Dental Team Phone Skills

February 8, 2018 Sheri Kay RDH

Okay teams, here I go again talking about basic phone skills. It might seem as though this is a pretty old horse that has been beaten to death one too many times. The reality, though, is that your phone continues to be the single most important tool in your office.

Why Phone Call Communication Skills Still Matter

The other reality is that all too often, this valuable instrument is under-functioning due to the lack of intention, precision, and focus of the people answering it. I love referring to your phone as an ‘instrument’ as it takes a skilled musician willing to put in time and energy for it to sound magical.

And yes, there is a very sweet recipe made up of having a talented individual that LOVES answering the phone combined with appropriate training in facilitation. Only this can create a truly extraordinary experience for the patients that are calling your office.

How to Improve Calls Through Coaching

Not sure if this is happening in your practice? I have one simple suggestion: record your calls and make time on a regular basis to listen to them. Learn for yourself exactly what is occurring.

After listening to hundreds of calls this past year alone, I can tell you without a doubt there are always opportunities for improvement on basic (and of course advanced) phone skills.

As you listen to calls, I invite you to become and stay interested in a number of things:

  • Does your team member have a warm and welcoming spirit?
  • How quickly is a caller asked for their name?
  • Do they sound genuinely interested in the person on the other end?
  • Are they inviting the patient’s story? Responding appropriately?
  • How much value building is there for your practice?
  • In what ways is the patient assured that they called the right place?
  • Are potential patients being asked to schedule?

Listening to calls with individual team members can be a wonderful coaching opportunity! Although it may take some time and energy to create a safe environment in which to do this, I find the process engaging, enlightening, and potentially transformational. What do you say? Is it time to see if your phone is making magical music?

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About Author

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Sheri Kay RDH

Sheri Kay started her career in dentistry as a dental assistant for an “under one roof” practice in 1980. The years quickly flew by as Sheri worked her way from one position to the next learning everything possible about the different opportunities and roles available in an office. As much as she loved dentistry … something was always missing. In 1994, after Sheri graduated from hygiene school, her entire world changed when she was introduced to the Pankey Philosophy of Care. What came next for Sheri was an intense desire to help other dental professionals learn how they could positively influence the health and profitability of their own practices. By 2012, Sheri was working full time as a Dental Practice Coach and has since worked with over 300 practices across the country. Owning SKY Dental Practice Dental Coaching is more of a lifestyle than a job, as Sheri thrives on the strong relationships that she develops with her clients. She enjoys speaking at state meetings, facilitating with Study Clubs and of course, coaching with her practices.