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The ultimate guide to enhancing your dental practice’s patient experience with call scripting [plus script examples]

Are you a dental practice owner looking to improve your patient experience and increase efficiency? One of the simplest yet most effective ways to achieve these goals is by implementing call scripting. Call scripting can help streamline patient interactions, reduce employee stress, and ultimately lead to more satisfied patients and a healthier bottom line.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of call scripting for dental practices and provide you with best practices and sample call scripts for various scenarios. So, let’s jump in and discover how call scripting can revolutionize your dental practice.

The benefits of using call scripting in dental practices

A call script is a planned structure that provides guidance on how to handle different patient interactions during phone conversations. This structured approach offers several benefits for dental practices, including:

  • Consistency. Call scripting ensures that each patient interaction follows a standardized process. Consistent communication builds trust and reassures patients that their needs will be met.
  • Accuracy. With a call script, your staff can deliver accurate and complete information without missing crucial details. This can help avoid misunderstandings and prevent miscommunication.
  • Efficiency. Call scripting helps streamline patient interactions, allowing your team to handle more calls in less time. This can result in increased productivity and improved patient satisfaction.

Let’s dig a little deeper, examining the advantages of call scripting from the perspective of patients and staff.

How call scripting improves the patient experience

Effective communication is a vital aspect of the patient experience. Call scripting can help enhance your patient experience by:

  • Building rapport. With a call script, your staff can engage in meaningful conversations with patients, building rapport, enabling trust, and encouraging loyalty.
  • Meeting patient needs. Call scripting ensures patients’ questions are answered and concerns addressed. This helps patients feel valued and heard, leading to a positive experience.
  • Providing personalized care. Call scripting gives your staff a defined pathway to tailor the conversation to the patient’s specific needs. This personalized approach can help patients feel understood and appreciated — not frustrated or like they are talking in circles.

How call scripting reduces stress for employees

Handling patient calls can be stressful, especially during peak times or after hours. Call scripting can help reduce stress for your employees by:

  • Providing a road map. A call script offers a clear road map for your staff, reducing the need for improvisation and guesswork. This can help alleviate anxiety and boost confidence.
  • Enhancing communication skills. Call scripting can help your staff improve their communication skills, making it easier to handle difficult conversations with patients.
  • Improving job satisfaction. When your staff feels equipped to handle patient calls, they are more likely to feel fulfilled in their role. This can boost morale and reduce turnover rates.

Best practices for writing and implementing call scripting

Just as a sculptor needs the right tools to shape their masterpiece, a dental practice needs the right call scripting practices to shape a successful patient experience. While call scripting alone can revolutionize how you handle patient interactions, it’s not a silver bullet. To fully realize the benefits of this tool, it’s vital to employ best practices when writing and implementing your call scripts. Let’s explore these practices.

How to write call scripts

Here are some tips to help you create effective call scripts:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Most callers want their problems resolved or questions answered as fast as possible. They are busy and don’t want to spend too much time on the phone. Therefore, keeping your scripts concise and focused on the most critical information is essential. Avoid going into too much detail or giving unnecessary background information.
  • Personalize the call to meet the patient’s specific needs. No two patients are identical, and their needs and concerns may vary. When writing your call scripts, consider the particular needs of your patients and tailor your scripts accordingly. This will help you create a more personalized experience for each patient and show them that you care about their individual situation.
  • Clearly define the next steps and set expectations. When patients call your office, they often have questions about what will happen next. Will they need to schedule an appointment? Will someone call them back? Will they receive a reminder about their appointment? By clearly detailing the next steps and defining expectations, you can help alleviate anxiety or confusion and ensure the patient feels confident and informed about the process.
  • Tweak and refine scripts over time to provide the best possible patient experience. Creating effective call scripts is an ongoing process. As you use your scripts and get feedback from patients and staff, continually refine and improve them. Feel free to make changes and try new things. Your call scripts should be living documents that evolve.

How to implement call scripts

Once you have written your call scripts, it’s time to implement them into your dental practice. Here are some critical considerations:

  • Optimize employee training. To ensure your staff can use your call scripts effectively, you must facilitate comprehensive training. This might include role-playing exercises, group training sessions, or one-on-one coaching. Ensure your staff understands the purpose and benefits of call scripting, and provide them with the tools and resources needed to succeed.
  • Handling after-hours calls and emergencies. What happens when a patient calls after hours or has an emergency? Make sure you have a plan in place to handle these situations. This may include using a live answering service or supplying on-call staff members with access to your call scripts and procedures.
  • Managing appointment scheduling and reminders. Call scripts can be a powerful tool for managing appointment scheduling and reminders. By including specific language and procedures in your scripts, you can enable seamless appointment scheduling and ensure patients receive timely reminders about their upcoming appointments.
  • Using a live answering service to take care of after-hours calls and peak-time overflows. If your practice is overwhelmed with calls during peak times, consider using a live answering service to help handle the volume. A live answering service can help ensure every call is answered promptly and professionally — even during busy times.

Sample call scripts for dental practices

New patient call script sample

Hello, thank you for calling [Dental Practice Name]. My name is [Your Name]. How may I assist you?

Patient: Hi, I’m a new patient, and I’m interested in scheduling an appointment.

Great, we’re happy to have you as a new patient! Could I please have your name and phone number so we can start the process of scheduling your appointment?

Patient: Sure, my name is [Patient Name], and my phone number is [Phone Number].

Thank you, [Patient Name]. We have a few options available for scheduling. Are there any specific days or times that work best for you?

Patient: I prefer weekdays and early afternoons.

Okay, we have availability on [Date] at [Time]. Does that work for you?

Patient: Yes, that sounds good.

Great, we have you scheduled for [Date] at [Time]. You’ll receive a text message reminder 24 hours before your appointment. Before we end the call, is there anything else I can assist you with?

Patient: No, that’s all for now.

Alright, thank you for choosing [Dental Practice Name]. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Appointment scheduling call script sample

Hello, thank you for calling [Dental Practice Name]. My name is [Your Name]. How can I help?

Patient: Hi, I need to schedule an appointment with my dentist.

Sure thing. I’d be happy to help you with that. Could I please have your name and phone number?

Patient: Yes, my name is [Patient Name], and my phone number is [Phone Number].

Thank you, [Patient Name]. Can you please tell me what type of appointment you need, and when would you like to come in?

Patient: I need a cleaning and check-up, and I would like to come in next week.

Okay, let me check our availability for next week. We have an opening on [Date] at [Time]. Does that work for you?

Patient: Yes, that works.

Great, we have you scheduled for [Date] at [Time]. You’ll receive a text message reminder 24 hours before your appointment. Before we end the call, is there anything else I can assist you with?

Patient: No, that’s all for now.

Thank you for choosing [Dental Practice Name]. We look forward to seeing you soon.

After-hours (non-emergency) call script sample

Hello, thank you for calling [Dental Practice Name]. My name is [Your Name]. How may I assist you?

Patient: Hi, I have a question about my recent dental treatment.

I’d be happy to help you with that. Just to confirm, this is not an emergency, correct?

Patient: Yes, that’s correct.

Okay, great. Can you please provide me with your name and phone number so we can have your dentist get back to you as soon as possible?

Patient: Sure, my name is [Patient Name], and my phone number is [Phone Number].

Thank you, [Patient Name]. I will make sure to have your dentist contact you within the next business day. Before we end the call, is there anything else I can assist you with?

Patient: No, that’s all for now.

Alright, thank you for calling [Dental Practice Name]. Have a great [morning/afternoon/evening].

After-hours (emergency) call script sample

Thank you for calling [Dental Practice Name]. This is [Your Name]. How may I assist you?

Patient: Hi, I have an emergency with my tooth. It’s really painful, and I don’t know what to do.

I understand that you’re in a lot of discomfort. If you feel you need urgent care, please call 911. Otherwise, we can help you. Can I get your name and phone number?

Patient: My name is [Patient Name], and my phone number is [Phone Number].

Great, thank you. Now, let me connect you to our on-call dentist. They will be able to assist you further. Please hold for a moment.

Online lead follow-up call script sample

Hello, this is [Your Name] from [Dental Practice Name]. I am calling to follow up on your online inquiry about dental services. May I ask who I am speaking with?

Lead: Hi, this is [Lead Name].

Hi [Lead Name], thank you for your inquiry. We appreciate your interest in our dental services. Is there anything specific you would like to know about our practice?

The conversation continues to address the lead’s questions or concerns.

Appointment reminder call script sample

Automated system: Hello, this is a friendly reminder from [Dental Practice Name]. You have an appointment scheduled with us tomorrow at [Appointment Time]. To confirm your appointment, please press 1. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please press 2. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Or

Live operator: Hi [Patient Name], this is [Your Name] from [Dental Practice Name]. I am calling to remind you of your appointment scheduled with us tomorrow at [Appointment Time]. Can you please confirm that you will be able to make it?

Patient: Yes, I will be able to make it.

Great, thank you for confirming. Is there anything else you need to know about your appointment, or do you have any questions for us?

The conversation continues to address the patient’s questions or concerns.

Experience the benefits of a 24/7 call answering

As a dental practice owner, you know how important it is to provide your patients with the best possible care. But managing your practice can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with multiple calls and appointments. That’s where CMS comes in.

We specialize in live answering services for dental practices, providing 24/7 support to ensure your patients always receive top-notch service. Our well-trained operators can handle appointment scheduling, emergency calls, and other tasks with ease, minimizing stress for your staff and enhancing the patient experience. 

If you want to learn more about how our dental answering service can benefit your practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re excited to help you provide exceptional patient care.

By Published On: May 23, 2023Last Updated: May 23, 2023Categories: Blog10 min read