A powerful scheduling and workflow system is a tremendous asset for any dental office. But the hard work of setting up and aligning patients and procedures can be undone with a no-show or patient cancellation.
No-shows or cancellations are costly. Depending on the size of your practice, a regular cancelation rate can quickly add up to unnecessary revenue losses.
While no dental practice will ever be immune from patient cancellations, there are ways to reduce the number of no-shows. Here are five tips that can help your patients fulfill their appointment promises and keep things flowing smoothly each day.
With a personality profile, dental professionals will have a better sense of what makes patients tick, which is particularly important when setting up appointments.
Not all patients want an appointment reminder. Some patients will want to check their smartphone and plug in the appointment time. Others will need multiple written and email reminders.
By accommodating your patients’ preferences from the first moment you set up an appointment, the greater the likelihood that they’ll keep the appointment.
Offer day-of services
This is going above and beyond, but if there’s an opportunity to work in same-day appointment, some patients will greatly appreciate the convenience of this option.
Sure, it’ll take effort to move things around to fit in another procedure.
But eliminating a potential headache of a future cancellation will be worth it. Same-day appointments will not be for everyone, but others will be very happy to sign up for one.
Post practice policy
Whatever your cancellation policy is, make sure patients have a chance to take a look. If a patient is a repeat offender, take the time to remind them about the office’s policy on a missed appointment. A simple and friendly reminder might be all the patient needs to make good on their commitment.
If the practice imposes a fee for missed appointment, you can also consider waiving it as a courtesy. Your understanding will go a long way in building good will and might even prevent the next cancellation from occurring.
When patients get the sense that the information you convey to them during their appointments is invaluable and crucial to their dental health, they’ll listen a little more closely.
When you speak the patient’s language and deliver a patient-first experience each time, the value of your service grows exponentially. There’s no better way to offer value than by putting the patient’s unique needs front and center.
When a patient comes to expect this level of value each time, it’ll be hard for them to ignore how well you treat them. That might just be enough reason for them to keep all appointments.
Confirm with patient
If a patient is going to cancel, some notice is better than none.
You can confirm appointments or cancellations as early as possible by sending out an additional reminder on the day of the appointment. Offices that send out reminders early in the morning can get several hours’ notice of a cancellation. If this system yields results, you might consider sending the reminder a day prior, which can give the office a full day to recover an appointment slot.
If you would like more tips, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask about our consulting services!