Now, I know you might be thinking that I’m referring to the patient who calls to cancel their appointment for what they often believe is a very good reason.
Well, yes, I am referring to this patient.
But, you see, I don’t believe this patient needs to be given an opportunity to cancel or change their appointment.
What they need to be given is the opportunity to change their mind about cancelling or changing their appointment.
Sometimes at your Practice, a patient will call to cancel their appointment.
Your Practice may be busy, busy and the easiest and quickest reply to a cancellation call is to accept it and listen to the patient and say, “I will call you back to make another appointment”.
And the answer is “OK” and even “Thank You”!!
The patient now believes it is OK to cancel their appointments and you thank them for calling and cancelling!
Think about this…..
If a cancellation call comes into your Office never be in a rush, no matter what.
Take the time to think and ask the right questions.
You do have a duty of care to this patient to give them an opportunity to change their mind and not cancel their appointment.
The appointment was made for a very good reason and you will have to now increase their urgency and concern on the phone.
Ask your patient if they can change a few things to keep their appointment.
Let them know the dentist is concerned they will not be coming in.
If you don’t ask for them to keep this appointment they definitely won’t.
You also need to think very carefully about the language you use to set up the appointment in the first place.
Asking your patient if they are aware of what can happen if they don’t come in for this appointment is a great question.
Having the caller keep their appointment can be as simple as getting this part right in the beginning.
If your patient has little concern or urgency for their treatment then of course it will be top of the list for them to call and cancel if a better offer comes along.
It can be tough.
We all know going to the doctor is not at the top of the list of favourite things to do for the day, but knowing what can happen if we don’t go ahead can be so concerning that cancelling the appointment just isn’t an option.
So next time a call comes in from a patient wanting to cancel their appointment, take a deep breath and think about what you are about to say and ask them.
Give your patients the gift of changing their mind.
This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Practice, impacting immediately on the Patients Phone Experience, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.
Phone Excellence Mastery is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.
For more information on how I can improve your practice profitability contact me, Jayne Bandy at jayne@theDPE.com