19 Feb 2024  •  Blog, Customer Service  •  4min read By  • Lucie Simic

Nurturing Patient Enquiries for Success

In this guest blog, Dental Business Consultant, Lucie Simic, stresses the importance of keeping in touch with patients while they consider whether to take up treatment plans.

In the fast-paced world of dental practices, the importance of following through with patient inquiries cannot be overstated. The fear of being perceived as pushy or annoying often prevents front of house, treatment co-ordinators (TCOs) and even dentists from persistently reaching out to patients to book in potential treatment. However, data suggests that a proactive and persistent approach is essential for the success of both the practice and the patient.

The Challenge of Follow-up

Dental practices often grapple with the delicate balance of staying engaged with potential patients without crossing the line into what might be perceived as intrusive. The fear of being labelled as pushy can lead practices to shy away from persistent follow-ups, potentially missing out on valuable opportunities for both the patient and the practice.

The Data Behind Patient Decision-Making

Understanding the timeline for patient decision-making is crucial for effective follow-up. According to data, for treatment plans under £5k, patients typically need approximately 35 days to decide and then book in. However, the more intriguing revelation lies in the fact that for treatment plans exceeding £5k, the decision-making process can extend up to 120 days.

This significant difference in timelines underscores the necessity of extended follow-up efforts, especially for higher-value treatment plans. Dental practices must recognise and embrace this reality to optimise their chances of securing appointments and fostering positive patient outcomes.

Overcoming the Fear of Persistence

While it’s understandable that dental practices may be concerned about annoying potential patients, it’s crucial to view follow-ups not as a nuisance but as a service. Patients often appreciate being guided through the decision-making process, provided the communication is respectful and considerate.

Instead of viewing follow-ups as a pushy tactic, consider them as an opportunity to offer valuable information, address concerns, and showcase the commitment to the patient’s well-being. This shift in perspective can transform follow-ups from an apprehensive task into a proactive strategy aimed at building trust and ensuring the patient receives the best possible care.

Creating a Win-Win Scenario

Effective follow-up doesn’t just benefit the dental practice; it creates a win-win scenario for both the practice and the patient. By staying engaged and providing necessary information, practices can guide patients towards making informed decisions about their oral health. This not only enhances patient satisfaction but also contributes to the success and reputation of the practice.

In the realm of dental practices, the importance of following through with patient enquiries cannot be overstressed. The fear of being perceived as pushy must be replaced with a commitment to providing exceptional customer service and guiding patients through the decision-making process. Armed with the knowledge that patient decision timelines vary, dental practices should embrace persistence, recognising that extended follow-up is an investment in both the practice’s success and the patient’s well-being. By creating a win-win scenario, dental practices can build lasting relationships, optimise appointment bookings, and ultimately thrive in an increasingly competitive dental landscape.

About Lucie

Lucie Simic is a Dental Business Consultant and has worked in the dental industry for nearly a decade, helping practices increase their turnover and deliver exceptional customer experience.

Lucie’s background is in journalism, and she has applied these skills to the dental industry. She managed a strategic business plan which transformed a three-chair practice into a seven-surgery referral hub in three years. Lucie has assisted many practices around the UK with their own journey and now works alongside Ashley Latter, delivering his training courses.



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