The Absolute Worst Question To Ask A Patient On The Phone

One of the worst questions to ask on the phone is:

“Would you like an appointment?”

It seems like a sensible and polite question to ask a new patient on the phone or a patient standing in front of you at the desk after seeing the dentist.

Or is it?

Now it’s fabulous if the answer is yes but what if the answer is no?

The caller now hangs up the phone or the patient walks out of the Dental Office with no appointment to solve and treat their dental problem.

I am always baffled why we ask this question.

We might as well ask:

“Would you like to make an appointment or leave it and wait for your tooth to fall out?”


“Would you like to make an appointment or wait until the tartar on your teeth is 1cm thick and your breath stinks?”

Your Front Office Team have a duty of care and responsibility to make the patient’s next appointment.

Too often this thought never crosses their minds.

“Is your Dental Practice where you want it to be?”

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The problem now is what do you say or ask a patient so they do go ahead and make their next appointment and don’t say no?

I am a firm believer that the best way to ensure a new patient makes an appointment on the phone is to make the appointment with them.

“Now let’s make your appointment.”

Presume the patient is now ready to make their next appointment.

Most of the time they are ready but we then ask them if they would like to make an appointment and it is easier for them to say no.

Guide them and help them make the appointment.

“Would you prefer morning or afternoon?”

The patient is still given choices but you have removed the choice of whether they will make an appointment or not.

After speaking with a person on the phone you know they need an appointment.

So make that appointment.

After listening to the Dentist explain to the patient why they need treatment you know they need an appointment.

So make that appointment.

When a patient leaves your office with no appointment or hangs up the phone with no appointment you have really let that patient down.

“Thinking about” treatment is never the answer to their dental problem.

So stay focused on making an appointment and you will make the appointment.”

Dental Phone Excellence is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system developed by Jayne Bandy that helped her to build an extraordinary dental practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.

If you’d like to know more, download her Free Report here now: “How I Quickly And Easily Went From 35% To 77% New Patient Telephone Conversions…And Doubled The Size of My Dental Practice Along The Way”


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This blog post was written by Jane Bandy who is the creator of Dental Phone Excellence. Dental Phone Excellence delivers practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Dental Office, impacting immediately on your Patients’ Dental  Phone Experiences, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.