Key Practices to Convert Calls into More Patients

Iqaluit Dental Clinic image of a cartoon hand holding a cartoon cellphone.
January 18, 2023 0 Comments

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we know that attracting new patients to your clinic isn’t an easy task. When your marketing efforts get converted into calls, you need to put in even more effort to convert those calls into real patients. Let’s check out a few key practices to convert calls into more patients.

The Practices

1. Get more staff – Most dental clinics don’t have enough staff for efficiently running their business. You need more personnel to take care of your patients before you even begin to convert callers into patients. When you have enough people on the phone, new callers won’t be redirected to voicemail, and you won’t miss out on those opportunities. Hitting that golden 100% answer rate may not be possible. But you can get close to it with enough staff.

Larger clinics and dental practices often outsource their spillover phone calls. However, potential patients would feel more impressed and more valued when they get to speak to the people they would see at the practice. It seems more professional and helps to build a lasting relationship from the get-go. If you have enough staff at the dental clinic, consider hiring people solely for answering calls. Do the math to figure out how many people you would need for round-the-clock phone coverage.

2. Provide training – To convert calls into patients, you need to train your staff to achieve your objectives. For instance, some dental practices have people with multiple roles answering the phone. In that case, phone calls become a mere distraction that doesn’t get their full attention. It’s important to have dedicated personnel on the phone and explain to them the importance of those calls.

You shouldn’t assume that new or existing staff filing the role permanently have the necessary skills to convert those callers into patients either. While that training expense seems like a burden, it would bring you exceptional rewards. People who get the right training for converting prospects into clients aren’t just great at increasing the clinic’s client base, but also deliver superior customer service and boost customer retention.

3. Develop a standard routine – Your staff should always be consistent while answering the calls. Using the same greeting for every caller establishes professionalism and your clients won’t be caught off guard by different responses every time they call the clinic. That doesn’t mean you need every staff member on the phone to become bots who read from a script. Instead, call a meeting to decide on the best ‘first impression greeting’ and other such etiquettes.

Have the team agree and set protocols. That way, your staff appears more genuine to prospective clients. For instance, the greeting may be something as simple as “Thank you for calling Iqaluit Dental Clinic. My name is Sarah. How may I help you today?”. You’re free to modify and adjust the greeting and other generic responses. The important thing is to maintain consistency.

4. Be strategic while scheduling phone staff – Apart from providing your staff with the right training, you also need to be strategic while scheduling the phone staff. You can’t expect to assign people to the phones and generate conversions automatically. For the first few days, you’ll be on a research period where you get to figure out how many calls you get throughout the day and the call volume at different times of the day.

You can use that data to figure out how many staff members are needed to cover the phone. If your marketing efforts haven’t changed significantly, you may be able to get accurate call volume data for the past few months. Use that data in your favour. For instance, if call volumes are higher at the end of the month, you can add more staff to cover the busy phones during the last week. You may also want to have call tracking services to figure out the call volume after business hours and during vacations. If the call volume is high enough, it may warrant hiring staff for ‘night shifts’ or ‘off hours’. 

5. Take notes during calls – Make sure your phone staff is ready to take notes before they answer the calls. This may be in the form of a pen and notebook or tablets. It’s important for your staff to note down the concerns, queries, comments, and complaints of your callers. You can review that information with your staff to decide on better approaches, answers, and strategies for boosting the conversion rates of new callers and delivering more satisfaction to existing patients.

It’s important that this is done while abiding by information protection laws. Train your phone staff to note down the name of the callers along with their location, the reason for the call, and a callback number. When your staff uses that information to call back the customers and address their concerns while using the client’s name, it warms up the client to your practice and enhances the odds of converting callers into patients.

6. Offer to set up appointments – Make sure that the phone staff is equipped with scheduling software so that the call doesn’t need to be transferred to someone else for scheduling an appointment. You need to eliminate as many hurdles as possible to convert callers into real patients. When a caller agrees to an appointment, the staff should suggest just a few options for appointments.

Too many options increase confusion, misunderstanding, frustration, and barriers to entry into your dental practice. The approach can be as simple as offering another date and time for the appointment if the initial one doesn’t work. Some callers may expect an evening appointment due to their work schedule. However, evening schedules are usually very busy and, in that case, your staff may ask more questions to accommodate the caller.    


At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we understand that converting new callers into patients requires a lot of work. Following the above-mentioned methods should ease that conversion for you. Most of the work needed for converting new callers into patients needs to be put in even before you get the calls.