6 Ways to Convert Emergency Patients into Loyal Patients
For most practices, emergency patients are a huge source of frustration. You do your best to work them into your busy schedule and get them out of pain, only to never hear from them again. They bring stress and chaos to your day, and no matter how many emergency patients you see, they never seem to turn into loyal patients who are proud to call your practice their dental home.
Yes, it is frustrating, but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to turn emergency patients into loyal patients, you just need to make a few changes in how you and your team members approach them.
I’ve put together six tips to help you take advantage of this huge growth opportunity, and to turn emergency visits into increased production and revenue for your practice.
1. Create a Script
The best way to make this happen is to create phone scripts. If team members have a script, they won’t be put on the spot when an emergency patient calls. They’ll know exactly how to handle the call, and will start laying the groundwork to turn this emergency into a comprehensive exam. Remember, the script should serve as a general guide to assist all team members, no matter who picks up the phone, in gathering necessary information, conveying essential details and expressing a helpful, caring tone throughout the conversation.
2. Increase Awareness Among Your Team Members
3. Make Them Feel at Ease
These patients may also be a little frazzled, so ask them if they’d like help filling out their paperwork. If they’re in a lot of pain or discomfort, I recommend taking them to a private consultation room where a team member can help them fill out the necessary forms. Once they’re done, let them know how long it will be before they see the doctor. Simply put, make them feel as comfortable as possible. They’ll appreciate the effort, and may even tell family and friends about the excellent care they received while at your practice.
4. Watch for Cues
If you know why these patients have avoided the dentist for so long, you can tailor your education to ease their specific concerns and fears, which will help them to overcome these barriers and make them more likely to schedule a comprehensive exam before they leave.
5. Stress the Importance of Ongoing Care
Continue to educate patients after treatment is complete. Escort them to the front desk and stress the importance of continual care. Tell your Scheduling Coordinator to schedule the patient for a comprehensive exam as soon as possible. There should be time in the schedule reserved for emergency patients who are ready to make appointments. You want these patients to come back for their comprehensive exam within a week, not six weeks or six months down the road.
Emergency patients don’t have to be a source of frustration. Instead of getting annoyed when they call and disrupt your day, think of them as an opportunity for practice growth. Follow these tips and you won’t have to wonder what happened to those emergency patients who never came back, because they’ll be loyal patients who are helping to boost your practice productivity and your bottom line.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email email@example.com
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