Episode 11

How to handle cancellations | Asking the patient to pay

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On this episode of the Dear Laura Show

Welcome to another episode of the Dear Laura Show! I’m Laura, the founder of Front Office Rocks, and I’m here to answer your questions and discuss various subjects related to the dental office. Whether you’re a dental professional or simply curious about how things work behind the scenes, you’re in the right place. If you’ve been following along with us, thank you for your continued support. And if you’re just joining us, be sure to check out our previous episodes on your preferred podcast platform.

In today’s episode, we’ll be addressing two common challenges in the dental office: handling cancellations and asking patients to pay. While these topics may seem straightforward, there are specific strategies and training that can greatly improve these aspects of your practice. We’ll explore different types of cancellations and discuss how building rapport, scheduling effectively, and improving case acceptance can help reduce them. Additionally, we’ll delve into the importance of properly phrasing payment requests and training your team to confidently communicate payment policies to patients. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can navigate these areas with finesse and enhance your practice’s efficiency

Segment 1: Handling Dental Office Cancellations
– Cancellations can be categorized into three areas: new patients, doctor/production appointments, and hygiene.
– New patient cancellations may occur due to a lack of rapport-building and scheduling too far out.
– Suggestions to improve new patient cancellations: enhance phone skills and schedule availability within two to three days.
– Doctor/production appointment cancellations may be linked to case acceptance and presentation.
– To reduce cancellations, ensure treatment details and financials are discussed and ask for a deposit or down payment.
– Hygiene cancellations can be challenging to address as patients have been conditioned to cancel or reschedule easily.
– Verbal skills training is needed to emphasize the importance of hygiene appointments and to establish control over the schedule.
– Training the team is crucial to address cancellation issues, and a cancellation fee alone is not a comprehensive solution.

 Segment 2: Asking Patients to Pay
– Proper phrasing is important when discussing payment with patients.
– Instead of asking patients if they want to pay, the team should inform them of the payment policy.
– Training team members to be comfortable with discussing payment and emphasizing the importance of policy is essential.

– Addressing cancellations requires a high-level understanding of the specific areas affected and targeted training for the team.
– Emphasizing payment policies and training the team to handle payment discussions effectively will contribute to a smoother payment process.

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