Practice Management Tips & Tricks: A Conversion-Friendly Front Office

Randi Grant

By Randi Grant

Marketing Manager

Published January 6, 2015
Updated September 29, 2020

2 min read

Here at Smile Marketing, we specialize in creating conversion-friendly websites for dentists. We can design and develop a beautiful site and work hard on SEO to ensure your site ranks well in the search engines. What we cannot do is handle the conversion process that takes place in your office. Meaning, once a potential patient finds your website and calls to ask questions or schedule an appointment, it is in the hands of your front office staff.

To help ensure that a potential new patient who finds you online converts into an actual new patient with a booked appointment, here are a few tips for those who answer the phones:

  1. Know the website
  2. Lead the conversation
  3. Offer appointment times


1. Know the Website

If you are investing in a new or updated website for your dental practice, it is important that your staff become familiar with it. Oftentimes when a potential new patient finds your website and then calls the office, they will mention something they saw online. If your staff is very familiar with the site, they won’t be surprised by anything and they will be able to respond to a caller’s questions appropriately.

2. Lead the Conversation

The idea behind a practice website is to generate new patients, which means a lot of people will be calling the office with questions, looking to feel out the practice to determine if it is the right fit for them. It is critical that whoever answers the phone is able to answer all of their questions and lead the conversation toward the booking of an appointment.

A lull in the conversation or one-word answers from the staff member may be just enough to lose the lead altogether. Those answering the phone should be friendly, responsive, and able to effectively direct the conversation toward the end goal—an appointment.

3. Offer Appointment Times

If a caller is on the fence about making an appointment, your staff should suggest specific appointment times.

“Which is more convenient for you—a 2pm or 2:30pm appointment tomorrow?” directs the caller toward making an appointment more effectively than the imprecise, yes or no question, “Would you like to make an appointment?”

Not only does this direct the conversation, it shows the caller that the person they are talking to is prepared and able to help them immediately. While it is inevitable that callers will occasionally need to be placed on hold or some other circumstance may arise that does not enable the staff to have the appointment schedule directly in front of them, this should not be the norm.