, with the understanding that at any point the conversation could go off-script. Once all the important information is conveyed by your team member, he or she should share next steps with the patient, then end the communication with a natural, friendly goodbye of your choosing.
For Chick-fil-A, the goodbye is “my pleasure.” That response is scripted, and what a great way to make a person feel well served!
Here are some tips from the ADA for team training on the use of dental office scripts.
DPE Can Help You With Dental Office Scripts
The professionals at Dental Practice Enhancement are available to help you compose scripts, train your team to use them, and measure their effectiveness. Give us a call today at 833-373-3678 ext. 1, or email email@example.com.