Moments of Magic, Part Four: New Patient Welcome Phone Call

  • by Larry Stanleigh, BSc, MSc, DDS, FAGD, FADI, FICD, FACD, FPFA
  • Jun 1, 2023, 12:23 PM
In my lecture series, “Lost that Lovin’ Feeling? Success Is All About Relationships,” I talk about how my practice implemented relationship-based systems that are simply powerful and powerfully simple to enhance our success. 

In a previous “Daily Grind” post, I discussed the Pareto Principle, whereby it is my contention that 20% of our practice success is due to our clinical knowledge and skills and 80% is from everything else. I like to talk about that 80%.

Knowing that “mindset + systems + consistency = success,” I talk about how inexpensive systems done consistently and with the right attitude can transform our business for long-term success. One of those systems, if done consistently, is what I call “Moments of Magic,” which are 10 or more moments that change how our patients respond to us and become raving fans who pay their bills, show up for their appointments, schedule their next appointments, and refer their family members and friends (what I refer to as pay, stay, repeat and refer).

In this blog series, I will outline each one of those Moments of Magic.
The fourth one is the “new patient welcome phone call.” 

Up to now, new patients have heard about you, read your reviews, checked out your website and social media, and have now decided to become part of your patient family. They called, and your team answered by thanking them for calling and welcoming them into the practice with an appointment (the third Moment of Magic). In that first call, the person answering the phone gathered a telephone number and referral source for this new person.

Before the end of the workday, someone on your team should collect the names, contact phone numbers and referral names of the next day’s list of patients who are new to the practice and deliver that list to the dentist who will be completing the examination.

Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, the dentist should pick up the phone and call each person and say, “Mr. Jones, this is Dr. Tomorrow. I am the dentist whom you will be seeing tomorrow. I just want to say welcome to our practice and would like to know if there is anything we can do to make your visit great.”

That’s it. It takes seconds to say. Most of the time, the first response is total silence because the patient is astonished to get this call. No one has ever done this before! They were impressed with the positive reviews, website, social media and how they were welcomed on the phone. This will blow them away. They will actually look forward to the next day’s visit. (This can help even the nervous ones develop a level of comfort and trust to actually show up when they otherwise might cancel at the last second.) 

Sometimes it is a nice opportunity to connect the triangle of contact between the new patient, the dentist and their referral source — a grand way to build trust before meeting face-to-face.

For me, 90% of the time, the patient is simply grateful for the call and looks forward to meeting my team and me. Once in a while, there is a specific issue or problem they are having. This is our opportunity to ensure we address that specific issue on the first visit.

It’s all part of the process I call the Diamond Rule. Find out what people want, and then find a way to give them what they uniquely desire. It’s way more effective than the Golden Rule.

By utilizing these four Moments of Magic, before a new patient even sets foot inside our practice, they feel like a part of our practice family before we meet them in person. 

For the fifth Moment of Magic, I will discuss the office tour.
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